Lifting a C&P OS 8x12 off a pallet jack?

Hi Everyone, Does anyone have any wisdom on the dreaded movement of presses. I have an 8x12 OS C&P weighing 363kg according to some website I stumbled across a while ago.

The press has travelled halfway across Australia and now just needs to do its final last little lift to freedom.

The press is sitting on a pallet and the pallet is sitting on a pallet jack. I need to lift it off the pallet and onto the ground for its new life in my garage. Now we can’t get a forklift in as our height of our garage roof is not tall enough to get the forklift through. Bugger!

So now we need to work out how to get it off the pallet and off the pallet jack. Does anyone have ideas? We have the pallet jack on hire for a week so we have 7 days to play with this beautifully old press and hope like crazy we don’t drop the whole bloody thing on the floor!!!

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I’d suggest getting an auto shop hydraulic floor crane, such as mechanics use for removing an engine from a car. Close the press, remove the ink disc, and wrap a chain around the platen and bed, being careful not to include anything that might get bent under pressure from the chain. Then lift the press off the pallet with the crane, remove the pallet, and set the press down. You should probably have someone hold onto the flywheel to steady the press and keep it from tilting in that direction due to the extra weight of the flywheel. You can probably either borrow a crane or rent it from the same place you got the pallet jack.

I’ve been told that movers used to put heavy equipment on blocks of ice. The ice would melt and gradually lower the machinery to the floor without any damage. Does anyone out there know if that would actually work. Can ice blocks stand up to heavy compression without just cracking and breaking?

my gosh, it is a great idea! We live in a warm climate so it wouldn’t take long to melt. I would love to hear if anyone has tried and tested this?

I too have a C&P 8x12, but there were skids on the frame feet, running from front to back. Skids are pieces of 2x4 or 2x6 (inches) wood. Does your press have skids or is it setting directly on the pallet?

Mine was delivered on a pull-behind trailer with a tilting bed. Before moving it off the trailer, the flywheel, ink plate, treadle peddle, throw off lever, and platen bed were removed to lighten the press. We used a one ton cable-puller with a towing strap and slowly scooted the press away from the trailer’s pivot point until it tilted down to the ground level. The press was then slid off the trailer using the ratchet release of the cable puller.

Once the front part of the skids were at ground level, a 4 foot length of steel pipe was put under the skids and the press was rolled forward. A second steel pipe was used with the first to roll the press on the skids to its final location.

We would roll the press on two pipes until one came free at the back of the skids. The free pipe was moved to the front by rocking the press backward on the pipe still under the skids. My letterpress mentor (who delivered the press) calls this the “rock and roll” method. I was surprised how easily the two of us were able to move it.

This method can really only be used if there are strong skids on the press frame and you have solid ground on which to roll it. You’ll may also need a steel bar to use as a lever under the press frame to get the last pipe out from underneath without banging it to the ground.

As long as you move slowly and are careful to keep your fingers away from the pipes, this is a very affective method for moving this size press.

Hi Thanks for the info! So many genius ideas!! The press is on skids ( I had no idea thats what they were called!) The rolling method could work as all we really need to do is get it off the pallet and don’t really need to move it far. My goodness. I hope we don’t move house again in a hurry!!

Having some experience with ice (last winter saw -47F up here), I’d give the ice idea wide berth. Ice doesn’t melt evenly, has a habit of slipping when least expected - or desired - and will present more problem than ease present situation.
The hydraulic crane approach is good. If you cannot locate one large enough, hire a tow truck having an extendable boom. The boom lowers to afford good perch on the press, uses nylon straps to secure load, and the operators know how to adjust uneven weights. Once clear of the pallet the truck is easily manouvered to deposit the press in the garage. In my opinion.

Even simpler, simply place the pallet somewhere near where you want the press or as close as things will allow you to get. Then build a short ramp off the end of the pallet and use a crow bar or johnson bar, etc. to lever the press over to the ramp and down to the floor an inch or two at a time. If there’s a place to anchor a come-along nearby and pull the press off the pallet, that will work too. If necessary turn the press around so that the skids are perpendicular to the direction of the boards of the pallet. It’s not so heavy that a couple of folks with levers can’t horse it around.

Remember also that all the C&P Gordon presses are quite top-heavy assembled and if you get it slightly too far off balance (as in sliding down a ramp), it will probably fall and break something (a human is a distinct possibility). That’s why I lean toward the crane approach — you can control the movement much more thoroughly. Any such crane should have plenty of capacity — my cheap one lifts a ton and the press only weighs around 1000lbs max.

Yes. C&P’s are top-heavy. They can be tipped over; damaging press and/or press movers. Any ramp should be more than just a foot or two long. A crane or engine hoist would be a better idea if it is available.

Thanks everyone! I think we will hire a crane. It seems the safest method for the press and for us!!

I appreciate all your help :)

Here is a hint, take off the flywheel. Oil the shaft behind the flywheel before getting started. Simply tap with a five pound sledge and a block of wood to protect the flywheel. Tap it near the shaft and it will slide inward, remove the key and slide the wheel back off toward you. Makes the press a whole lot more manageable and a less awkward weight distribution.

Here is a hint, take off the flywheel. Oil the shaft behind the flywheel before getting started. Simply tap with a five pound sledge and a block of wood to protect the flywheel. Tap it near the shaft and it will slide inward, remove the key and slide the wheel back off toward you. Makes the press a whole lot more manageable and a less awkward weight distribution. An 8 X 12 is manaegable by yourself but safer with at least two people, stepping it down to floor level is easy with the wheel off and some 2X blocks. Wiggle it to the edge of the pallet, one man can lean on it for tilt and the other place the blocks under the feet off the pallet side, set it over on the blocks that are only about 2” lower than the pallet then tilt away from the pallet, move the pallet out of the way and set the other side down on blocks lower than the ones the press is already on. Continue until you get it on the ground. The job is is much easier if you put the running board from leg to leg as previously mentioned. Use a lag bolt from the top through the factory drill hole and into the boards for attaching. Hope this helps, thats how I did mine and all went smooth.