My New Blue Press!

I posted a couple weeks ago about a C&P Old Style Pilot I was considering buying (thanks to everyone who responded to my questions). I’m thrilled to say that the press is now mine!

The press has been residing on the northern tip of Vancouver Is., B.C. for the past 30 years. It’s in lovely shape except for the place where the original lever arm was broken off on the left side (see photo). The previous owner replaced it on the right side with a solid steel lever. It doesn’t appear to affect how the press operates at all. Is it worth trying to replace that part (if that’s even possible)? It seems like a pretty major part of the press, as it connects all the way to the back.

I paid $500 for the press which included 3 chases, 2 brand new rubber rollers, 3 trays of type, some furniture and some quoins (no key though) and a cute little 100-year-old slug cutter. The man I bought it from was very helpful and generous with his knowledge.

I’m interested to know what you all think of the blue paint. Is it original? There are places where it looks like it was touched up with the blue colour at some point as there are bits of paint on the springs etc. — I’m sure it didn’t come from the factory like that, but the only colour that shows under the blue in the chipped areas is grey, which may be primer, or possibly the original paint colour. There are 2 interesting presses on this website
A green Pilot, and a larger C&P in a very similar shade of blue… anyway, just curious.

Here are some photos:

image: broken lever.jpg

broken lever.jpg

image: Press goes for a drive.jpg

Press goes for a drive.jpg

image: Press comes home.jpg

Press comes home.jpg

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Nice looking press, make sure you bolt it to a STURDY table, you don’t want it falling over, you should be able to find a quoin key near you, if not there are lots of places selling them, you need to know what kind of quoin you have cause there are different keys for different quoins. Rubber rollers are the best, new is even better, they run almost $100 each to replace. Now your not a press virgin anymore, you will find its like one of the worst addictions going, you will always want more type, bigger presses, more type, another press, more type, and so on. Good Luck Dick G.

The blue is not original to the press. Most likely this press was originally painted a color close to black. You can see that the blue has been brushed or sprayed over the machined iron portions of the press—not a great thing if you need to take it apart. The good news is, though, if the press is working there’s no need to disassemble.

Don’t worry about replacing the rear yoke—you might have a hard time finding one that fits. C&P changed the castings for Old Style Pilots at least a few times and parts may be slightly different from one year (decade?) to the next. Having the lever on the right is a little less than ideal as you’ll want to be feeding with your right hand and delivering with your left—but you’ll get the hang of it.

Congratulations on your new press!