A few questions…Motors, chase etc.

Hi! I have recently purchased a Chandler & price press, I am a designer and stationery studio owner. I had some experience with letterpress and have printed on both clamshell and Vandercook presses. My question is
1. Where would i purchase a proper motor for my press as it did not come with a motor or a treadle

Any suggestions would be very helpful!

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Where are you located? I know a dealer here in Dallas you can contact for a motor. It could be a lot to ship it, depending on where you are. Contact Herb Baumgartner at 972-878-HERB and BE PATIENT. He’s a very nice man with a lot going on, but can almost always find what you need.

You can also buy a treadle for you press (I ordered one today) through www.hernironworks.com. Call and talk with Joey. It may be cheaper to start with that, b/c you’ll most likely have to buy a single phase 220 motor and if you aren’t in a space that is ready for that the electrician trip may be more than getting a treadle. Good luck!

Hi! I am in the Atlanta, GA area. So you think the treadle would be better than the motor due to the electrician?? Would a treadle be easier to regulate the speed?

A treadle will make it easier to vary speed on the fly…that is without stopping the press to change a belt location or move a lever on the motor to change the speed. I’ve been treadling my 8x12 for years and have sold off every variable speed motor that has come into my hands. Of course, I am a hobby printer whose press runs seldom exceed 500. I’m not doing it 8 hours a day. Larger presses are less conducive to treadling. It takes more effort to move the larger flywheels and they turn around more times per impression.

I recently bought a C&P 10x15 with a motor. It was fairly easy to run 220 to it, but you want to make sure you have room for it on your breaker box. If you don’t work with electricity much you should have someone familiar with it help out.

The press came with a clutch/brake mechanism that regulates the speed of the press. It works from a belt wheel, opposite the flywheel. It’s very easy to use, you just pull up on a lever to engage the clutch and speed up the press. You push down the same lever to apply the brake and disengage the clutch. The lever is next to you as you feed the press.

However, the belt wheel/clutch/brake mechanism may be hard to find and expensive.

Just yesterday I finally set up a new motor and controller I purchased a couple of months ago for an 8 x 12. I don’t know doddley about electricity but this controller is fantastic. The new motor is 1/2 horse and the controller is a little plastic box with a digital readout. Apparently, this controller changes the frequency of the power coming into the motor. With a three inch pulley on the motor and the controller set on 60 hertz this little press runs just about as fast as I could feed it but with the controller set to 11 point 5 hertz (the controller can be set to tenths of a hertz) the press will run unbelievably slow, one impression every seven seconds. I promise you that you can not treadle a press that slow, you have to go faster to keep the momentum going. With this setup, I’ll be able to teach beginners how to feed a press safely. I’m very excited about this system.
Now the down side. Motor and controller cost around $800. Still, I’m very pleased with the result and will definitely be installing the system on the press I use daily. I’ve yet to try that half horse motor on a 10 x 15 but that’s my next experiment.


where did you get this motor/controller? does it have a brand name?

Both the motor and controller are Baldor products. I got them from a local electric motor service company. The controller is pretty complicated so I had the service company wire everything up and program the controller. I can get specific model numbers for you later. All I had to do is put a pulley on the motor, a belt on the flywheel and mount the motor on the press.

What you are describing is a Variable Frequency Drive. I purchased one for my lathe. It’s best to buy a larger size than the motor that would normally run the machine.

Try Dealers Industrial Surplus in Brooklyn or eBay. They are good people to deal with, but the VFD and VFD-spec motor should only cost around $250, not $800. The installation can be done by someone familiar with electronics and electrical connections. Warning: NOT to be attempted by an amateur who has not done this kind of stuff before. Baldor is the Cadillac of the motor industry, so that would justify paying more than $200 and of course, “Joe the Electrician” must make more money to pay those upcoming tax increases.