Advice on C&P Problem - Distortion in Press Bed


Just setting out on restoring a 12x18 C&P NS I came into.

It came on broken runners, on a broken pallet, on a good pallet. I thought I would need to disassemble the press and pick it up onto new runners. I was about to separate the bed from the rest of the press when I realized this was not necessary and I was able to get it off the pallets onto new, sturdy runners.

I had disconnected the bed from the body and the bed had been laid down. We didn’t let it fall down, but we didn’t think through what was going to happen when we let it down and it caught the back of the pallet near the bottom before the top hit the ground, jacking the back of the entire press up. This seemed like a lot of stress on the arms and the bar connecting it to the press.

As I had thought, it was distorted a little bit. Once raised back up closed, we tried to put the connecting arms back on to secure the bed to the rest of the press. The whole bed twisted a little bit, and once one arm goes on, the other arm won’t match up in distance between the body of the press and the bed; it falls short/long (depending on which arm we put on first) about 1/8”.

1/8” is not a huge distance, and if the distortion is in the lower end of the bed I should consider myself lucky that it’s not larger as it seems it would exaggerate itself over distance (from the bottom to the top.)

So here is where I need advice: If I close up the press, I can simply pry the bed from the platen a little bit and get the arm on. I’m wondering if I should do the work to correct the bed before connecting the arms though. If the bed is twisted and I connect it to the press, will running the press gradually wear down those bearing contact surfaces, or is there enough flex for this to not matter and just to run it if I can get it set up?

I hope that makes sense. Unfortunately I don’t have a camera to take a picture of how bad it is. I am new to this so my terminology may be off—sorry.

Thanks in advance,


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with the press open, is the problem better or worse? if it is better you will probly be ok. if it is worse you can try to spring the bed some.
try this. use a 2x4 block of wood 6-8 in long. put it in your press, between bed and platen, on the side that is short. (with that side arm removed), BY HAND turn your press over SLOWLY to spring the short side out. not
TOO much though. what is too much? A) the bed is sprung too far. B) the leg of the bed is broke.