right-side pulley wheel for C&P

I have an OS C&P 10x15 that I bought a few months ago and have cleaned up and reassembled. The previous owner used a 1 HP motor and skinny v-belt to pull the large flywheel. Whereas this seemed to work okay for him, I’d be interested in using a wider leather belt to pull the pulley wheel on the right of the press. However, my press is missing that right side pulley wheel and I have never really seen any available in the usual letterpress marketplaces. The shaft can certainly accomodate this pulley and my guess is there was one on it decades ago…

Does anyone know of where this smaller pulley can be obtained, and/or if it is even necessary? Or any alternatives to the original part?

I can stick to using a belt on the large flywheel but it doesn’t seem right (especially being a v-belt) and seems a little more dangerous.

(I should mention the press does not have its treadle and that I’d rather keep it motorized)

Any suggestions or advice is greatly appreciated.

Log in to reply   2 replies so far

I just received an old style c&p myself with a wide wooden pulley wheel on it. It also had a thick leather belt that was very worn and cracked. I don’t know where you could find one but I do have some pictures if that would help your search. Just contact me if you would be interested.

The c&p platen I started on as an apprentice in 1964 had two pulleys on the right and a forked device to move the belt between the two. The one on the far right was a lazy pulley and was not fixed to the drive. The belt kept moving when the press was not in ‘drive’ mode and to bring the press into drive, the fork was activated to carry the belt onto the pulley fixed to the press drive shaft.

The fork was activated by the left knee pushing on a lever to move the fork shaft either left or right. The shaft was secured on a loose bearing through the press about in line with the treadle/crank shaft. This press had a big 3 phase motor and with the fixed pulley being fully driven across its full surface would have been far too fast to safely and effectively feed. I progressively started with the belt drive about an 1/2 an inch onto the width of the drive pulley and then (with experience), a little more and more. In those days we sometimes printed ‘onion skin’ and manifold weight papers (28 to about 30 gsm) and slower speeds were very necessary.

I read the comments over a month or so ago about the big flywheel direction. I was always instructed that it should be clockwise, so that after the belt fork had returned the drive belt to the ‘lazy pulley’ to stop, the thigh area of the left leg (covered by combination overalls and a leather apron) would help to stop the press quicker. Even with the spokes of the flywheel covered in with plywood, I was told never to try to stop the flywheel with any part of the hand. Over the last 43 years, I have always done it that way with no injuries or incidents.