Right Rail is thinner than the left rail(C&P OS 10x15)

Hi all,

I just had my first press delivered into my garage and I noticed the right rail is thinner than the left rail. Could this affect printing?

I still haven’t ordered my rollers. I wanted to get some feed back on this first.

I’d say the right rail is about 1/16” to 1/8” thinner than the left.

The machine was used for die cutting, could that have caused this? I appreciate any experience you may have with this.


image: IMG_0743.jpg


Log in to reply   12 replies so far

die cutting didn’t cause this, i think it’s made that way, i’ve had a c&p for about 45 years and never noticed this before, now i wonder if my press is like this, must check it out. it should not affect your printing, die cutting can cause lots of other problems, good luck dick g.

I agree with dickg. Your rails are not different thicknesses because of wear from any use of the press. Having been used for die cutting would put less wear on the rails, as rollers/trucks are not used. Additionally, if rails are worn it reduces the height of the rails, not the width typically. I had a CMC Jobber with even more difference than you described. I believe it happened during the molding and finishing of the press. I am quite sure, your press has also been that way since it was manufactured. It should not be an issue in producing fine work.

This is indeed nothing to worry about. I have seen the same on several C&P floor model presses. As long as the height of the rails from the bed is the same you’ll be fine. If the press was used for heavy diecutting you might want to close the press and give the platen a firm tug—just to make sure there isn’t an unusual amount of wear.

Thank you very much for your quick responses.

Dic Harry, I did tug on the platen a bid and found it to be firmly in place.


It looks to me like the faces of the rails have been ground off and replaced. I have seen presses like this before. Can you tell if there is metal sectioned in? I think I can see it. Check where I’ve marked the photo below.

Daniel Morris
The Arm Letterpress
Brooklyn, NY

image: rails.jpg

I agree with Daniel. As much as I can see from this photo, the left rail looks more worn than the right. If they added more to the right one, it might explain the difference in thickness. I haven’t seen a lot of C&Ps but have seen one that was very worn. It’s rails looked like the left side, flat and widened.

The best way to check is to measure the rail heights with something type high on the bed and a straight edge across the bed, overlapping both rails. You will see quickly if they are low and if one is lower than the other.


Hi Daniel/Mike,

I have seen what you are talking about also, but, it looked to me like the rail stays thick all the way back past the ink disk. I may be wrong and the owner should look to see if it looks like a repair was done sometime in the presses history. As all have mentioned, the important measurement to check is the current height above the bed. My now gone CMC was not worn at all but had a severe difference in thickness of the rails. Definitely was like that from the casting. Don’t know if any C&P’s had this problem.

I wouldn’t worry about the width of the rails, but if pieces of them have been milled out and replaced it is worth looking to see if there is wear on other moving parts of the press. How worn are the roller saddles? They look a little thin where the cores seat, but it could be the camera angle. I’m not certain, but I think Steve Robinson may have some brand new ones in stock.

Daniel Morris
The Arm Letterpress
Brooklyn, NY

Hi there. I think that these trucks being different in thickness will not influence a thing when you have it ready to print. I mean, rollers set and all that goes with that.

You can use a “trick” to compensate. Running over the right rail use trucks in the same measurement the rail is. To the thinner hail, you can shave the edges of the truck, sort of beveled to the thickness of thinner rail. That should do.

Then she will run again and will do it for only… oil. Better then a toner copier it always be.

Good luck !

had to check my c&p, both rails are the same, hd-tiegel suggests shaving the trucks, but i think it would not matter if the trucks are wider than the rails, it would only be a problem if the rails are different heights. dick g.

Thanks for all the feedback. My Press is located in my folks garage, I’ll be heading over today to check it out.

Daniel I think my roller saddles look fine, I think it’s the angle of the pic.

I really can’t tell for sure if there was ever any replacement done to the rails. I gave them another look, the press was painted black at one point and it makes it hard to tell.

The height looks to be good and consistent, I still haven’t printed on this press, so time will tell. The sides of my rails are kinda jagged and the bottom of the right rail “looks” like something grinded in on it right before the bottom curve. Could rollers/trucks have done this over the years?