Chandler and Price Letterpress

I purchased a Chandler and Price Letterpress at auction for $110.00. Moving it was another story. In any event, it’s missing the chase, foot treadle, feed boards, the mount that separates the top feedboard from the bottom feedboard, wrenches that came with the press, and the little dohiggys that hold the paper in place. I’d like to obtain all of the above items. The serial number on the press is 29091. It’s my understanding that the press was built around 1887. So, I have a few questions:

1. Where can I obtain the above-mentioned additional parts?
2. What size press do you believe this is?
3. The condition of the press is pretty good. Just a bit of surface rust.
4. I’d like to clean the press very well. What are the recommendations? I don’t necessarily want to go through the trouble of completely stripping it but it may be a possibility.
5. There is what appears to be an ink well with a roller and a lot of screw pins at the top. I haven’t seen any other models with this online but was hoping someone could help me identify this.
6. Anything else you think I need besides my head examined?


Tim Taylor

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What size is your press? Is it an 8x12? A 10x15? A 12x18? You should be able to measure the area where the chase would go or the platen to figure out what size you have. That will help everyone who may or may not have parts for you. :)

You can order a treadle from Hern Ironworks in Idaho. They make treadles for C&Ps, both OS and NS.

Chases seem pretty readily available here and online. If you end up having a 10x15, I actually may have a spare chase.

Serial number 29091 would indicate an 8x12 size press which would put the build date at 1895. The 7x11 sizes had 3 and 4 digit numbers and the 10x15 did not hit the 29000s. Feed boards are easy to make and treadles can be bought from Hearn as stated above. By dohiggys, I assume you are referring to grippers. They may be hard to find but possibly some one on the list has some. Wrenches are to oo but standard wrenches fit. good luck on your restoration.

Does the thing at the top, which is an ink fountain, extend most of the width of the ink disc or does it have about a 4-5 inch wide roller? The former is a full fountain and the latter is a “pony” fountain. They’re generally only used for long runs, to keep the inking uniform.


I can send you photos for my feed and delivery boards. The hard part maybe the swivel mounting arm. Chases are going for over $50 or more on e-bay or printers auctions.

image: Top view of delivery table.JPG

Top view of delivery table.JPG

image: Sideview of delivery table.JPG

Sideview of delivery table.JPG

image: Side view of feedboard.JPG

Side view of feedboard.JPG

image: 2nd side of delivery board.JPG

2nd side of delivery board.JPG

image: Top view of feedboard.JPG

Top view of feedboard.JPG

I think we have a feed board bracket #720 and an original C & P wrench. We rountinely make grippers. If you (or anyone) is interested drop us a note.

T and T Press Restoration

Check out he has a C&P that he is parting out!

Based on the serial number and my measurements, it’s an 8 x 12 press.

The ink fountain at top runs the full width of the ink disk, so it’s the full fountain.

I’m checking on the feeder boards and brackets. Also, information on the treadle is really helpful.

Any recommendations for removing the surface rust and cleaning up the ink disk really well?

The restoration begins.

1. I ordered a foot treadle from Hern Iron Works. Should arrive in about three weeks.

2. I have a woodworker friend building me two sets of feeder boards. I’ve inquired about the bracket from t and t press restoration.

3. I’ve ordered new ink rollers. I’m having a hard time finding 8 x 12 chases. I would like to have a couple of them on hand. There’s one on EBay for $92.00 and that seems a bit high. I have a 7 x 10 chase to trade if anyone is interested.

4. A colleague is giving me - yes, giving me - a 24-case Hamilton Cabinet with four full sets of lead type. He’s already giving me several boxes of lead type, furniture, reglets, leads, slugs, quoins and other stuff — (miscelleneous)

Questions about the restoration:

I plan to slowly remove parts, strip them, then paint them and reattach. I’m finding that I can do this with a lot of parts without taking the entire press apart. Are these presses generally painted with a brush or sprayed on? I would guess the finish has to be fairly durable and painting by hand woudl best. An enamel paint?

The Ink plate had a bit of surface rust on it but I’ve removed most of it. It has a nice patina to it now and it’s very smooth. Does it need to be stripped down to the bare metal?

There are several thumb screws on the ink fountain. What are the keys for?

I’ve got the press all oiled up and it does move somewhat freely. There’s no real heavy rust.

Any suggestions for restoration?


Suggestions — yes
Wipe it down well, oil it well, put the rollers and treadle on and get to printing. The beautiful thing is supposed to be the product, not the machine. Get some ink on your shirt.
In the old commercial shop the press was filthy except where the ink and paper went. There was also oil on the floor. I was taught that if there isn’t some oil on the floor, you are not oiling the machine enough. There are some very obvious places to oil. There are some more that are difficult to see. Find them. Wherever two pieces of metal move, one against the other, requires oil. Oil is cheap. Get down and clean up the oil on the floor with old newspaper.

The wing nuts on the ink fountain are to control the amount of ink. If you had a large solid on one side of the form, you could feed more ink from the fountain on that side. The fountain was beneficial in the commercial shop that had longer runs, or was printing one color of ink all or most of the day. For the hobby printer it is often an unnecessary nuisance. It takes far more time to clean the fountain well than to hand ink the press and hand replenish. Take the fountain off.
Ink disk with a patina is just fine. The press bed and platen should be cleaned to bare metal and will benefit from a coat of wax well buffed down. Auto wax if you have it. Treat the bails the same. Old style round arms look good as shined steel bare metal. Wax or a coat of clear lacquer. The surface of the flywheel looks good bare and similarly coated. Bare and not coated if you use a brake.

if you listen to Inky and get ink on your shirt you will be in trouble with the wife, thanks Inky.

How about “Get ink on your apron”? Every printer should wear a printer’s apron well initiated with ink and equipped with a pica pole. Nice ones are available from Briar Press. Keeps the shirt clean too.


Dick and Bob
You may starch and iron your shirts. You can accomplish the same thing by letting your shirt get stiff with ink. You probably don’t wash your apron more than once a month. You can do the same with the shirt.

Wash an apron - who has ever heard of such a thing!

Had a couple of bad experiences with aprons so i hardly ever wear them. When i worked at the newspaper someone threw a match that went into my pocket full of proofs, quite a fire, i went to pull the string and pulled the wrong one so i had a knot, one guy grabbed a huge fire extinguisher another a pair of sizzors, had to run around for a few seconds to avoid that guy with the extinguisher, cut it off along with my shirt but i had held it away from me a little so i wasn’t burned.

1. I’ve read the “get ink on your shirt” line often on here and I plan to do just that as soon as a few of the above mentioned items arrive, namely the type. Since I don’t want to catch fire, I’ll forgo the apron, at least one with pockets.

2. I spent the good part of the weekend cleaning up the press and oiling it. It runs very smoothly. I wasn’t concerned about oil on the floor.

Overall it seems to be in very good shape. The printed piece is only part of the beauty. The machinery itself has it’s own beauty and I’ll like it to look it’s best. As soon as the ink rollers, type and treadle arrive, I’ll ink up the shirt.


Tim, swing by and set some type on my ludlow if it will help to get you printing faster.