moving 12x18 chandler & price

We are possibly buying a Chandler & Price 12x18 press that is located about 1/2 hour from us in Guelph, Ontario. Whether we get it or not depends on the difficulties or costs involved in moving it. I helped a friend move a 8x10 press a while ago, and after disassembling it, we hosted it onto lead pipes with a crowbar and rolled onto a trailer with 4 people. It seems that the weight of this press might inhibit this from being done. I am wondering if anyone can post links to discussions or websites with info about moving this size of press, or give us some advice as to whether its possible for 4-6 strong adults with little knowledge but a lot of perseverance to move this press on our own, or possibly by renting a pallet jack or a forklift. If anyone has a general idea as to the cost of having it moved professionally, that would also help us in our considerations. The press is located just behind a garage door, but not on a pallet. It will be moved to a ground floor studio where we have access through a garage style door.

Log in to reply   5 replies so far

Don’t take it apart unless you have to to get it out the door. Close the press and tie the platen to the bed to hold it closed. Put skids under the feet, 4x4s or 2x6s seem to work best. Lag bolt them to the press. Bevel the ends of the skids before putting then under the press. The bevels will help you get it up on rollers. A floor jack or a johnson bar will let you lift it just enough to hammer the skids underneath. Do both front legs, then both back legs. C&P presses are a bit top heavy especially side to side.

Once you have it up on rollers a couple of people can easily push it around. Use a come-along to pull it up the ramp of a low trailer. Tie it down securely and reverse the process on the other end. I’d leave the press on the skids permanently. That makes it easier to move it around when you redesign the studio layout. Presses are much harder to get into a truck. A 12x18 should weigh in at about 2700 lbs, if i recall correctly, so get a trailer that will handle the weight.

An alternative method of getting the press onto a trailer is to hire a tow truck to do the work for you. A tilt-bed tow truck makes this step a snap. But it’s not hard to do on your own with a few friends. Just go slowly and in small steps.

If you could rent a lowboy equipment trailer (like a car hauler from U-Haul) and a hydraulic floor crane such as automotive shops use for pulling an engine (many of which have a 2-ton capacity) you can lift the press off the floor (with chain around the closed bed and platen), lag-bolt the skids to it, set it down on pipes, roll it out to the trailer, lift it with the crane and slide the trailer under it and set it down, and chain it down real tight. Move in to the new location is the reverse. The crane is easy to operate manually and relieves everyone of any heavy lifting. I’ve moved several hand presses in the same weight range with this kind of equipment.


Arie is right on all counts.

An alternative to a tilt-bed is to use a forklift on both ends of the journey. You might find a local forklift driver who would load it for a case of beer.

The advantage of having space all around the press to work is invaluable. With garage doors at both ends, sounds like you have a pretty straight forward move.

A 12” x 18” C&P is not a press to fool around with. You need to first get it up on timbers. It is a heavy enough press that I would be hesitant to trust it to the poor grade pine 2” x 6” lumber that is readily available, and 4” x 4”s would put it up to high. I would put it on a maple or oak timber instead and use lag bolts to hold it down. Arie’s recommendation of beveling the ends of the underside is good advice. Once you get the press to your space your can just leave it on the 2” x 6” timbers. Using wood blocks and Johnson bars it should be quick work to lift up the press one side at a time. If you use thinner boards and build it up to the level of your timbers gradually, you will not have as much weight bearing down on one side. Get four each four foot lengths of one inch gas pipe from your hardware store. You want to have clean cut ends, no threads or metal shards on the ends. Make sure that you file the ends throughly. Lift the press and space the pipes underneath leaving an extra pipe at the end to hand around so it moves continuously. Use extreme caution while placing pipes - do not get your fingers under the pipes or you can feel the full weight of the press.

I have used tilt bed tow trucks for almost every press move I have made. It is worth every penny. They are equipped with long chains and the operator can pull the press easily to the end of the bed. Once it is on the truck, the rollers come out from under and it will slide up onto the truck. The truck operator will strap it down for you and drive it to where you need it placed, and reverse the process at the other end.

It is nice to have help, and several good strong backs, but moving these presses can be dangerous. So be on alert at all times, and if the press starts to tip over getthehell out of the way. There is no way to stop one.


We have one of these, and I survived moving it using a lift gate and pallet jack. I’ve used a forklift for subsequent moves.

I wonder if all of that work was worth it, though. I find it to be too big for small stuff and too small for big stuff.

It’s a very cool LOOKING machine, but it takes up 36 square feet of shop space that could be used better.