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1984Re: [PPLetterpress] yep, you guessed it: Moving a C&P

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  • Jsf73@aol.com
    Sep 30, 2003
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      Brandon,

      Congratulations on the 'new' press. I saw it for sale on ebay, but I never
      had a response from the gentleman to my own questions so I didnt bid on it.

      I have moved late 1800's era metal lathes and I warn you to be very careful
      of stressing the castings. Cast iron is brittle and can take very little
      lateral stress. Rigging is very tricky and best left to professionals... however too
      late for that. Besides it is nice to save the money.

      My advice is to strip the press down as much as possible, especially removing
      the flywheel which weighs a fair bit, and dont try to slide the press at all
      or you risk farcturing the cast iron.

      Here are some recommended moving tips from greendolfin web site

      http://www.greendolphinpress.com/letterpress-faq.html#2.6

      2.6 What's the best way to move a Gordon Style (e.g., Pearl, C&P) Press
      From: "David M. Norton" Here're some directions for all you people moving C&P
      style presses. Several people have used these directions without problems.
      Press Moving--Gordon Style
      TOOLS

      I use a gear puller to remove gears and separate the flywheelfrom the shaft.
      Sears sells them and you can often rent one fromtool rental stores. If the
      puller hooks slide off the flywheelbecause of the curvature of the casting,
      bridge between two spokeswith pieces of strap iron (mine are 1/4" x 1-1/4" and
      onceconnected the handle to a hand lawn mower) and hook the gear pulleronto
      them.You also need a heavy screwdriver, wrecking bar (crow bar orwhatever), platen
      adjusting wrench (should come with the press oryou can use a big Crescent),
      hammer and dowel (hunk of a broom ormop handle) if you pull the shaft connecting
      the bed and roller armassembly to the frame, assorted scraps of wood, perhaps
      a propanetorch, and a good vocabulary in case you mash a finger or break
      acasting.Some castings break easily. I dropped one eight or ten inchesonto a wooden
      box and it snapped, but my friendly local welderfixed it good as new. The
      rule is: don't force and don't drop.DISASSEMBLY

      1. If possible, locate the press so there is at least five feetof open space
      behind it, three or four feet on the flywheel side,and a couple feet on the
      front and right side2. Remove feedboard and delivery board3. Remove platena.
      Disconnect gripper assembly by removing wheel riding in aslot attached to the
      left side of the frameb. Remove nuts from adjusting bolts under corners of
      theplatenc. Lift platen off (may take a little gentle urging with a prybar)d. Leave
      adjusting bolts in platen (don't turn) unless theymake moving difficult4.
      Remove treadle if there is onea. Unhook from main shaftb. Remove brackets at rear
      of press5. Close up press and tie bed and frame sections securelytogether with
      strong rope or wire6. Remove ink disc and supporting brackets7. Remove fly
      wheel and shafta. Pull belt wheel from end of shaft opposite flywheel, ifthere
      is oneb. Pull gear from end of shaft opposite flywheel (you may haveto heat it
      with a propane torch to get it off)c. Remove bolts from shaft retainer plate
      on flywheel side offramed. Pull shaft from frame--slides out on flywheel side
      takingretainer plate with ite. Flywheel may be pulled from shaft for ease in
      moving8. Remove throw-off lever and linkage if there is one9. Remove brake if
      there is one10. Remove motor if there is one attached to the press11. Remove
      back plate connecting roller carriers. Don't let rollercarriers flop down12.
      Remove side arms connecting bed and frame13. Remove roller carrier actuating arm
      on flywheel side of press.Hold left roller carrier to prevent flopping14.
      Remove roller carriers15. Untie bed and swivel it back onto the floor without
      dropping.Careful, it's heavy, you may want some help16. Wedge blocks of wood
      between arms of bed piece and the floor,as close to the frame as possible17. Drive
      out shaft holding bed to frame. Some presses havecollars with set screws to
      keep the shaft from moving. Ifso, loosen set screws before driving out shaftThis
      should get you down to pieces two or three people canhandle without much
      trouble. Most of it you can do yourself. (Itake the bed and frame of an 8 x 12 in
      one load in the stationwagon, with a helper. Get the rest of the press in
      another load bymyself. If you have a C&P Model N you might need a pick-up truckand
      more help--it's a heavy monster.I don't recommend the following but you may
      have to do it:You now have a frame with a shaft on the front with a gear on
      theright and a wheel or gear on the left. Main gear, on the right, iscast and
      contains the track for moving the platen. It breaks easilyand is difficult to
      weld. The wheel (or gear) on the left end ofthe shaft is often also a casting and
      fragile.The platen block has an arm on the right side with a wheel(cam rider)
      on its end that rides in a slot in the main gear. Whenthe main gear is moved
      to the right this wheel slides out of thecam slot of the gear and, if not
      supported, the platen block willrotate on its shaft and flop over with a crash. On
      some models thecam rider arm (another casting) will hit the frame and snap.If
      you must strip down the frame:1. Pull the gear or wheel on the left side of
      the frame. Goeasily, using heat, penetrating oil, WD40, prayer,profanity, or
      anything else you think might help. Becareful not to push the shaft to the right
      as you'repulling the gear.2. Hold the platen block so it can't flop and move
      the shaft tothe right until the platen block cam rider disengagesfrom the main
      gear. Carefully ease the platen block down,letting it pivot toward the rear of
      the press. Finishpulling the main gear and shaft as a unit.3. Remove the
      plates on each side of the frame holding the platenblock (remove bolts and lift
      plates off)4. Carefully lift off the platen block5. Unscrew nuts on ends of
      cross braces and the frame should slipapartCLEANING & INSPECTING

      Now that you have the press apart, clean it up. Pay specialattention to gummy
      or hardened crud on bearing surfaces. Lacquerthinner or WD40 and elbow grease
      should shine them up. Clean outoil holes with a nail or small drill if
      necessary.Check all wheels that ride on cams for roundness. If any haveflat surfaces
      have them built up by brazing or welding and turnedtrue, or it may be cheaper
      to have new ones made from bar stock. Ihad a flat spot on a cam rider brazed
      slightly oversize, thencarefully filed it down to round, some 20 years ago.
      Cost me abouta buck and is still going strong, although it looks a little
      odd.Could have had one machined for several bucks.REASSEMBLY

      I put the frame on 2x4 skids, extending three or four inchesbeyond the legs
      front and back. I can get a wrecking bar under oneskid, lift it about 1/4" and
      block it up, then the other sideditto, lifting it a little at a time so as not
      to put too muchstress on the frame castings, until I can get pieces of
      1"galvanized pipe under each skid. With this I can move a fullyassembled 10 x 15
      press by myself, assisted by an occasional hellor damn. Get a pipe under one end,
      roll it a ways, get another pipeunder it, roll it, move pipe, etc. To turn
      corners, angle thepipes. If the thickness of the skids makes the press too high
      forcomfortable feeding stand on some scraps of carpeting or rug padfor right
      height and soft footing.Don't try to assemble the press on rollers, you'll
      chase itall over the shop. Mount skids, assemble, then put on rollers tomove into
      place.Put the monster back together by following the taking apartinstructions
      backwards. Blow out oil holes and wipe bearings as yougo along--grit cuts
      metal. Since all bearings will be dry, giveeach a shot of oil before moving the
      parts.If you have a counterweighted flywheel you may have to playwith it a bit
      before you get the press running smoothly. If it runslopsidedly, or jerkily, or
      some other kind of crazily, pull thebull gear (main shaft, opposite
      flywheel), move it about a quarterturn, and try again. Gear teeth may be marked for
      matching, whichsimplifies the job.ADJUSTING THE PLATEN

      I usually adjust the platen when I'm ready to run a job--nosense inking and
      washing a press just to adjust the monster.Get a cap M or H, 48 pt. or larger,
      preferably damaged but notsquashed under type high. Tape a 2 pt. lead to the
      face. Find apiece of string a couple of feet long and tie one end around
      thesides of the type.Remove the tympan and all packing.Close the press, stopping it
      with the platen lock (under thedelivery board) snapped into place and the
      rollers at the top ofthe plate.Grasp the string and let the piece of type slide
      down betweenthe platen and bed on the left side. If it won't go in, loosen
      thelock nuts and back off the platen adjusting bolts. If it rattlesaround, take up
      the bolts. Using the string, slide the type up anddown and back and forth. Set
      the platen as snugly as possible tothe type+lead without binding.Lock up a
      form with a cap H or M, about 48 pt., about fivepicas from each corner of the
      chase. Move the grippers out of theway.Ink up the press and put on a tympan.
      Drop the form in and tryan impression. Build up with hard packing until you get
      a kissimpression on at least one corner. Adjust platen bolts for a
      kissimpression on each corner.Now your platen is level and, by adjusting packing, you
      shouldbe able to run anything from a single character to a full form onanything
      from tissue to card stock. Throw the damn adjusting wrenchaway!If you're going
      to run extremely heavy stock you may want touse a 3 or 4 pt. lead on the face
      of the letter used as a gauge toback the impression off enough to accept the
      heavier stock. Be sureto use hard packing to build up for thinner stock.Sounds
      complicated, but it's the fastest technique I've runinto. I can set up a press
      in fifteen or twenty minutes with luck,with problems it may take half an
      hour.I have a steel type high block I use but a letter works justas well if you
      don't squeeze it. You can easily squash it undertype high with a medium pull on
      an adjusting nut, so be careful.





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