Dissembling a Platen Printing Press


I would like to dissemble a platen printing press. Where do I start ? For sure, it’s impossible to move this monster if I don’t do that. Thank you. Hope that somebody can help me !

image: p_press4.gif

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Unless you need to move it through an extremely narrow door or something, It would be best for you not to disassemble the press. If the sapce is small, then the main shaft can be removed with the flywheel still attached by pulling the small gear on the right side of the shaft.

jhenry is right. Don’t take it apart unless you really have to. I’ve had to a number of times and believe me I’d rather not do it again. I probably will…but only if forced to do so. It’s pretty amazing what can be done with a little ingenuity and the right tools.

So, is it in a basement? Or some other hard to extract spot? Why do you think it needs to be taken apart?

Somebody was able to get it where it is, so it is not impossible to move it. Moving a press in pieces is a last resort, but neccessary on occasion. Is your problem a doorway, stairs, or just weight?
By the way, to “dissemble” means to conceal or disguise or feign. Fortunately the other responders understood by context what was actually meant, to disassemble. But if you want to do a web search about disassembling a platen (and there is information out there already), you must use the right words.

Yes, it is in my basement, and the entrance is too narrow. I really don’t have a choice here…

Sorry…I am french :) Ok, disassemble. Thank you.

If the doorway is the only problem, removing the drive shaft may make for a narrow enough press. It depends on make and size of press of course. Drive shaft removal, and its problems, have been covered here. Search flywheel and pinion gear and shaft removal.

Ok, this should be helpful.


Thank you all.

Yes. Sounds like you’ll need to take it apart. The instructions you point to are pretty good, though I prefer to take the platen off after the bed as I think it is easier to get at once the bed is gone, but that’s mostly personal preference. The platen may be connected to the frame with a gripper mechanism, so make sure all of the connections are loose before trying to lift the platen out. It’s heavy and awkward and you really don’t want to damage it. Use a hoist if you can to lower it to the floor, or at least a strong helper.

Take plenty of photos at each stage of the disassembly so you can use them as a guide for reassembly. If necessary use a bit of chalk to mark alignments.

And even if you don’t have a treadle now, it won’t hurt to mark the gear alignment from pinion gear to main gear so the drive shaft will have the crank in right position for future treadle use. I’d use a center punch or a scribe to mark alignment, as chalk marks are easily lost.

Good stuff. I will keep in touch. TY. I am starting this next week.