Using a Treadle on a C&P

Hello Everyone:

I’m wondering how many folks use a C&P with a treadle only - no motor. Is using the treadle feasible for small print jobs (my letterpress editions are small books, pamphlets and broadsides).



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I think a treadle is the only way to go — you get more control, more exercise, and a safer experience. I used to print 500, and occasionally up to 1000, pieces on a treadle-operated press, and I enjoyed it. Switch legs regularly, though!


I have a 8 x12 C&P with a treadle. I love it. I have run a number of presses with motors. I never seem to be able to get the right cadence. With the treadle I can slow it down or speed it up in one or two pumps. Just a reminder as with all presses - keep it oiled.
By the way it makes clean up much easier since you are not spinning pulleys and belts to roll the press through cleaning sequences.
Steve Varvaro
southpaw Printers

Yup. Treadle only is the only way for me. largest job was a 36 page chapbook of 500 copies. Took a while but very doable.

I’m an inconsistent feeder, so sometimes it’s going well and sometimes not; even within the same run. A treadle is infinitely and instantly adjustable on speed, depending on my feeding success. Not long ago I had a difficult sheet to feed and pull out of the press (I also don’t use grippers) and I was able to change the speed within one impression cycle (4 kicks on the treadle for the 8x12) three fast and one slow to aid successful retrieval of a fairly large image that wanted to stick to the plate.

I have an 8x12 NS C&P and motorized it, then went back to the treadle after a month. I like the control you have over speed with the treadle.

I’ve used both, and agree that treadles are the way to go. Better control, some leg exercise, and just a lot more fun to use.

We use our 10x15 NS with only a treadle as well. The control is great…you really feel connected to your press. Our runs aren’t usually too long though, between 500 and 1000, and we have the advantage of being able to switch between the two of us as well as between our feet.