Pilot Press - Operating Height?

I am getting ready to build a work space for my C&P 6x10 Side-lever press. I would appreciate your recommendations as to the height I should build the base for the press to sit on. Thank you, RAY

image: Our Bookshop in Walpole, NH

Our Bookshop in Walpole, NH

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Hey Ray congrats on your purchase of a Pilot! I bought one to learn on, upgraded to a C & P 10 X 15 Old Style and still sneak over sometimes to do a quick short run. You’ll enjoy it.

I have mine mounted to a piece of thick plywood and then I placed the plywood on one of those small workbenches that you can buy at your local big box store (Home Depot, Lowes, Walmart). The bench is around $30 and you can throw a tablecloth over it or something if it is out for display. It was a quick, cheap and effective solution. You can probably even have them cut down the plywood for you too and do the whole project for about $40.

Either way I just went over in my shop and measured the height for you. From the floor to the bottom of my press is about 31 - 32 inches. I am 6’0 and my wife is about 5’7 and we both operate it fine at that height. Good Luck!

mlenza is right on the money with height. I’ve got several table-top presses, and my Sigwalt (which is similar in size and height to your Pilot) feels best when mounted on a work table that is 32” high. (I’m 5’11” tall)

Kelseys on the other hand need to be a bit higher, since they are shorter. About 34” to 36” seems right.

It’s a bit funny, but I recently “downsized” from a larger press to a tabletop…. just the opposite of mlenza’s move. We each eventually wind up with the press that suits what we do. Either way, I agree with him that you’ll love your Pilot. It’s a great machine.

Standard C&P Pilot stands are 25 inches high. I find that to be a comfortable height. Make sure you find something sturdy!

Daniel Morris
The Arm Letterpress
Brooklyn, NY

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Mine is on a stand that is 23” high. I’m 5’ 7” and find it a comfortable height (both mine and the stand).

Wow…. I’d have never guessed such a variety of “best height” opinions. Reading all of the posts, it’s obvious that each of us has a different height that feels right for us.

Just to check things out, I moved my press to a 24” table and ran a few envelopes through it. As expected, it felt too low….. but I would guarantee that if Bob came to my shop, he’d find the 32” high mounted press to be uncomfortable.

So what IS the right height? I’m not sure there is one. It all seems to depend on what feels best for you.

Better higher than lower… you can always put a small platform on the floor to make up the difference.

The height of a school cabinet could be too low — remember, they were built for 7th and 8th grade boys.