Moving Kluge 12x18 letterpress on casters


I just purchased an old Kluge 12x18 letterpress (first press). Ive never moved one before (or any large machinery) and Ive been reviewing transportation options. Does anyone know if there is any good reason NOT to put heavy duty casters on the bottom of the skid to move the press. I would not leave them on the skid in the trailer just moving it out of the building and then unloading into my building. Ive seen so many ways of moving these presses but never wheels which seems like the obvious choice to me.

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If all is nice and flat and hard surface like concrete, casters can work. I would suggest one set fixed and one swivel. It seems like a lot of work to get them on, take them off for the trailer portion, then put them on again and finally take them off.
I am a pipe man. Inexpensive, effective, and keeps the load low. Can work over some irregularities on the ground better than wheels. Very easy to control.

Your casters are going to give you nothing but pain, you will not be able to mount the wheels in a way they will be rigid enough to handle even a small crack with that much weight pushing down. Short of bolting and welding casters to a metal frame, they are just not going to work.

Pipes and a J Bar or a pallet jack are the tried and true ways to safely move them.

It’s easy to find either of these anywhere in the US.


We palletize everything and move with pallet jacks.

We often have to drop the jack and move it slightly to coax it over a crack in the sidewalk or the gap between the trailer and the ramp.

I can’t picture casters working, or even successfully mounting the casters to the press unless you welded together a heavy duty frame. Even then, I feel that casters would only be suitable for moving it on a flat clean slab.

With respect and apologies in advance, because it is probably an *American-isation* lost in the mists of time,!!


Generally and normally, casters C-A-S-T-E-R-S, (here U.K. at least) are seen as M/c.s, that CAST Type or similar, and the >Old Goat< who`s handle is the Masthead for this response, i.e. Mick the Caster.! Since `54.
Castor,s C-A-S-T-O-R-S, are the means to Wheel/Transport/Move around, machinery etc.
Since 1954, and counting, using pure unrefined CASTOR Oil on the Monotype CASTER was and still is the norm, unrefined Castor Oil, stands up to the heat on the Supercaster (Giant Caster, - U.S. possibly) when casting Continuous strip material, Leads & Rules.

Semi constructive (possibly) follows:- as implied above Rolling Bars/Tubes usually prove to be the more favoured option, over and above Pump Trucks, Pallet Jacks, etc., etc., with just 3 tubes/rollers it is almost childs play to negotiate doorways etc., (with just 3 rollers if needed) it is possible to spin/rotate the Mc., through 360 Degrees in its own foot print.!

If the machine has *FEET* at every corner, it is not rocket science to introduce 2 Fore & Aft baulks of timber to act as rails, i.e. 4” x 2” x 18” longer than the distance between the front and back feet,??
Then the option is available to use either >rolling bars< OR hire 4 Machinery moving skates, preferably the type that have built in, Turn Table and Draw Bar hooks incorporated.

Machinery moving skates, are very efficient in action, the rollers act like the links in track laying vehicles, size for size carry/transport very heavy loads, and are quite friction free, and like Rolling Bars, make turning sharp corners (comparatively) easy, leaves Pump Trucks and Fork Lifts way behind.

thanks for the advise, ill try the steel pipe. Anyone have a preference on pipe diameter? 1” 2” etc….

Two inch.
I try to keep the load on only one pipe most of the time. Push the load forward gently until it teeters. Step on runner to lift it and insert second pipe. Continue rolling until first pipe comes out. Slow and steady.
I call this the Egyptian method as I believe this is how they got the stones up the pyramid.

Concurring with Inky, but one tiny modification to the Specs., 2” works well but if possible 2 @ 2” and one @ 1” & 3/4” or even better 2 @ 2” and one @ 1” & 7/8” combination possibly of 2 *tubes* and one steel *rod*, makes life much much easier to release one on exit, OR introduce one on Entry, for rolling onto,! again as Inky has implied, just the little >Rock & Tilt< works well.

With the 2 from 3, combination, really helps to insert the front roller at the required angle(s) to persuade the machine to navigate gentle curves.

Inky what has happened to Your customary closing One Liner,? i.e. Get some Ink etc., always made the post(s) a little more noticeable and interesting. !!

Pipes are great even over cracks because as Mick mentioned you can introduce a pipe at an angle and it’ll roll right over a crack. However, I never had a problem with a palette jack.
Being able to lower the load, slide the palette jack over a crack into a new position, and pick back up- well, it eliminates trying to force the machine over cracks.

If you have a J-bar already, I would say pipes are really a good option and cheap if no access to a P-Jack, but frankly a good palette jack is available from most companies that will hire/rent you a truck for a day- so there is that to consider. My preference is the palette jack due to flexibility.