What about this press?

Hey everyone,

I am a newbie to all this. I have been trying to find a press for over a year now and I think I have a lead on a Craftsman tabletop 8X12. I am very excited but I do not want to make any newbie first time buyer mistakes. There are rollers available..even though I do not see them in the pics. There are 2 chases. Here are some pics…please please let me know what you think.



image: craftsman 1.jpg

craftsman 1.jpg

image: craftsman 2.jpg

craftsman 2.jpg

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It certainly looks like the press should be ready to go. It does appear that the rollers might be in place, I think I see the end of a roller core in the lower saddle position in the side view.

If the price is what the buyer can bear, I would say you have a decent press.

John Henry


Thank you for your comments. He wants to sell the press for $800. I think its is probably a reasonable price. I guess I am just worried about condition and well..if there is any rust I can’t see. I believe I have asked all the right questions:
1) are there any welds…answer was No
2) wheres the chase
3) are all the springs there

but I feel a little lost still. As far as quality do you think this is a good price?


C&P Pilots have the reputation of being one of the best tabletop presses and seem to be selling for $$$$ if you can find one. The Craftsman (Craftsmen?) is basically a very close copy of the Pilot, and although not always machined quite as nicely and precisely, should be capable of the same quality of printing when adjusted right. It seems to be hard enough to find a Pilot or other good 6x10” tabletop press, and what you’re looking at isn’t a 6x10”, it’s an 8x12”, right? 8x12” tabletop presses aren’t very common! Assuming you don’t want to get into a floor model 8x12” C&P, which would be cheaper to buy (but not to move!) and a stronger press, this looks like the best of both worlds. It also looks like a nice older press that has been used and maintained, not abused. Go for it! Worst case, if you decide you don’t like it or it won’t do the printing you want, you could probably sell it for a profit, but I’m betting you’ll be very happy with it.


If I were you I’d buy that press in a hummingbird’s heartbeat. A hummingbird’s heart! beat! If you decide not to acquire it and you want to make a new friend let me know…. :-)

(consider a top notch 6x10 Pilot sold on [email protected]#y today for three times the price you’ve been offered, not to mention the this Craftsman is an 8x12 and appears to be in better than bad shape)

I’m not aware of Craftsmen making an 8 x 12 table top press.

HHhmmmmm…. exactly how long IS a hummingbird’s heartbeat?

About the press: It looks like a fine machine to me. It might could stand some cleaning up and new rollers, but other than that it would be a perfect press for your shop.


I started to get butterflies when you said you didn’t think they made an 8X12 Craftsman. I called Dave Churchman as I figured he may know. He said they did make a press called the Monarch. Sigh…I feel a little better and I have decided to purchase this press and am keeping my fingers crossed. Its going to make a journey from the mainland to Hawaii! Taking off the arm and ink plate and having it crated. Wish me luck. Thanks again for all your responses. I feel the letterpress community is one of the most helpful groups of people.

Good decision! For shipping, take off the feedboard, delivery board, and the delivery board brackets also. (I’m assuming, and they look like, they’re like Pilot brackets with simple bolt at bottom - much too easy to break in shipping.)