I acquired a 10x15 craftsman the weekend, and am preparing to move it to my studio classroom.The current plan is to lift the press up and get a car trailer underneath it. I’ve seen others wrap the platen and bed together with straps, but I don’t see a clear path to accomplish this on the Craftman press. Am I better to just get underneath the press with a forklift.
I have many able people to help, and access to plenty of equipment, but none have moved a press like this before. Any advice would be appreciated.
This is my press.

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If the trailer has a ramp, I’d just pull it along on the skids with a comealong or two. Some folks have used pipes under the skids to make it easier to overcome friction. Attach straps both high and low to minimize tipping tendencies.

I’ve always moved presses (C&Ps; Goldings; Heidelbergs)using iron water pipes under wooden runners. This is simple, safe, and requires minimal equipment. I close the platen and tie it securely to keep the weight of the press as centered as possible and make it less bulky overall. To make it a bit more copmpact and easier to handle you may want to remove the drive pulley and flywheel, not to mention the motor if it isn’t already off of it.

A Johnson bar can be used to lift the rails enough to get one of the pipes underneath to start the process. A car jack lifting the main body on one side and then the other would work too. You only need to lift it enough to get a 3/4” or 1” pipe underneath.

Once you get a few pipes underneath it will be easy to push across a smooth foor and with a winch or come-along can be pulled up onto a trailer. Ideally you’ll have at least three or four pipes. If you have to turn just start pushing the front end a bit in the direction you want to go, push forward a bit, then a little more into the turn etc., the pipes going back down in the front being placed into the turn like railroad ties in a turn. You’ll be surprised how easy it is, especially with several people to do a bucket-brigade with passing the pipes back to front and to help push.

If the press doesn’t have wooden runners make some temporary ones out of 2x4’s and nicer ones later when you get it where you want it. Attach them with lag screws and washers. Putting it on a pallet to move with a forklift or pallet jack would not be easy and getting it off no easier. It is also completely unnecessary.

I wouldn’t lift it unless it was a last resort. You’d need heavy equipment, a lot of fussing, and it’s all too easy to put a starp in the wrong place and have the weight of the press on the strap break something or the strap suddenly let go, etc. And again, it simply isn’t necessary.

Since you have flat level surfaces and easy access at both ends, take full advantage and keep it simple.


Front Room Press
Milford, NJ

Thanks guys.