Taking a 8x12 apart

I think the best way to repair my press is to take it apart and take the section that holds the packing to the impression part. How hard is to take it apart.

Log in to reply   8 replies so far


What are you trying to remove? The tympan bales? They’re just steel (usually) and held in place by a pin on each side. Open the bale and use a mallet to tap the pin out. A little penetrating oil applied a few hours beforehand may be helpful.

Does that answer the question?


The tympan bales are way to large and do not match up with the holes the pins fit in. It looks like someone just put them on the press before I purchase to make it looks like a complete press.

I was thinking removing the platen and take it to the machine shop with the old wrong tympan bales and had the tympan bales made to fit complete with the new pins in place.

If it is only the Bale Arms being the wrong size, (too big) seems a little defeatist speaking of Machine Shop etc inc. dismantling Press.
As ones profile implies a few years under ones belt, and having mastered the vagaries of Letter Press. why not construct your own.

2 strips of mild steel, usually 3/8” to 1/2” wide (according) 3/16” to 1/8” thick and fashioned/bent COLD in ordinary bench vice,
Starting length(s) to be the WIDTH of the Platen + incorporate the DEPTH for the returns down to the Pegs, Studs, (in some case Shoulder Bolts) + allowance for the peg holes.
Mild steel at that size bends easily, virtually has NO *memory*. . We attempted to use spring steel but it does NOT, bend cold.

The return edges bent /fashioned in ordinary Vice with Copper hammer, taking into account loss of approx 2 point per bend @ 90 degrees, but is easy to tweek after wards.!!

And then offered up to drill Peg holes precisely, here U.K. as a matter of course, a small *Leading edge* is factored in Top & Bottom (bale arms) to assist clipping down with varying amounts of packing, genuine oiled Manilla top sheet helps as well, but not essential.

Tools required, bench vice, copper/hide hammer, ordinary electric drill with appropriate H/S. bit, and just a modicom of D.I.Y. skill,?

I need to know, how to take the two bolts on the bottom of the platen off, so I can take the platen to the machine shop. The two top bolt I can get to with no problem.

The bottom bolts come off just like the top two…a short wrench helps, but is not difficult. It does take a lot of maneuvering the wrench as there isn’t a lot of clearance. You’ll need to at least lay the bed down (it won’t go all the way down to the floor with the pivot rod still in place…it will need to be propped up with lumber), if not taken off completely to have enough leverage to lift the platen out of the rocker. That will also get you better access to the bottom bolts.

It’s heavy! Don’t drop it. Lift with a hoist if possible.

If this seems problematic to you, may I suggest you NOT do this. Too many chances of getting hurt and breaking the platen if you’re not mechanically adept. Since you haven’t been able to figure this all out on your own, the issue is at least open to question.

Instead, Take accurate measurements and some photos and the old tympan bales and just have a mechanic make you some new tympan bales. They’re fairly easy to install.

Even if you get the platen off, you still have to put it back in. Put the bed back on. And because you took the platen off, it will need to be re-leveled…a really fiddly PITA process.

Just leave the platen on. Really.

Aaron David:
You are asking for trouble!
Take Arie’s word for it…really!
I been there, done that, and wish I hadn’t!!!
Merry Christmas Everyone!

Possibilities???? Maybe, before resorting to drastic measures, look into using *Ratchet Spanners* normally double ended which usually only need 1/4” to 3/8” clearance, OR minature *Socket Wrench* set, normally included, universal joint, and flexible drive adapter, i.e. undo bolts through almost 90 degrees.!! without line of sight, with of course Magnet on telescopic probe + (telescopic) Dentist style Mirror,?? + (telescopic) minature lamp, L.E.D. etc.

Nowadays, all 3 above, almost a pre-requisite for L/press enthusaists.

Is it possible that an inspection of the Main Frame side stanchions MAY, reveal access holes cast in, originally, for this very situation. ???

Apologies if the above be rubbish.

I checked with a machine shop on correcting the tympan bales so they would fit correctly (the ones I have are too large to hold the packing) and redrilling new holes and attaching the bales, I might do it myself.

The machine wants $300 min to do it.

The owner of the shop told me it was half a day job.

And, I do the had part removing the platen.