Moving a standing press

Not necessarily letterpress-related, I know, but I’m hoping that someone might be able to help or advise…

I need to take apart and move a bookbinding standing press — no mean feat!

Images can be found on Flickr here[email protected]/6141479729/in/set-7215762753133...[email protected]/6142029726/in/set-7215762753133...

It’s very heavy. I have a large adjustable wrench etc, but am not sure how to go about taking off the top section, which seems to be VERY heavy.

Advice/ideas welcome!

Thank you


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My best advice is to NOT take it apart. I had one bigger than that that I brought home and put down into my basement shop. Several years later I really wanted to use the space it was occupying so I donated it to a university. The real “pain” was getting it up out of the basement. I had slid it down there on ramps. Going uphill is a whole different matter!!!!! I laid it on its side and coaxed it up the ramp again with a comealong winching device. Slow, but it worked.

Mine was bigger than yours and I loaded it onto my pickup truck by myself (in my younger days!) and drove it to the university.

Find someone with a knack and experience in moving heavy things around and they should be able to help you. I wouldn’t relish the thought about taking it apart simply because I wouldn’t want to put it back together again.


Use a Toebar and blocks and bring it up and slide a palette underneath, use a palette jack to move it around. I have larger ones and no need to take apart to move them.

The only way I know, without the aid of a forklift, is to let the screw do the work. It requires a lot of lumber.

Raise the…er…platen? all the way up. Fill the area under it with nipping boards or short pieces of lumber stacked log cabin-style. Make sure it’s stable. Undo the bolts on top of the side rods. Reverse the screw on the platen (screwing it down) which will raise the unbolted cap. Once it clears the side rods, remove them.

Next, stack wood on both sides of the press (two sturdy and stable ladders will also work), with cross beams between them, crossing under the cap on both sides of the screw (recommend at least 4x4s as that cap weighs several hundred pounds). Reverse the screw again, lowering the cap down onto the cross beams, until the weight is off the lumber beneath the platen.

Next, remove some of the lumber beneath the platen, but no more than the safe travel length of the screw. Crank the platen down until the pressure is off the cross beams. Remove some of the lumber (or use lower rungs) to lower the cross beams. Crank the cap down onto the cross beams. Repeat until the platen is sitting on the base.

On second thought, Rick is right. Unless you absolutely MUST take it apart, don’t.

Use a professional mover. Taking the top off without the right equipment and strong enough men is a recipe for disaster and dangerous. You need a lot of the correct equipment to move things safely. Also make sure your hire van has a tail lift up to the job. Also note that Luton hire vans don’t have good lashing points to stop your stuff moving in transit. And the lifts aren’t very wide. You’ll need more than an adjustable spanner to move printing equipment. Have you got ratchet straps and slings? Are your mates up to it?
Good luck.

Hello all,

Thanks for those recommendations.
I may look into hiring someone to move it for me, in that case. I hear Rochat are reliable and fairly cost-effective. My concern is that the press will be going into storage, until I have a studio space sorted, so I will have to pay moving costs twice…


Just in case anyone is interested, managed to move the standing press with four of us, a pallet truck & a chain wrench

It was hard work, but we managed it without too much hassle in the end!

Photos are here: