Motor for C&P 12 x 18


I am a new to the printing craft and have a question about a motor for a 12” x 18” C&P New Series press.

I purchased the press last year and it came with a motor but while the press is in good working condition, the ancient motor is not and needs to be replaced.

Can anyone recommend a specific motor, preferably one where the speed can be controlled? Any suggestions on what to get and where to buy will be of great help to me.

Thank you!

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the best system out there now is a new motor with a Variable Frequency Drive. “VFD” local machine electrician should be involved for this.

Thank you ericm. That matches advice I received from another source. My only hesitation is what to tell the machine electrician regarding how much horsepower I need. The information plate on the motor I currently have is missing otherwise I would just match that. My guess is around 1hp to 1.5hp but I am waiting to see if any other C&P owners comment.

are you hand feeding this? or does it have a “kluge” feeder on it.


From a previous post:

New Series C&P 8x12……………………………..2600 IPH / 0.25 HP
New Series C&P 10x15…………………………….2300 IPH / 0.25 HP
New Series C&P 12x18…………………………….1800 IPH / 0.5 HP
New Series C&P 14-1/2 x 22…………………….1500 IPH / 0.5 HP
C&P Regular Models (O.S.) 7x11………………2800 IPH / 0.25 HP
C&P Regular Models (O.S.) 8x12……………..2600 IPH / 0.25 HP
C&P Regular Models (O.S.) 10x15……………2300 IPH / 0.25 HP
C&P Regular Models (O.S.) 12x18…………….1800 IPH / 0.5 HP
C&P Regular Models (O.S.) 14x20…………….1500 IPH / 0.5 HP
C&P Regular Models (O.S.) 14-1/2x22………1500 IPH / 0.5 HP

Thank you mgurzo! Exactly what I needed..,

hmmmm,,,, 1/2hp sounds a little small. i will check my 12x18.

Please let me know if you think I need to go to 1.0.

I say 1/2 HP is small also. That 12x18 is a big hunk of iron. I would say 3/4 at least and 1HP would be better. With either you should give the flywheel a roll by hand to get it started and assist the motor. If you get a variable speed motor, start it at high speed and adjust down.
It may be that 1/2HP could keep it rolling once the iron gets moving. I have a 3/4HP on my 10 x15.
Get some ink on your shirt.

I have a 1/2 hp on a 10x15 OS. It is a 3-phase motor, operating on on a 120 Volt VFD. The system never pulls anything close to the rated motor amps. But mind that I have not done any deep impression work, and I keep the press well oiled and moving easily.

While it does help to roll the flywheel by hand to get the press rolling, I have also started from a stopped position without any trouble. You can hear the VFD fan working a bit harder in this case. As a general rule though I spin the flywheel before starting the drive/motor. No reason to change what’s worked for years.

Certainly 3/4 or 1 hp will work, and give a margin of safety. Just make sure that the circuit you intend to use for the motor has the capacity to power the motor. The larger the motor - the more current it draws.

P.S. The source of the info I posted earlier - the 1912 ATF catalog:

image: 1912_Press_specs.jpg


In case you can’t read that, I put it up on the web:

my 12x18, without ink roller or arms is running a 1.5 hp, 3ph, 208-220v motor. I would suggest 1hp minimum. 1.5 if doing heavy impression.

So why does whether or not you do deep impression affect the amount of power? This is new to me. I appreciate any insight.

deep impression is more PSI on image. this can be easily swapped to “Power/ Square Inch”
if you are going to buy a motor, i would suggest one with enough power to begin with. motor supplier, i doubt, will exchange it when you want the bigger one. bigger motor will run easier, drawing less of its max power.
this won’t let me attach a pic of the motor plate.

I agree. I don’t want to have to buy a motor twice. I was able to clean off the motor plate and read the specs for the first time. I believe it says 1.1/4 hp. (attached)

image: IMG_6145.JPG


Hi loyaltype,

Don’t get your motor replaced, get it refurbished! Then attach a variable-speed tower next to your press.

I found out about this place from a bunch of salty old dogs that were master printers before I was a twinkle in my dad’s eye:

You can ship them the motor. If I remember correctly, it costs $45 for them to inspect the motor, but I think they put that they refund the fee towards refurbishing your motor, however; I could be wrong about that part. It’s been a while since I used them. I don’t remember what I paid for the service, but it was pretty reasonable and I didn’t have to go search for a new motor. They’re in West Hollywood, California.

They also sell the panels (or are they called towers?) for variable speed control. While I’ve never bought one, I can tell you that my dad added one to my 100+ year old Chandler and Price treadle-powered press. The tower sits to the right of my press, opposite of the flywheel, and it’s simple mechanical switch with a variable speed mechanism. The one I have is called an A-K Controller from Northwestern Electrical Company. Mine is at least 65 years old, but maybe they still offer them. ( Ask for Bill if you go to Arbuckle, he might be able to get it from them as well.

If you’re pretty handy, you can wire everything yourself. But I agree with the reverent ericm, hire an electrician if it’s out of your wheelhouse.

I don’t know where you’re at, but a simple Google search “electric motor repair around me” will probably find where you need to go.

Best of luck! Gotta go, soul-crushing deadlines await me!

Keep in mind the motors that came with or added later to these presses were “heavier duty”compared to today’s motors. A hp back in the ‘20’s where about the size of a 5 horse today. They were made for strength.
I run a Kimble Electric 1 hp Var. speed on my 12 X 18. N.S. A 1 hp of today’s standard will trip the reset switch before I can spin the flywheel by hand fast enough to gain the momentum I need to keep the motor going.
Winfred Reed
Black Diamond Press (Kentucky)

I am not handy at all when it comes to electrical wiring. I can install a dimmer switch in my house but that is where I draw the line. The fella that sold me the press and motor attempted to wire it for me when he delivered the press. Each time he turned it on and spun the fly wheel, it threw the breaker and by the 4th attempt my wife put a stop to it. And this motor was fairly loud.

Now I am more confused than ever of what to do… new motor or get this one refurbished.

I was hoping that a new motor and controller would be quieter and easier control switch. But am I reading that the old motors (when working properly) are better than today’s counterparts?

I also attached what I think is the tower Docs Coffee mentioned.

image: IMG_6150.JPG


I will throw in my two cents worth.

If you want to get up and running with the least amount of worry and you don’t care about keeping everything close to the era the press was built, then go with a VFD and new 3 phase motor.

You can get a nice VFD for under 150 dollars that will run up to a 1 HP 3 phase motor off of single phase 220 Volt. That would let you program in a nice slow ramp up of speed, give you the ability to quickly adjust the speed over a wide range and you also could wire in an emergency stop button for those “OH DARN” moments.

I also think a 1/2 HP motor would be plenty. Linotypes run 1/3 HP motors and they have a lot more pieces of cast iron starting and stopping. 3/4 or 1 HP motors would cost more and give you better long term life span if you ran it on the slow end of the speed range due to better cooling.

If keeping everything looking historical is important then by all means have the original motor checked out by a good motor rebuild shop.

In my little corner of paradise, I have both systems. Old, old, old motors running a Linotype and a late model 3 phase motor on my small Baker horizontal milling machine that is updated with a nice VFD. Even have a home brew rotary phase convertor for the larger 3 phase machine tools.

Where are you located? You should be able to get a industrial electrician to install and program a VFD without too much hassle.

If you can wire in a dimmer, then with a little support from members here, you should be able to install and wire up a functional VFD system. I for one would be more than happy to help walk you thru any issues if that is the way you want to go.


Thank you Marshall. I live in Franklin, TN which is just south of Nashville. I will look for an industrial electrician. Great advice.

If you are considering re-using the original motor, just clean it out, taking it apart and spraying the winding Glyptal red winding varnish. Don’t waste your money on an “inspection”. There is nothing that can be done to make the old motor safe for long therm use with a VFD. If you buy a new motor I suggest 1HP, 1200RPM 208/220V 3 phase (make sure you buy one rated for inverter duty, they have better insulation and can deal with the high frequency components that are part of a VFD output). I have the same press, and tried to give the original motor away a few years ago. Yes it was 1/2 HP, but of a physical size that a 3HP one would be today. If you have a 120/240V service to your house, you can get a 240V single phase to 220V three phase VFD for about $150. And the motor will run about the same. With this setup you can have a little knob right on your press for speed control. If you are patient, in the next month or so I am creating a bit of documentation of how I power my press just as described.