Letterpress breaking floor tiles?

So I know this is probably a question for my home builder, but thought I would ask to see if anyone here has had experience as well.

I have recently purchased a 10x15 hand fed Kluge, and it is sitting happily in my garage. However, I do eventually want to move it inside. The room it would go in has large (12x12in) tiles on the floor. Would the static weight of the press sitting on these floor tiles cause them to break? Would I be able to avoid this by getting some sort of rubber floor mat for the press to sit on?

I do realize that most print shops have concrete flooring, but any experience with this would be greatly appreciated!


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Ceramic tile might not have a chance, oil dripping from the press won’t be kind to most tile, you could try a sheet of plywood under the press to sort of distribute the weight. Good Luck Dick G.

Not entirely sure, but it would be a good idea to place rubber under the press… or at least, something. The pressure is somewhat distributed by the feet of the press, but if the surface isn’t level then these presses can sometimes wobble as they run.

Most likely, if they don’t break at once, they won’t break. They’ll most likely break during relocation, if at all.

You’re going to have to roll that sucker in there, which means probably using a Jbar at some point and or some heavy duty dolly’s with casters, and I’m guessing that might break a tile or two.

Even if you roll it on iron bars you’re still looking at breaking some tiles. I would definately ply the area the press is gonna me in and the thicker the better if you ask me. It’s the princess and the pea sort of.

When you move the press, run the press (on rollers or whatever) on a plywood “road” laid over scrap carpet. This spreads the weight and prevents point loads that would crack time—or have issues with poorly made up flooring. When you get to your final location, having the press on plywood (3/4—and plywood, not OSB) over a rubber mat would protect the floor from point loads, this would be further improved if the press is mounted on 2x6/4x4 runners.

Sarah -

Yes. This is something which I think you ought to discuss with your builder.

You could probably “get away with” simply mounting the press on 2x6 rails, but I think it might be wiser to err on the side of safety - especially with that tile.

Not only would I lay a sheet of 1/2” plywood under the press to distribute the weight - with something softer - a rubber pad, a rug or a few layers of paper underlayment to protect the tile, but I would also look into support from below the floor.

The 10x15 is only about 1250 pounds, and it should be pretty stable while in operation, but it is generally suggested to install additional bracing - or a lolly column - beneath the press.

I have seen Heidelberg Windmills “walk” across a flexible floor. The C&P is half the weight of a Windmill and does not rock as the Windmill does, but any time you place a working machine on a floor meant to support people and furniture, you really ought to consider the static weight plus the weight applied as that bed goes back and forth.

And then there is the issue as mentioned above, of moving the press into place. If you roll it in on pipes, I’d lay plywood down for that move as well. I have had great success rolling presses across lawns using plywood or 2x6 - laid out like railroad tracks - to distribute the weight, make the rolling easier - and protect the lawn.

But I would roll the press on 1” pipes, not a dolly or anything with casters. It is far easier - and safer - to remove the press from pipes than from a dolly.

Frankly, I’d opt for remodeling the garage as the workspace of choice.

Now, if you want to put a 600# Pearl in your living space, that would another story entirely…

- Alan

What is beneath the tile, is it a concrete or wood floor? If concrete, follow the advice listed by others, if wood, there is more info needed..

I like the plywood and oil pan under the press that was mention earlier.

3/4 inch plywood would be best. The press will rock a little if not on a good support. If it was me, I would bolt the press down to the plywood, you could put 1 x 4 under the legs to give more room for the bolts.

The floor is concrete underneath, and I will take all of your advice. I will have to document this move, and let yall know how it goes.

Thank you all so much!

Good luck with it!