I have the opportunity to purchase my first letterpress this weekend. It's a 12x18 C&P New Series that I'll be rescuing from the scrap yard (thank goodness). I'm trying to make all the necessary equipment arrangements for our 4+ hour drive to fetch it this weekend, but I cannot seem to find the weight of the machine ANYwhere on the internet.
It's really frustrating.
Can any of you lovely ladies point me in the right direction or give me an estimated weight?
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Well, I'm waiting on the serial # because by the photos, I'm not sure I'm convinced it's a 12x18. It may end up being a 10x15. Either way, it will be difficult to move.
I've read that I should disconnect the motor and lock the plates down (possibly before removing the flywheel) to make sure it's easier to move, has a good center of gravity, and can fit through wider door ways. I'm nervous about choosing the right rental vehicle to move it in (Uhaul's 5x9 trailer doesn't have the right max capacity so we'll either get a 6x12 trailer or a covered truck of equivalent size). We won't be using a freight company, so I've been gathering as much info as possible online.
How did you move your C&P 12x18? Any tips? :)
Definitely remove the motor first. Close the bed and tie it shut so the center of gravity is over the press feet. With a 12x18, you need to have a 36" doorway at least and you still may have to take off both the flywheel (on the left side) and the gear (on the right side). For my 10x15 that meant removing the entire crankshaft. For the 12x18, it meant staying in the garage for now.
Be careful with the truck/trailer. The weight capacity of the trailer does not necessarily mean it will hold that weight as a point load, which is what you need. Our trailer would not hold it. We ended up using a flat-bed tow truck to put the press on (on a pallet jack) and then put it from there into the bed of out F250. The truck held it, but we will now be replacing the entire truckbed because the load at the wheels of the pallet jack created 4-6" deep grooves as the press rolled to the front of the truck bed. Like I said... not an easy move. It was easy to get out with a forklift (and chain hoist as back-up to prevent tipping), but you've got to be prepared for whatever it takes.
Wow!! I'm afraid to read that out loud to the hubbs right now. Hahaha.
That's really sobering. Thanks for the true story!
I don't think we'll be putting it into a truck bed, but definitely figuring out what to tow it with in a flatbed trailer. Although, after what you wrote, maybe an enclosed moving truck (14') would be a better idea, though I don't know if there's enough to secure the press to inside.
I've been advised that an engine hoist is a great thing to have, but I'll have to see if they're available for renting. By the looks of the seller's photo, the press is currently NOT mounted on 4x4s or 4x6s, so I know that'll be the first thing we do before moving it. I've been told a come-along and a pallet jack are also nice equipment to have handy.
I'm glad the press is almost free; it seems like moving it will be the more expensive part.
But so, so worth it if I can set it up in a workable space. My heart just flutters thinking about it ...
Well, we went for it! It turned out the press was actually a 10x15 instead of a 12x18 once we got the serial number, so it was, uh, a little bit lighter than expected (you know, 1500+ lbs instead of 2500+ lbs)! However, it did come with a bonus Kluge automatic feeder system, which I hope to remove during the clean up process. It was an adventure to move it home, but it's happily settled in my landlord's garage until we can find a better place to store it.
I'm really excited. It was used almost exclusively for die cutting for most of its life, so it will be fun to restore it and print with it. I have the original receipt and parts list/instructions for both the C&P and the Kluge feeder. Very awesome old stuff.
Anyway, I've got more about it all on my blog: http://hellonifty.com/?page_id=13
the 10x15 was definitely much easier to handle than the 12x18 during moving! Sounds like you got a great find, too. Hooray for bonuses!
Don't clean it too much. The dirt and grease on a press actually helps protect it a little. If you do decide to clean it really well and find any bare metal where it shouldn't be, make sure to paint that spot. Then once you're done rub a tiny bit of oil all over any unpainted surfaces, that will keep the press happy.
about 3000 plus pounds...