Leveling the Platen on C&P 10x15 new style


My apologies, I’m certain this has probably been asked before… but I struggling to find a copy of a C&P 10x15 new style operation manual. My serial number says my press is from 1919.

I did try this link: http://www.briarpress.org/14558 but already have the oils charts and parts lists and didn’t see a manual listed.

I’d like to learn more about what the factory instructions are for leveling the platen and any daily/routine maintenance that I might be slacking on…

Anyone have a link to share for this information? Many thanks!

Amy Worsham

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I don’t believe C & P published an operating manual.
I think they assumed purchasers already knew how to operate the press, or would seek guidance from an experienced printer.
If you are going to mess with adjusting the platen, you very definitely should learn from, or do it under the guidance of a person who really knows what she/he is doing. There are many well intentioned, but misguided tinkerers out there.
Say where you are and seek help.

The book “General Printing” by Cleeton and Pitken would be informative, and you can get a reprint from NA Graphics. NA also used to have the excellent “Platen Press Operation” by Mills, but it isn’t listed now. (There is a used paperback copy on Amazon for over $2,000!)

I didn’t personally find leveling the platen to be all that hard, but I would suggest doing so with the right tools.
You’ll have to make a couple assumptions without them, and it’s worth noting that you can totally screw this up if you’re not careful.

I would recommend getting a set of these:


They’re pretty handy.
You remove all your tympan, loosen the impression bolt locking nuts, back the bolts off quite a bit, place the adjusting gauges in the corners ON the bed, close the press ALL the way by hand (slowly, til you notice the eccentric rocker arms are at their central point), and then adjust the platen bolt adjustments until they’re all snug. You can then tighten the locking nuts, and then check your adjustment with some tissue paper. Make sure all 4 of your cylinders catch a piece of 2-thou tissue and hold it with the press opening/closing.
You should have a level platen if you’re careful.

Good luck!

Inky, that’s what I thought too, but thought I’d ask anyway.

Haven, Here is my set up for the bolts behind the platen. I just acquired this press in the spring. Am I missing some locking nuts?

On a side note, I think I’ll take your advice and purchase those gauges. That looks handy at to have around!

Parallel Imp, is that a real price or an Amazon algorithm?! Either way, that’s far out of my price range!


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Yes, there should be lock nuts there. NA has impression bolts, maybe you can get just the nuts.
Amazon showed hardbound copies of the Mills at $125, and one paperback at that absurd price.

Parallel-imp~I found the lock nuts on NA, but they are only sold as a set with the bolts and not cheap either. Fritz was kind enough to send me the nut/bolt combo with my children as collateral so I can see about having just the nuts fabricated locally since they are not a standard thread pitch.

I’m considering having a few extra’s made, I don’t suppose anyone else lost their nuts, do you?

I did also order myself a copy of Cleeton’s General Printing. Found a copy on Amazon for 13 bucks. Waiting on the arrival of that… can’t wait, I needed another book on my nightstand.

Thanks for all the advice.


I had these beauties finished up at the machine shop recently. They are a perfect fit!

I had a total of eight made, four of which are now on my press, so in case you don’t have the nuts for your impression bolts on your C&P, you can purchase my extras.

Thanks to Mr. Fritz Klinke ~ I wouldn’t have been able to do that without your help!


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Congrats- I somehow missed the question earlier in the thread but I’m pleased to see you have a happy ending to your issue! Good luck with the adjustments and happy printing!

While your immediate issue has been addressed, I’d like to add my experience in leveling the platen on my 12X18 C&P. In my case the thread pitch on those bolts is 1/10”. So 100thou/360degrees = 0.28 thousands of an inch platen adjustment adjustment per one degree of wrench turn. Just to give you some idea. The other thing to keep in mind is to only back off the jamnuts behind the platen very little. Thread clearance play and platen warp will drive you crazy.