C&P Throw Off

I tried posting this earlier today, doesn’t seem to have taken, so I’ll give it another go.

I have a 10x15 C&P Old Style, made about 1898 that I’m trying to get cleaned up and working. Despite being pretty grunged up, it’s not in bad shape, although it’s pretty clear it was used pretty hard by the small town newspaper that owned it, and it then sat in a garage for about 20 years seemingly without having been cleaned up from its last job (which featured red ink).

Mechanically, the only thing that’s amiss is that the throwoff, although it will move, is very, very stiff at the “print” end of its travel (so with the lever back toward the operator) to the extent that it’s almost unusable while trying to run the press. It does appear to be engaging and disengaging the platen, but having to throw all my weight against the lever to throw the impression off isn’t optimal.

I have cleared all the oiling points with compressed air (& in a couple of cases a drill bit), I’ve filled them with penetrating oil repeatedly, and then with machine oil. Although the stiffness or binding has eased a little, we’re not there yet. I’ve cleaned the accumulated grunge of the ages off as much of the mechanism as I can I can reach and followed with oil.

Is my next step to disassemble the throwoff mechanism one segment at a time to see where it’s sticking & do more de-gunking? Or is there some other tack I should be taking?

Geo Barnum

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Hi George,
Had a similar problem with the 8x12 I just got, in my case it turned out to be one of the linkage bolts was too tight, check those, but also there is a lot of bearing contact on the main shaft, might be binding there somewhere, maybe needs more penetrating oil.

PS, you probably already have done this, but be sure all the cam followers have their oil holes free and will turn freely- on mine several had minor flat spots from being seized due to lack of oiling

Thanks, Scott, good suggestions all. There’s still a lot of crud to be removed from this press, so I’ll just keep at it. I’m mildly concerned that the piece that seems to be called “throw off pin circle” (half of the two-part gizmo down in the middle of the press) doesn’t seem to be traveling all the way to the shaft above it when the lever is pulled toward the operator, like the one on my 8x12 does with a satisfying “clink.” But it isn’t clear to me if that’s symptom or cause, since when the lever is as far as it will go, the platen is engaged. Anyway, I’ll keep going with PB Blaster and oil.

I have not forgotten about finding the name of that museum/collection, either, one of my former colleagues at GPO was supposed to be hunting up my files, needless to say that got interrupted :-)

One thing you could try if you continue to have a problem:
disconnect the upper shaft linkage completely(the bolt that goes into the main shaft saddle) then see- that would settle whether it is the shaft binding or the linkage

Tried that approach today. Apparently the problem is lower down. I guess I’ll just work down from there. I also really doused the slot and the pin circle with penetrating oil today, since that seems like the next most likely culprit. I’d have kept working on de-gunking, but when I looked up to discover two 3-foot long blacksnakes in the rafters of my garage, other duties took precedence.

Well now, things are getting a bit dicey.
I’ll bet you find a bolt that is too tight somewhere

I’m happy to be able to report that patience and PB Blaster have carried the day. I’ve filled the slot of the pin circle several times this week and carefully worked it in, and yesterday started repeated soakings with lightweight oil. This afternoon the throwoff is gliding back and forth like a new press.

I’m also relieved to say that there’s been no return of the reptiles to my rafters.

I would be more concerned about why the black snakes were there. Up in the rafters seems an odd place to find them as it would require some effort to get there. A snake that size would probably be eating rats… probably about one rat each month. If I had enough rats around to feed two snakes I guess I’d be looking into some kind of pest control.

It could always be worse. The building I am considering expanding my print shop into is an old granary which has more racoons in it than I would like to admit. I’ve been trying to get rid of them, but it seems a losing battle. Live traps work sometimes, but ‘coons are pretty smart and learn about traps quickly. Occasionally I manage to get one with the old 16 gauge. Some day I will have to declare total war on them instead of just police actions.

Well, perhaps not as much effort as all that. I’ve found that there are a couple of places where the soffits have gotten knocked out, and there’s a lot of bushes and brush on that particular side of the building. So it’s not that surprising, particularly since a neighbor has been disturbing a nearby lower-lying meadow by mowing it, driving the blacksnakes to higher ground. We’re going to get the ingress taken care of and then call in an exterminator, I think.

Raccoons are certainly a pain. So are red squirrels, since those little criminals will chew everything including electrical wiring.

The blacksnakes are pretty harmless, just trying to help you keep the mouse population in the shop under control. :-)>