moving a monotype caster

Hi Everyone,
In a few of weeks I will be picking up a Monotype Composition caster and keyboard. I have looked into the issues that may arise and studied the photos of others who have done the same job but I am stuck with one major question - what/where are the safe lifting points for the caster? All the photos I have seen show the caster being moved when it is on a pallet, but the one I need to move is sitting directly on the floor. How would I get it up on to a pallet? Any directions/ideas greatly welcome.

Log in to reply   7 replies so far

I’m not sure about the Monotype caster, but many such machines have a threaded hole on the top near the center of mass where a lifting eye can be screwed in and the machine picked up with a hoist or crane. If there is such I would suggest a hydraulic shop floor crane with a capacity of a couple of tons, which should be adequate — provided that the crane’s legs are far enough apart to straddle the base of the machine.


If you have a smooth level surface like concrete, you can just use pipe rollers or rods of a small diameter. Smaller rollers need minimal lift (just a prybar and perhaps wedges needed), there are fewer problems when you come off them, and they slow down the rate of travel. The flat (but hollow) base of the machine makes rollers easy to use, but machine dollies work well too if you have them. If there is an incline anywhere you wil need control such as rope or winch.
With a winch, piper rollers and a ramp you could roll onto a pallet.

You will need to rent (or buy) a long pry bar to get the machine off the floor and onto either rollers or a pallet. A plain 5 foot pinch bar will work, but a johnson bar
really is the way to go. We just moved 4 machines off pallets in the C.C. Stern Foundry with 2 of these and pipe rollers in about 2 hours… As far as I know there is no lift point on the Comp Caster. Feel free to get in touch directly if you want to chat more…

Thanks all,
I think, given the range of options suggested I’ll have to go with a bit of everything in my truck. I have rollers that I use to move my platen press around with. I also have access to a 2 ton hydraulic hoist that can be assembled around the load .It has some(but not a lot) of steering with its casters. I might be able to also get a Crown pallet truck (I saw one of these in photos of a caster being moved about). Last but not least, I have a couple of solid fencing bars that might be enough to get one side up on to a pallet.
I’ll post some pics of the job when its undrway.

As promised a few pics of the move.
It turned out to be more of a job than I had expecte as the caster was much heavier than it looks.
We had to inch it up, one corner at a time by 1/2 inch at a time until it was high enough to put some skates under it.
Rolling it on the skates was no big deal, except when we came to an expansion gap in the concrete floor!
Once at the loading door we were able to use a heavy duty hoist to get it high enough for a pallet to slide under it. This was then put on our trailer with a foklift.
Easy to say but all that took about 4 1/2 hours.
The drive home was uneventfull but we had to deal with failing light whilst getting it off the trailer.
We used the same hoist to suspend it above the trailer deck while the car pulled the trailer out. Then it was simply a metter of a little lift to get some bearers under it and then ease it down.
As you can see we did eventually find a couple of lifting points that would carry the load.
On the chafts for the flywheels and the motor for one side and under the melting pot mount on the other side.
Wouldn’t want to do that too often.
Next task is to clean it up and to track down as many Mono fonts and bist and pieces as I can (it only had two chases with mats).
Fortunately for a Mono novice like me it came with a good complement of books - over the coming mionths I’ll be scanning the better ones and making these available on line.

image: Picture 001-small.jpg

Picture 001-small.jpg

image: Picture 010-small.jpg

Picture 010-small.jpg

image: Picture 012-small.jpg

Picture 012-small.jpg

image: Picture 009-small.jpg

Picture 009-small.jpg

Congratulations on a safe move!

>the caster was much heavier than it looks.

Isn’t it, though! 4 1/2 hours is not bad at all. :-)

>it came with a good complement of books - over the coming mionths I’ll be scanning the better ones and making these available on line.

Great! Keep us posted.

Here are a few to get you started:

The Plate Book (11th ed., 1928) and “Dismantling, Assembling, and Adjusting” (1918), both linked from:

and for the Type & Rule Caster (which is basically a Composition Caster minus the tower plus the display type attachment plus (sometimes) the rule attachment:
the 1926 and 1953 Adjustments book, 1941 Parts Price List, and a couple of wedge charts, all linked from:

A short third-party semitechnical overview:

and Google Books has “The monotype system; a book for owners & operators of monotypes” (1912; best to search for it on Google Books, as a cut-and-past of its URL won’t survive a posting here).

Of course, these are all for the US Lanston Monotype machine. I see yours says “Made in England.”

>Next task is to clean it up

Ha! Yours IS clean :-) Mine had grease on it so fossilized that I thought it was part of the cast iron.

David M. MacMillan

Thanks for the links David. I had come across some of them and there are also some downloadable manuals at the “Monotype University” in Switzerland. Many in French but a few useful ones in English.
I have had a closer look at my acquisition and I was fortunate that it came with a near new chase with mats (Times I think, but can’t tell unless I take one of the mats out to see the numbers. It also has a matching 12pt mould, which is great as I was hoping to be setting mostly in 12pt for book composition) . For some reason it is missing the Bridge lifting handle and the heavy stud for keeping the centering pin carrier aligned (if any one out there has any such spares I would love to hear from you).
Its also on 3 phase power which would require I either set up my “Foundry Shed” with 3 phase or I find a way of running with a single phase motor of higher output. I believe this is technically possible but its just one more thing to look into down the track.