C&P 8x12

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I’d say you did pretty well, actually. The repairs to the press should be OK, but take it easy on the throw-off lever when operating; the rollers are scored, probably from running cutting rule with type (as long as the cuts don’t line up one roller will make up the missing ink from the other); the one odd roller truck is the old solid style, the others are “MERTs” (Morgan Expansion Roller Trucks) — the odd one will clatter while the MERTs are quiet but otherwise they should work together fine (look for a large-opening, thin metal wrench that’s for adjusting the MERTs); if the Times New Roman is in good shape that is a nice run of sizes, though the type cabinet and cases aren’t much to look at; the furniture assortment is great; the little proof press, if it works with type high material, will be very useful; the ink likewise, and the other miscellany should get you going in good form. All in all I think $1000 for all that isn’t bad at all!

To keep the platen from rusting, wipe some motor oil on it and rub it in. If you wash up the press with kerosene it will leave enough of a film of oil to prevent rust on the ink disc.


That is a New Style C&P 8 x 12, $500 is a great price! This size is very popular. The one roller truck is missing the rubber. These look to be adjustable trucks [NAGraphix has replacement rubber]. That is a small proof press, very cool! Not sure about the bars with magnets, can’t see them to well. Ink straight from the can is good, the additive they mention I believe makes it dry quicker. The green vs yellow, maybe they added blue to get a new color and didn’t mark the can. Roll of paper could be Tympan? Little roller helps to apply the ink for the proof press or on the ink table. The welds are no big deal as long as the press works properly. It looks like you did good! In my opinion!

AdLib is right about the one truck I missed that!

Thank you so much for the responses!

I put motor oil on the platen last night but didn’t rub it in—left a thick coating and it was rusted this morning. I tried car wax today.

I think the proof press does type high—can I just put the composing stick in there? Or how do I put the type in without a chase? I just went to look for the wrench (didn’t find one) ….and I think the metal sticks with the magnets go to the proof press. They fit in it perfectly.

I think the paper is to thin to be tympan. I ran out of space to post a picture.

Thanks again!

oh, today I cleaned the trucks and I was turning something on some of them—do they need to be evenly tight?

That proof press is a small sign press, don’t put type in a composing stick or type in a galley on the bed, it could jam the press, try putting a large piece of type on the bed and pull the impression over it (put a piece of paper on the type) see if it prints, some of these presses you can back off the impression a little. The rubber on your trucks looks pretty bad, but can be used for a while, yes they should be tightened evenly to hold the rollers even across the form. You got a good deal on this, i wish you good luck Dick G.

Do the notched metal bars fit across the bed of the proof press?

The MERTs are designed to be adjusted so the rubber tire is the same outside diameter as the roller — some kinds of rollers change diameter is humid or dry weather. If your rollers are made of composition they will do that, but if rubber or urethane they should be stable. Turn the “nut” on the MERT to squeeze the rubber out further or back the nut off to let the rubber reduce in diameter, until the tire is the same diameter as the roller — you can measure with a caliper or just adjust until you get a very slight depression of the roller surface when it contacts the type, and evenly across the press.


The little showcard proof press should have a steel plate in the bed. This should come out if you want to print something in a composing stick or galley. The steel plate compensates for the thickness of the bottom of a stick/galley. The bars with the magnets on them are for the proof press. You whould have two lengths that fit either direction on the press and will slip into the notches along the edge.

The type that came with this press was usually at least 36 pt. and larger and had a deep slot in the bottom of each piece so that the type could literally be placed onto the bars so that the slots held them in alignment and then the magnets were slid up against the type to hold it (center it) in position. These presses were designed for retail stores to print little signs and placards and they usually only did a quantity of one to maybe a handfull of copies. Basically to advertise whatever was on sale that day. They were made to operate very simply so that just about anyone could make a sign on them.

There should also be a lever at one end, that when pushed down will raise a gripper bar at that end for clamping your paper/card stock to so it won’t slip when the roller is drawn over it.

Hope this simple explanation helps.


The owner told me that the rollers were in excellent condition—do you all agree? There are a few little lines in them.
A: It looks to me you need new rollers. All you need to do is ship your rollers (keep the wheels) and have them re-covered.

Do my trucks and rollers look right? Is one of them supposed to not have rubber on it? The other three are the same except that one.
A: They look pretty right. As long as they are the same diameter. The ones with rubber are for the purpose of absorbing the sound and not be “noisy” when machine is running. The other one without rubber on it must be a replacement. As long as they are the same diameter, you are okey.

I noticed three different places where the press has been welded (see picts). Does anyone think I will have any problems?
A: As long as the welds hold you are good. Previous owner must be very careless.

My motor is running better. At first it was sparking a little bit—my husband said the owner mentioned that was just cobwebs. :)
A: That’s because it must have
“slept” for years and motors act like when they are “awakened”. After a while when everything is “burned” and “smoked” inside the motor will hum like a breeze!

There are some nicks in the platen—I don’t think that is a big deal?
A: You patch them up with “bondo” the one used in car body repair, but be sure to sand it to the level after curing.

Okay, so then the owner threw in the little press. I’m thinking this is a proof press? I’m planning to take it apart—as you can see there is ink in the rollers—and then I was going to soak it in the lemon juice and vinegar that I’ve read others have done to clean it up.
A: Do what you want to do that makes sense and eco-friendly and also health safe for you. Most of all do not scratch or scrape the metal.

I have no idea what the long metal sticks are with all the magnets in the drawer?
A: They could me metal furniture. Some are wood and some are metal.

Do I need to mix anything with the ink? On the side of one of them it said something about mixing it with a drying stimulator.
A: You dont need to. I have always used Van Son rubber based inks because there are so few letterpress inks available. Besides rubber based, you can leave them overnight or a day and clean/wash your rollers a day after.

Any idea what I would do with this huge roll of paper?!
A: It is called tympan paper. Cut it to size of your press and have fun!

Why would an ink be labeled yellow and then inside be forest green?
A; Its just a label. I have ink cans with purple label and maroon inside.

Thanks in advance for any help/insight!

NOTE: I USED TO LETTERPRESS and gradually moved to offset. But I still love the craft and like helping others.
4 years ago when we moved to our new facility, I have to pay $150 the riggers to throw away the same press as you have, only because we have no place at the plant.

Have fun. I feel so sorry for the C&P they throw away. I wish I gave it away and it could have found a new home.