C&P platan press

Hi, I am a letterpress beginner.
I am trying to use my first C&P platan press.
I attached new rollers and all looks good but parts where rollers are attached are not parallel and looks like rollers are having hard time to go down. One side is almost off on the rail.
Both parts are not equal high/down when move.
I am wondering it is possible to fix/adjust myself or I need to send my press to specialist. If you have some idea, will you give me some suggestion to fix this problem?

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Please don’t try to force anything - cast iron is notoriously brittle. And you should definitely get someone in to look at it - things should be parallel.

Where are you located, and do you have any photos of the problem on the press?

I am located Brooklyn, NYC.
Seems like previous owner might have hard time around the curve on rail. Left side are where rollers are attached is lower than right side. It might be hard to see from picture but I am going to attach some images.
From the top view, you might able see the left side is lower than right side.

When I try to run the rollers and go down, they are very tight and not parallel. Kind of the rollers are try to warp, but they can’t. so both rollers move not smooth.(each roller has a different way to move so they are not parallel as well.)

Thank you very much for your help!

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I hope the rollers you have shown in the photos are not the new ones— they look like Swiss cheese!

I can see that the roller trucks are not going all the way on to the keys on the roller cores. This will likely not be an issue when you get some better rollers!

Daniel Morris
The Arm Letterpress
Brooklyn, NY

I know….
I bought 3 years ago and I only used once three years ago but they are melting or making holes right now…
I bought from tar heel roller but I am try to get new one.
Do you have any suggestion to get the rollers near NYC area?

I have original rollers (rubber are not good as well) but they are not parallel at all.

I think my left side parts are little loose and I see the bolt is little off so I am going to update the image as soon as possible.

Thank you very much for your help!

Seems like left arm is loose.
I took of rollers and checked the both arms.
The left arm’s bolt(screw?) seems little off like image below and when I touch the arm, the wiggle. Right arm’s bolt(screw) seems fit well and it doesn’t wiggle.

Not sure how to fix the part….

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The bottom two photos seem to show a tapered pin that has worked part way out, whereas the other pin in the upper photo seems to be properly seated. I’d suggest using a pin punch to tap the loose pin back into the hole and see if that tightens the arm. If not there may be wear on the pin or the hole.

The roller pitting is common with composition rollers if they are not properly stored. Rubber should not do that. However, you can print just fine with the pitted rollers.


Have you checked the diameter of the trucks? They must be the same or the rollers will not be parallel. Spacers on the shaft will align the trucks on the rails.

Sometimes the simple fix is overlooked. I hope this is the case for you.

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Thank you very much for all your help!
My rollers (both new ones and old ones) seems fine and the size fit on the trucks.

But both arms where the rollers hold is not parallel at all.
Left side is very loose and wiggle more.
Hope it is not too difficult to fix.
A lot of things to learn about the press. Thank you very much everybody!

There are diagram for C&P.
But I don’t see the pin area.

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You should contact Excelsior Press in New Jersey, Alan gives lessons, he has forgotten more about these presses than most of us will ever know. He has an excellent web site, lots of neat information, before you break the press or yourself, it would pay to get a few lessons. Good Luck Dick G.

Thank you for the Excelsior Press info!
I will check the website now!

I have a C&P platan press and the arm pin needs to replace.
I live in Brooklyn and I am wondering if somebody knows a good machine shop around here.

Thank you very much for your help!

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If it’s tapered, you can actually get them at Ace Hardware stores… usually not a Lowe’s or Home Depot, but that shouldn’t be a problem in Brooklyn.

That looks like a roll pin. They are available at hardware stores.
Taper pins are solid and tapered.

If a roll pin is used to substitute for a taper pin the fit will not be good and the connection will pivot. One could drill out the taper to use a proper roll pin, but I personally prefer taper pins (they’re a whole lot easier to get out!). If the hole is worn from the poor fit, finding proper taper pin reamers is a bit more complicated but they are available at from McMaster Carr. http://www.mcmaster.com/#taper-pin-reamers/=bj3dvv

The pictures of the rollers with the trucks on them looks like you have the trucks on wrong, they need to be flipped around so they fit tighter on the shaft of the roller, i think this is why they are binding, the other side of the trucks has a groove in it that allows them to lock onto the roller shaft. Dick G.

Thank you very much for all answers. I will check the Hardware stores and get the pin. Thank you for all!