Press Footprint

Hi Ya’ll,

I have been reading a lot of great info here on Briarpress. seems like this is the place for everything!

I am a long time printer. I’ve been in the industry since I was 15. So now its time to take my obsession to the next level.

So I am preparing to buy my first personal press. I am going to be getting a C&P 10x15.

My question is what is the working footprint for this press? How much room will the press itself take up and how much room do I need around all sides to comfortably get to all areas of the press?

Thanks for any responses. I appreciate the help!


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Doug, the press takes up about a 4’ wide x 6’ deep space on the floor. I would recommend 3’-4’ minimum on the front (feed side) and 2’ - 4’ minimum on the sides and back. (2’ being very tight) Then you need room for everything else. Good luck. Where are you located at? I have a 10 x 15 in Tampa, FL.


Thanks for the info. That is kind of what I was expecting but I wasn’t sure.

I am in Woodbridge VA.

Doug, Good luck with your new press. Now that I told you what would be recommended, we just relocated our equipment to another location and I have about 6” (inches) of clearance on three sides of my C&P.

Doug -

Don’t crowd yourself. While the press will run within its footprint, and 6” clearance will work, you’ll be much happier in the long run - and better be able to properly clean and care for it, if you give yourself a good 2-3 feet on all sides.

I install my chase from the front, but wash up the ink table and rollers from the left side, and have a 3’ open area there. A rolling table often fills the space, but it moves easily when need to get there and it holds paper when I use the press. I have another 3’ wide aisle on the right, and find that space really handy when I’m cleaning or oiling the press or fussing with the motor or belt.

I have only 6” clearance in the back, and that was a mistake. I put these presses in place when I moved the shop to the barn in 1986 and they haven’t been moved since then, but I’m actually about to move the press forward a foot or so to give myself more space to get behind it.

You can crowd the back a bit, since the press closes forward and gives you extra room to scoot back there for cleaning and oiling - and to access the ink shelf if you put one there.

My 12x18 is also too close to the shelves behind it and I often curse myself for putting it so close that it almost touches when it’s open. - especially as I try to slide behind it and catch a button on my vest… And I have not see the flywheel side in years…. another mistake as far as I’m concerned.

So. Give yourself all the room you can. Fill the open space with light-weight rolling tables - they’re very handy in a print shop - and just roll them out of the way when you want to get in close and personal with your press.

I keep 2 - 24” square tables on either side of the press - one for stock to be fed, the other for sheets that have been printed.

Just remember - cleaning and oiling the press is as important as printing with it. Give yourself enough room to make oiling and wiping the press convenient. That way, it will not be a hassle and you’ll be happier to do it - and it will be more likely to get done.

And when that day comes when you stop printing with it yourself, the next owner will get a press that will have been well cared for and will last another 100 years.

We gotta care for these presses, they really are irreplaceable and could well be in use in 100 years - IF we take good care of them now.

More open space around them makes it more likely that we’ll maintain them properly and that we will enjoy using them.

So. Enjoy your new press and the adventures you’re about to begin together…

Alan, Notice above, I recommended 2-4’. The 6” of clearance is my own private hell that I must endure until I eliminate some other equipment. I would not recommend it or wish it on anyone.

What’s wrong with 6”, it keeps me thin, Alan isn’t concerned with his weight cause he needs more room and he even has benches on wheels next to his press in case he gets too large. Dick (skinny) G.