C&P Part & mystery noise

Briarpress community, C&P wizards, and the letterpress god,

The novice needs your help (again).

Preface: I’m using the Components Parts List from Circuitous Root for the New Series Presses as reference for parts.

This is a multi-part troubleshoot, so please, bear with me. Parts one and two are a problem of an old and wrong part. Part 1: my lock roller (part 15) is sadly abused, when it my press was purchased it was already damaged and I fear that regardless of oiling, it has progressed further and would love to find a replacement. Machining is a potential option (anyone know a good one) so I’m not too worried there.

Part two: the cam roller stud (part 33.) that fits between the rocker arm and large cam gear is the wrong diameter. It fits the cam roller, but the smaller diameter on the rod is the wrong size, it went walkabout when the press was moved and the replacement sent to me I believe was from an old style. Again, machining is a possibility but finding a replacement would be potentially cheaper and more ideal as I don’t have any specific dimensions to run from.

Part three: the press has a mysterious clunk and lurch when the bed closes against the platen. It makes a thunk and moves forward just about an inch and then proceeds as normal. It doesn’t slam shut, it’s like it ‘slips’ and then gently closes. There’s a video of it on instagram on my page, tag: @reggieasplund. Originally I thought it to be an improper sized cam roller, but upon removal of the platen and cam roller assembly (yes I took it all out, scold me later), my press still makes that noise. Understandably it’s a tad out of balanced now that the platen is missing, to make matters even more confusing it happens when the flywheel (printer’s left, part 26.) rotates counter clockwise and not clockwise. Now, I’m thinking it somehow has to do with the small head and lock cam but the noise happens just as the cam juts in.

Anyway, if I haven’t completely confused the crap out of you, I’d love to hear some thoughts on what may be the problem. Any and all help is appreciated more than you know. - mnreggie

image: cam.jpg


image: rocker.jpg


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Where are you located?

Sometimes a different set of eyes and ears can spot problems that you have overlooked. I am very good at troubleshooting, but I still can get a blind spot on the difficult/odd problem that someone else can pick up within the first 5 minutes of looking and listening.

Can you post a link to your video?

What size is this press? I have 2 old style C&P’s that I can look at and help with the armchair quarterback troubleshooting.



I am located in Duluth Minnesota. My press is a new style 10x15, circa 1923 or so.

The link to my instagram is


-video is below, unsure if that link will work.


no way being an expert on treadles, but it happens same place in printing cycle where small wheel at bottom of video has a couple of flats on it?????when it rolls into the mechanism?


It does, more or less, but the flat in the wheel are more or less ignorable when it comes to the cause of the thunk. We cycled the wheel a little bit so that the flat was behind the rotation and the press still made noise as ‘usual’.

I had a similar noise with my Golding Pearl. I went crazy looking all over- finally found the flywheel was not on tight which was caused by a loose locking key on the shaft that the flywheel was mounted on. Every evolution of the flywheel caused the crankshaft to jump just enough to make that sound. Dennis

Dennis, if you ever find yourself in the Duluth or Twin Cities area in Minnesota, I owe you a pint. Or four. That was it! My key wasn’t perfectly fit. I just picked up one from the hardware store and the press runs like a charm. I will say, if anyone has any inkling where I could get a replacement cog for the cam roller or know of a good solution I’d love to hear it.

One way I find the sound on my equipment is turn it slow by hand. When you hear the sound stop and look at the parts of the press that are touching.

Hello Jonathan, Happy to hear that solved the problem. As far as the cog is concerned- My suggestion is to get friendly with a small machine shop in your area. It wouldn’t hurt to bring them something from the local bakery each time you visit. It will go a long way. Dennis