Washington Jobber

A while back I posted some pics of an unidentified press and folks on here were able to identify it as a Washington Jobber.

Does anyone know where I can get rollers and trucks that will fit it?

I had an engineer make a roller core based on a C&P core and truck. But when we put it in and rolled it the truck leaves the rail at one point. It’s difficult to see in the attached picture but the truck is not on the rail.

That leads me to believe that the truck needs to be much bigger in diameter to stay in contact with the rail and be held in place by the spring action.

Forgive me, I’m new to platen presses but I’d really like to get this back in working order.

Thanks for any help.


image: IMG_0170.jpg


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Does that truck have ball bearings? Is it locked to the shaft of the ink roller, does the shaft turn independent of the truck?

All of the other pictures I’ve seen of a Washington Jobber shows it with two ink rollers. Does this happen with both rollers installed?

It has two rollers but I only have the one truck right now. the truck doesn’t have bearings and the core turns in it’s housing.

It’s possible that the spring-loaded shafts which pull against the rollers to keep them tight against the “rail” might have some spots at which they stall and do not smoothly move in and out as the arms go up and down.

Make certain they have been fully oiled and move smoothly in and out. Just working them a bit will loosen them up. They can gather a bit of rust if the press has been sitting in one position for a time.

You’ll need a truck on each end of the core. Trucks should be notched (grooved?) on inside and fitted over an upset on the core so that truck, core and roller all roll together. Truck should be of same same diameter as roller with any difference taken care of with roller bearers or MERTs Morgan Expansion Roller Trucks. Putting tape on the tracks (or trucks) is not a lasting fix!

When you say “leaves the rail” do you mean lifts up or slides sideways? Is there a pin in the truck, as it appears in the photo? Unless it is either absolutely flush or recessed it’s going to cause problems. And I expect you will need both cores and all four trucks installed to get it to operate smoothly — with only one truck things are pulled out of alignment and that would cause it to bind.


I’m willing to bet that this won’t be an issue when you install the other roller core and trucks. With just one roller core and trucks installed there will probably be a point where the springs unload and the saddle touches the side arms and the truck will lift off of the rail.

It looks to me like that truck has a really bad flat spot on the surface. Is that the case?

Daniel Morris
The Arm Letterpress
Brooklyn, NY

Ah HA!
With all your information I took another look at with my machinist and it needs both cores and all four trucks to properly engage the springs.

Thanks for your help and your patience with me!

Thats one more step to get this thing printing again!

Next step is to get a treadle made/built.

It’s been a long haul but I finally got the Washington Jobber printing. It’s a little rough but we’re getting it done. Thanks again for all your help in keeping one more press from the junk heap.