Peerless lubrication

Just a quick question, I set up on my peerless platen last night, ready to do a print run but the flywheel will now not complete a full rotation. It will spin round until the chase is almost right up against the forme, but then it won’t go any further.

When I picked it up about six weeks ago, this was not the case, so I’m just wondering if something has seized up in the interim.

I have looked for all of the obvious things, I just wondered if any of you have experienced similar issues, and what you did to rectify them (i.e… if it needs oil - where I should look to put it, etc).

Thanks in advance


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Any machine with moving parts needs lubrication on all the joints between moving parts. There should be oil holes on the major pieces at least, and cleaning them out and filling them with oil a couple of times is an important investment. There are also probably small moving parts that don’t have oil holes, and for those you can put several drops of oil in the joint. Hopefully you haven’t hurt the bearings by running the press with dry bearings — oil is your friend on machinery, especially old machinery. 30 wt motor oil is good.


Like Bob says 30 wt. oil, but also if you have a base locked up in the chase, of even a form you must make sure your grippers clear them. Try removing the chase and see it it completes the revolution.

Vicki_Bold, Dick has probably holed in one, the chances of it having siezed in the short time in you care is remote, unless you washed it down with a pressure washer and then left it outside for a week!!!
With no forme in and just gentle hand turning, you should be able to turn through complete cycle and keep going without effort, if you meet a resistance short of 360 degrees, (without a forme in the chances are that a small obstacle is between the teeth of a gear wheel that takes 360 degrees for a revolution) even something like a 10 point quad fits nicely into the gap between 2 teeth!!!
As dick implies, with a forme in, the same test will ascertain if it is stopping as it approaches impression, then is the impression lever in the On position, is the bed adjustment too far OUT and needing adjusting right back and adjust from scratch, and/or far too much packing left ON.
Just a few possibilities for progressive elimination.
Bob is on the ball re oiling, apart from the rollers and the ink table, oil everything that moves, and if necessary pinch some of the cats litter, and use as absorbent granules!!!
Good Luck, Mick

Just want to follow up on this… mine did this when I first tried to run it… make sure that the link pins that hold the mechanism together are locked in place. If they move out of position slightly, they can lock the mechanism very easily and cause damage. Rotate the flywheel by hand and see if anything is obstructing the motion. All it took for mine was pushing the pin back in to place and locking it with a hair grip… not had a problem sing.

All the best,

Mick brought up a good point about cleaning the gears. Especially when you first get a press, you should clean out every one of the low places betwen the gear teeth, all the way around, for each gear on the press. After the gears have been cleaned, drip a small amount of oil on the teeth so that they will have a slight oil film on them.

As everyone has already said, oil all of the surfaces which contact each other, except where you are going to put ink or paper. Don’t be afraid to use enough oil so that it runs out a little, because the oil which runs out will be carrying dirt etc. out of the bearing areas, which is a good thing. As Mick also said, you can use cat litter to absorb oil which has collected under the press (don’t put cat litter on any of the metal parts of the press, of course). You can also wipe off the excess oil with a rag.

Geoffrey, Thank you for the recap,! update, obstacle related etc, First busted tooth in a gear train, precisely as in most of the presses under discussion on this site, whereby the Major large (driven) cog meshes with the smaller (driving) cog, or vice versa, (beautiful to see but tantamount to later day L/press KAMIKAZE pilots) but perfect for dropping small objects into the meshing teeth occasionally with dire consequences, follows, my take, from a long time ago, just used by me, to repair one tooth smashed at more than 50% with the broken off part from the previous revolution.
Modus Operandi, built the missing section up with Bronze Welding (brazing but with a slightly harder filler rod) would normally have filed and contoured by hand, but now able to use the *New Toy* Kearney & Trekker Milling Machine, with indexing head,still learning but with *the Man* looking over the shoulder, good teacher but B***** hard taskmaster.
Oiling?? on line discussion some time ago, but little up date, i.e. most if not all retro, Presses were designed long before MULTIGRADE Oil was the Norm, consequently, the machines would have been lubed up with either makers suggested, Monograde Oil or whatever was to hand. As virtually all the presses under discussion would be or have been pre WW II… When all the Hi-Tech discussions appear purporting to suggest that *X* Brand *Y* Brand or *Z* Brand is the only genuine original spec brand is the only, several contributors would *A* have a little chuckle and *B* puzzle, as to were the info came from.???
Mid 50,s to at least Mid 80,s from the tiniest 4-5 man firms, to our Giants Like Oddhams Press, or Sun Printers Watford etc etc, would have had either a 5 gallon barrel with a hand cranked pump dispencer, or a 45 gallon barrel with also hand cranked pump dispencers, with general purpose lubrication oil, Monograde! not Multi? and would have been used on everthing from the Arab at home or the Gravure Machine in the big firms, with INK VATS with capacities of TEN TONS and more, Per Colour.???
Hence all the spiel about using this brand, that brand is a good chuckle and thats about all.
Obviously one or two anomolies, i.e. The Monotype Caster used general purpose lubrication oil throughout, although it was *Badged* Monotype, on the gallon cans, under Monotype,s badge was the original *Duckhams* standard grade specifications.?? … ONE EXCEPTION as the Supercaster needed, on the Moulds running at approx 650-700 degrees and even with water-cooling Unrefined CASTOR Oil, ***Footnote*** was used to withstand the heat… In the case of the Modified Composition Caster equipped to run up to 36 point DisplayType, & Leads and rules, up to 12 point, (Orphan Annie,s to American Cousins, from the O.A. Prefix allegedly?) MONOTYPE supplied Type and Rule Oil but was still under-badged *Duckhams* … One more tiny finding (based on demonstration device in local Motor Factors) whereby clear perspex, (to view) side by side, 2 gear trains with 4/5 plastic gears arranged vertically, tiny krank handle when turned on brand *X* the oil would not reach the top gear, or would run straight back to the sump,?? . Wher-as the Proprietry Brand *Castrol* would climb up the gear train and take several seconds to drain back down, by implication better protection for longer.!!!
My train of thought took me to the possible conclusion, that Chain Saw oil might perform as well, and it actually does, i.e. on the exposed gears on an Adana T. P. 48 it clings and lubricates, far better and far longer, than either Monograde, (ex Monotype) or Modern Multi grade.
Surprisingly Chain Saw oil was/is cheaper than most, others.!!!! and sticks like the proverbial, unquotable on B.P.
***Footnote, as a closet Boy Racer from the late 50,s when *Bert Munro* was ripping up the Bonneville Salt Flats, etc etc it seemed a good idea to “borrow” a little Castor Oil from the Monotype Dept, (so We have heard) to achieve the *Beautiful Smell* of CASTROL *R* as laid down by the Big Boys, at the Real Circuits, Regretably, unrefined Castor Oil, *borrowed* did not have the same properties as Castrol *R* and just gummed the bykes up, should have inspected the results on the base(s) of the Super Caster, but we learned, eventually.!!!