Floor under my press

Hi gang!

I have a Golding Pearl #3 that I’m currently keeping in my garage. I live in Louisiana and the crazy weather and humidity is killing my printing. I’m seriously considering moving my press inside my house. We have brick floors. Does anyone know if this is ok? Will it break my bricks? The press legs are mounted on wood, but I want to be sure it doesn’t ruin my brick floor. (See attached pic. The tile floor in that pic is our old house.) Is there something I could put under it like a mat? I’d rather not put an ugly piece of plywood if possible.

Thanks in advance!

image: Pearl-sm.jpg


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The wood should disperse the weight pretty well, I would think, but those are thin runners, you could always make a little wooden platform for it if you’re unsure or put one of those plastic mats that go under rolling chairs down - in fact I would DEFINITELY put a flat hard plastic mat down to protect the bricks from absorbing the oil that drips down when you properly oil it. That would protect any chips in the bricks and defend them from oil, ink, and debris.

As shown in your picture, it is very likely that your brick/tile floors will crack from the pressure/weight supported which is concentrated in a small surface area.

To avoid this from happening you must re-distribute the weight of your press over a surface area as LARGE as possible. The thin skids are not enough

Consider very thick laminated plywood or a plastic material (which will also resists ink droppings on the tiles, etc), over the entire area under and adjacent to the press

Also, if want to go an additional step forward in protecting your floor, pad the under-surface of your plywood platform with a sheet of flat/level commercial carpeting (the kind which is attached to a sheet of rubber base about 1/4” thick) and glue this to the undersurface of your plywood base so that the carpet comes in direct contact with the tiles and the rubber base of the carpet is glued to underside of the plywood platform. This will cushion the shock of a reverberating/moving press and also reduce noise levels. Make certain that the carpeting is the flat/level kind or else your press will be uneven and then it will wobble when you operate it.

I think this is a paper tiger. The press weighs about 700lbs and has four feet, but the two wood battens it’s sitting on probably have a surface area in contact with the floor nearly equal to four shoes under two 350lb guys standing face to face arguing. They wouldn’t hurt the floor and, in my opinion, neither will the press. If you want to be more certain, you could get some high-density closed-cell foam such as is used for camping sleeping mats and cut two strips of it a bit wider than the battens and put the foam under the battens, which will even out the pressure even more.


A blast from the past, the system was, not so much to protect the flooring, more to camouflage the rumble from the motor & the bonk from the impression, on An Arab, motorized Press, situate in a basement, where the main joists carried the sounds into the adjoining property, I.E. Cloak & Dagger, or *Knock 3 times and ask for Bill, Speak Easy style*
THE METHOD fairly inexpensive Stainless Steel drip tray, 6” bigger than the foot print of the machine, looked O.K. with absorbent granules, in actual fact *cat litter* S/Steel sat on 3/4” marine ply, base, in turn sat on Heavy Duty High Impact rubber matting, at that time at least 1” thick (probably more by now) as used in/for loose boxes/stable,s for bigger horses, especially good for older horses with arthritis etc. Possibly upwards of .75 (three quarters of a ton) supported on 4 relatively tiny, hooves Pads/Footprints.
Our equestrian centres are usually happy to sell on, Off cuts, for this purpose, and others,
Fairly recently a heavier machine was Positioned/Sat on 4 pads of this very material, but in that case the pads at about 6” x !” high were encased in purpose made steel bands, this idea/principle *borrowed* from Monotype technology.
This system would seem to cover *all bases* look reasonably attractive, involve no contamination to the flooring, and on a Pro Rata basis, distribute any/all weight over the maximum number of Tiles or Bricks.???
If this be rubbish, although based on facts.!! Apologies.
Or Good Luck.

I wouldn’t worry. Brick is much tougher than the tile in the picture. I’d just ensure that the hardware does not protrude.

Mick - I think thats overkill for such a small press.!
People really do get their knickers in a knot over loadings and siting of presses.
Consider how many of these machines historically were sited wherever was convenient in the print shop. How many of us have seen print shops on the 1st or 2nd floors with only a sturdy victorian building and stout wooden beams holding up hand presses, tons of type and even cylinder presses.
The press on wooden skids is more than ample to distribute the weight of a relatively small machine.
The most important point which has been missed out is that the machine is placed Level!. Take a spirit level and make sure with packing that the machine sits true.
Its also important to make sure the presse is anchored to the floor, drilling with a masonry bit and stout coach screws into rawl (wallplugs) plugs. This will enable the machine to be treadled without ‘rock’ or any movement to the more enthusiastic machine operator.
I have installed a lot of treadles, hand presses etc etc and often onto stout wooden skids, sometimes metal plates or wooden plates.
Good luck with moving it inside - my workshop is unheated and unbearable in Winter. The future installation of a woodburner will take care of that….

Jeremy, yes! fair comment on all points, but the thrust of my efforts was multi layered, to convey most/all angles to the newer devotee, to make an in depth assessment from a hopefully informed position.!!!
Early 60,s to late 70,s I attended Colebrooke Evans & McKenzies print auctions in the Home Counties but the Ones within the Inner London area,s provided some amazing sights, H. & S. would and did go Ballistic, V.M.s Big Camco Folders, Monotype Casters, (with Gas Heated Pots) etc, etc. on 100 yr. old wooden joists on 2nd 3rd floor(s).
Between 54 & 60 my apprenticeship was served, at Sussex Printers in Eastbourne Ex Chronicle Works!
The Rotaries were relocated, prior, but the Machine Room was on the First floor, including 2 big American Meihles 1 Smaller American Meihle, ! fair sized Kelly but the fly in the ointment was a Big Wharefdale!! although sat on massive 18” R,S,J.S, (under floor), could only be run from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. (A) because of the rumble/noise transmitted to the adjoining private property,? (B) also, the very big variable speed motor played havoc with neighbouring T.V. sets on (then) 405 line V.H.F. 625 line U.H.F. was yet to arrive!!!
All the foregoing, with the combined posts included, may help the original enquirer make better assessments.
Jeremy, Thank You. This old goat, hopefully has half an idea. Mick.

Speaking of “old goats” did you ever hear of a goat having 5 babies??? We have 8 new goats, haven’t had time to post much, been bottle feeding baby goats round the clock, good to see you posting, when things calm down i’ll be back to rattling your cage again.

Mick, I bet that was a sight. I have moved wharfedales and huge litho presses which all required moving and rebuilding and timing issues and all that.
I dont have the experience you have being a young lad of 44. But we’re going off topic again, I hope the Pearl finds its feet as it were!

Dick, Howdy Buddy, yes 5 kids in one sitting, but only in one of our Rare/Endangered species establishments!! Possibly, an artificial arrangement for Pygmy Goats, they were being partially hand fed, which of course put the takings up for a day or two.!!
Between 45 & 52 the family lived on a working farm, with 5/6 Nannies so occasionally twins (2 pairs) needed a little help. but we, inc.2 sisters, could never swing it for skipping of school!!
Hope all are doing well, and hope that *Surrogate Pappy* gets some good back up around the Clock. Good luck & regards Mick .

Thanks for the help (and awesome stories) everyone!