Restoring a Chandler and Price 8 x 12 old style press

I just purchased a Chandler and Price 8 x 12 old style press.
It needs rollers and does not have a treadle. It has been left unused in a barn for years. I applied oil to the various areas. It moves smoothly, but it does not continually rotate as much as it should. Does anyone have any suggestions ? Thank you for your help. - Sincerely, Angela Jackson

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Just oil after sitting for years might not cut it. Add some teflon lubricant to the oil, and see of that helps. Also, look to see if you have missed any oiling points. Hear makes treadles for this model - I installed one myself.

Hern makes the treadles in Northern Idaho..
Ramco makes really nice rollers!

How about the bearing?? might need grease.

How much continuous movement are you expecting?

In any case, oil, oil, oil. It’s meant to run out of the journals, etc. to clean out the accumulated crud. After 20 years in a barn, there’s going to be a lot of crud. Oil everywhere two moving metal surfaces meet and in all oil holes. There’s an oiling chart somewhere on the web. A heavy grease goes on the large gear (and thus the pinion gear as well).

You might say where you are. If there’s a more experienced printer near, it might be possible for an on-site look-see. I’m in Lansing, MI and if that’s anywhere near, I’d be happy to stop by.

Thank you Bill, Stewart Design, and Arie for your advice.

Arie, I am located in North Highlands near Sacramento, California. Not close enough for any of you to come by, but I do appreciate your offering. I did find a locate printer, who is a great resource and help, but he is currently unavailable.

The press currently only rotates maybe enough for the printing plate to meet with the print area only once before stopping.

Bill and Stewart Design, I will check that I found all the areas that may need oil. I just do not want to have bought a $500.00 huge and heavy paper weight.

Thank you everyone.


Here is a link to the Oil chart courtesy of Bound Staff Press.

I have a C&P just like yours. Pay particular attention to the main shaft oil holes on each side and the back shaft rocker arms on each side. Like Arie said, put oil in until it drips out the bottom. I am in Sunnyvale near San Jose.


One cycle of the press is 4 revolutions of the flywheel. I wouldn’t expect a whole lot more than that unless I had the press really moving along. My 8x12 OS will keep moving when of impression a bit longer than when on impression and even longer if there’s no chase in the press.

Thank you, Mike for the oil chart. And thank you and Arie
for the your information on the press cycle. The press is running at 3 revolutions of the flywheel per cycle (or per print). I will check it out more after the press is delivered next week.

I did locate a source for treadles:
Hern Works
The cost is $150.00 + (shipping) Chandler and Price 8 x 12 Treadle. The new treadles are made from a mold of an original treadle.

Hi There everyone,
I’m hoping someone can help me out.
I have just purchased a 10x15 C&P Platen Press.
All parts are moving but is in need of some TLC.
I am new to letterpress and have no idea where to start.

The chandler and price from what I can see has been previously painted. I’m hoping to restore the press by removing the paint and any rust. Obviously I don’t have any experience in this field or know how to go about this. Therefore I thought i’d try my luck to find out if anyone would know of someone located within VICTORIA, AUS that knows how to restore letterpress’. If anyone has a contact this would be so helpful.

If the press runs and makes prints - leave it alone! No need to repaint a working press.


You might want to start out with a very thin oil. “Marvel Mystery”, “PB Blaster”, “Kroil”, “Tri-Flow”, to name a few. don’t run it forever with these oils in there but a few hours with no impressions and keep oiling. it should loosen the press up and clean out the gunk.
Watch your oiling points carefully. You want the oil to drain. Any oiling point that is still full after 30 minutes needs a pressure clean with a rubber tipped air gun.
Many here suggest a 30w nondetergent oil. This is Fine, but, you will find that for that press, ANY oil you put in is superior to the oil used when it was built. So, just use whatever is on sale. Keeping it 30w to at the most a 50w.
Check closely to the main shaft, back shaft, and rocker oiling points. There may some cloth rope in there to act as a filter. You want to see Steel at the bottom. There may also be Felt plugs in there too. (a 90’ “Pick” down the side,turn and pull up to get them outta there.) Pull these out before you begin the flushing process, no need to disolve shitty oil and run through the machine. I replace them with cotton balls.

Check to make sure that the back shaft is even distance on both sides. Oil it up and put a motor on it for a while to limber it up. I have a treadle for that press.

Thank you for all those great tips.

Does anyone know of a person to contact who can service my 10x15 C&P Platen Press. I’m based in Sunbury Victoria. I’m hoping for someone to inspect the condition of the press.

Kind Regards,
Melissa Alonso

Hi there, I really want to restore my letterpress.
Does anyone know of anybody who does this in Melbourne Victoria ?

Is it a “Hard Stop”? like something is hitting? Does it “Soft Stop”, like something is binding? or does it just slow to a stop. Each of these indicates a different problem, while the last one, maybe no problem at all. just oil