Packing and Crating a Pilot Press

My C&P Pilot press and I will be moving from Florida to California at the end of the month and I need to build a crate for it. There used to be a great instruction page over at Excelsior Press for packing and crating the exact press I have, but that page no longer appears to be there (now it discusses UNpacking the press: Does anyone know of another reference for safely crating a tabletop press? It will be moved with the rest of our furniture/stuff by professional movers (not via freight).

Thanks guys!

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critter…. I posted a lengthy article about packing a Kelsey for shipping a few years ago. It’s not the exact same press, but the principles would still appy. Do a search… it should come right up

I shipped a table top press (Kelsey 6x10) from Halifax to Vancouver…

The chap who packaged it for me removed the handle, the chase and ink plate and put them into a separate box to keep the overall weight down.

The main body of the press was tehn placed inside a large garbage bag inside a second double wall shipping carton, with styrofoam sheeting under the base and around the sides to take up some extra space.

Then he sprayed foam insulation into the cavity. Once it hardened, the press was as snug as a bug in a rug, and could not flop around against its own weight causing damage in transit.

Aside from having to chip the foam casing away to unpack it, everything was in perfect condition…

winking cat: I’ve searched and searched..and nothing came up :(

Critter -

Sorry that you didn’t find the page you were looking for at the EP web site, but I think the one you found was the one you thought I had posted. It actually dates back to 2007 and was really just meant to show the buyer how I had crated his press - and how he could easily unpack it.

But I will look around my files and see if I do have something more helpful - or may make up a new page just to fill the need.

I actually had the pleasure of seeing - and photographing a brand-new, never unpacked 3x5 Excelsior while visiting with Gene Mosher - the last owner of the Kelsey Company - this past January. Their packing - which survived shipments around the world, was a complex set of heavy corrugated cardboard, die cut and scored and folded just so that when properly installed in the box and around the press, the press could not move.

Sadly, the layout is very complex and would be hard to effectively duplicate by hand - but it could be done. I have seen it.

What I do have on the web site is some commentary on how I pack - or how others have packed - or how others should NOT pack their Kelsey presses for safe shipment.

BTW - I heard just today another sad story of a 5x8 Victor that was not properly packed - and the buyer wound up with a broken carriage assembly. (Has anyone got a spare for sale?)

I guess the theme of this post is that packing small presses for shipment is not a trivial matter. It is very important to pack so that the press cannot be broken - even if dropped on it’s side - because that has happened in the past and it could happen again.

Personally, I really like the expanding foam idea for the smaller presses - although it may not be as appropriate for a 160# Pilot. For the Pilot, I would recommend a sturdy wooden crate with plenty of side-bracing to hold the press still - even if the crate is dropped on its side.

One of the horror stories I received began with the sad buyer describing how the delivery truck driver *rolled* the carton up her driveway. Yes. The press arrived broken and she brought it to me for repair.

The moral of this story is that we should never expect any press we ship to be perfectly still and level throughout it’s entire trip. We should expect it to be dropped or fall over at some time while in transit - and we should prepare for that to happen.

- Alan