Just got an Old Reliable press with no rollers

Just got my first press, a Gordon Style Old Reliable. There are no rollers. I have heard these can be extremely pricey and I wanted some more information before I jump in and buy something I can’t use. Does anyone know which kind of rollers I need to buy or where I could find that information. Thanks so much for your help.

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Depends on the size. We bought ours for a 10x15 Old Reliable from NA Graphics. If you have trucks, the rollers should be 1/16” larger. Ours works fine.

If you have a chance, can you post or send a photo of your gripper mechanism. We need to rebuild ours.

Foot Hill Press,
Thanks for the help. I will definitely take some pictures for you, if you can tell me what is the gripper mechanism (I said I was a newbie).


The two flat metal bars that stick up between the platen and bed as the press closes are the grippers. Yours may be missing. Usually, they are steel. They are attached to a rotating bar with a slot in it that is hinged to the front (bottom) of the platen. The bar has a series of linkages to the back parts of the press.

You can go to Boxcar Press and download a parts diagram for the C&P. Many of the parts are the same as the Old Reliable.


I have a 8x10 Old reliable with the gripper mechanism intact. It only has one of the two, though and I’m in the process of having the other machined. If you still need photos, I’d be happy to send them to you.

I do have a question, though. Do you oil your old reliable and if so, with what and how often?

Zakarie - The Help section has a new category for press manuals and instructions for some of the more frequently available presses. Although the parts may not be built the same as for your press, I think you will be able to find what the gripper mechanism is and most other parts that people are discussing. See Press manuals - parts, care, and instruction. Try the link to the Chandler & Price New series parts and list.


Elizabeth’s advice is good. The C&P diagram shows places to oil. A recent discussion said there are 39 spots on a C&P. The old reliable is very similar. I hope to count them on mine in the near future and post a diagram.

About the gripper mechanism, the one on our press has been broken and welded. It does not rotate like it normally would. Note that the linkage and movement on an Old Reliable is slightly different from a C&P.

Good luck.

I think my press is an Old Reliable, it has no markings to verify this. If you can verify its an Old Reliable from the pics your welcome to come measure or look at the presses gripper mechanism, I’m in San Jose close to Foothill. http://www.flickr.com/photos/24616122@N07/

Zakarie and Davenport prints,
Please post pics. I was wondering if your presses double saddles have closed off or open hooks. My press is missing a rod and spring on the closed off double saddle. The press came with 3 rollers and trucks, the rollers need to be recast
as well I’m going to try Ramco. One roller is an inch shorter then the other two. I was told the cores, trucks and paint are original, but I’m pretty sure the paint is not.

image: 2939071081_e6773aa134.jpg


Pics look much like my Old Reliable. Although mine has been slightly modified and restored. I have a new flywheel but still have the original and it looks just like yours. Paint is not original. These presses were black with gold trim. Slick in their day :^). Look on the back of the press right under the ink disk. It should carry the manufactures name. Dollars to donuts you have an Old Reliable. I’ll post pics of mine when I get a chance.

Foothill College in Los Altos Hills has an Old Reliable if you want to compare yours. It’s in room 1801.