Moving a Golding Pearl Improved #11 down stairs

I’m looking to move my Golding Pearl Improved #11 into the basement to make myself a glamorous indoor studio, but I have a lovely narrow 1940s staircase it would have to make it down.

Ideally I’d like to get it into small enough pieces that two people could walk it down the stairs without any machinery/gizmos. I’m looking for advice from anyone that has experience disassembling/reassembling this press.

What’s the easiest order to take things apart and how small of pieces can I get it into without damaging it?

Log in to reply   12 replies so far

Remove the ink disk and tie the press closed. Look to see how it would look lying on its back. I don’t have access to that model and have never tried this with a platen printing press. Other stuff, yes. It would seem that either alone, or in a simple cradle it could be made to slide down the stairs on planks, or plywood. A rope tied to the press and to your biggest helper required. As long as you don’t try to go too fast, friction is your helper. If on planks, two to walk along one on each side to guide and help it.
Think it through. Analyze, improvise and overcome

First off, I’d Check your steps. Will they handle the weight? Add some temporary supports, even if you don’t think it needs to be done.
I’d hate to see your press fall thru your Lovely Narrow Steps into your Glamorous Indoor Studio.

First off, I’d Check your steps. Will they handle the weight? Add some temporary supports, even if you don’t think it needs to be done.
I’d hate to see your press fall thru your Lovely Narrow Steps into your Glamorous Indoor Studio.

I tried—unsuccessfully—moving a Pearl #11 from a friend’s basement shop years ago. It was heavier and more awkward than I imagined. We removed the flywheel and made a harness of rope around the press, then attached another rope to the harness, thinking I could pull it up while my dad pushed. It didn’t work. I recommend obtaining some real mover’s gear, or hiring a mover, to get that press down the stairs. Also, think hard on if you really want it in a basement…once it is in, it will be equally hard to get it out if you ever move.

Thanks for the thoughts - I also do not want to see my press fall through the steps! It certainly won’t make it down if the press is whole.

In my research I found these photos of a restoration here: where the press was taken apart and painted (which would give me an excellent opportunity to give it a good clean as well.)

I’ll do some more poking around and report back with how things go!

I suggest you rent an appliance dolly, which will have wheels, a rolling belt arrangement for use on stairs, ant a ratchet strap with which to secure the press to the dolly. I would load the press onto the dolly from its back due to the shape of the front. Remove the feed table and brackets as well as flywheel and ink disc. Borrow, rent, or buy a block and tackle or a come-along for controlling the descent of the stairs. Put a 2x4 long enough to span the door opening at the top of the stairs and attach your snubber to it. If the stairs are not rotten they have to be strong enough to support an overweight person and should be strong enough to support the press on the appliance dolly which will spread the load. Snub the press before starting down and take it easy, and nobody gets hurt ( to paraphrase Al Capone).


Elaborating on that which *Inky* states @ the very first post,! simple as 2 baulks of timber/lumber the exact length of the flight of stairs, inc.Treads & Risers. the load would be spread to the equivalent of a child per tread.??

The whole shooting match, i.e. machine and timbers advanced over the Top/Apex of the flight and slid/lowered with just a cable winch, doing the braking,???
BUT with the Cable winch secured at the top and SPECIFICALLY used with a Snatch block assembly, I.E. the cable comes from the winch around a jockey pulley next to the load and back to the winch. (Look it up if not understood = Snatch Block)

In essence the >Snatch Block< virtually doubles the pulling power, & by the same token more than doubles the braking power (down the Stairs) etc.

It is so relatively efficient that almost single handed (with the Snatch assembly) it *the Load* can be inched up OR down and controlled/directed through a Gap with only 1”- 2” to spare.

Because the Snatch Assembly halves the rate of travel and doubles the Torque involved your average 7 stone weakling (the one on the beach that gets sand kicked in His face) can inch the load as little as 1/2” per click on the ratchet assembly.

T.W. Good Luck. Mick.


Disassembly of a No. 11 into more easily handled pieces can be accomplished without much difficulty. Here are the steps:

Remove feed/delivery board brackets. (2 bolts to press top portion)
Remove ink disk. (lift off)
Remove platen by taking out center bolt and side gripper spring.
Remove flywheel brake if present. (3 bolts though base)
Remove flywheel. (use gear puller if stuck)
Remove top half of press from bottom base. (4 bolts go from top down in front under the platen, and 2 bolts go from bottom up in back accessed through the cubby door).

To break it down further gets a little more involved and probably not necessary for this move. The heaviest piece is still the top portion of the press, but, it now can be moved with a hand truck. I would guess it weighs about 250-300 lbs.

Let me know if you have other questions.


Thanks John! That was exactly the information I was looking for. Cheers.

I 2nd John’s advice as well. That is exactly how I moved ours down a flight of stairs into the basement and it worked just fine. You will need help to manage the dolly when the top portion is on it, it is quite heavy but I managed the rest of it on my own. Just strap the platen portion down really well so it can’t shift on you on the stairs.

We are moving a #3 out of a basement in 2 weeks and this thread is really helpful!

I moved my 8x12 C&P into my basement last August and it took forever.
The best advice I came across in my searching, and in actually moving mine was to disassemble it as much as you possibly can. We had mine TOTALLY disassembled. This also gave me a chance to get into the nooks and crannies with some kerosene to clean years of dust off of it.

Be careful, measure doorways and stairways twice so you can be 100% sure it will fit prior to starting the move.
When disassembling, be sure to take a ton of pictures so you can be sure you know how to get it back together after. We labelled a lot of the pieces with painters tape so we know whether they were left or right, etc.