Moving a Press in Iowa City

While not exactly a beginner in letterpress, I am a first-time press owner. I purchased a Chandler and Price 12x18 (New Style) from a gentleman in Williamsburg, Iowa, and need to move it to Iowa City, which is about twenty miles away. I have read about a number of different methods for moving large presses, including Alan Runfeldt’s excellent account of moving a C&P 10x15. I would like to be able to do this by myself (not solo, obviously, but without hiring movers). It seems feasible, but I was wondering if there is anybody in the Iowa City area (or any area, really) who has moved a press and could give some first-hand advice.

Log in to reply   10 replies so far

Send me an email. I can help you out. Live just west of Des Moines and have probably everything needed to safely rig and move this press.


I found this to be a nice, detailed overview of the process

to all who move machinery

In my home town, one day I saw the moving of an automatic bread oven up a laneway. The oven was basically a box with right-angle corners and flat sides. It seemed to me that the distance between the walls of the laneway had been carefully measured, but possibly no one thought of the various pipes projecting from the walls,which resulted in a very tight fit.

Another mover borrowed a tape measure, but did not notice the rigger’s trick of removing the first four inches or so of the tape, which had been damaged, and making an allowance, or using the same tape always. This led to a lot of unnecessary work, and some astonishment when it was found that there were four inches more clearance than the numbers indicated.

A friend worked at a daily newspaper; they needed to move some equipment several miles to a new site, and it was essential that it be at the new site for the next edition. They made up a rough mock-up of the machine and carried it over the route. And one of them brought along his chain-saw while they were moving, though he may have been kidding.


more moving

The man who built my house said he always fitted one door on the outside of the house that was wider than the standard door width.


to all who have the misfortune to have a mover break a lever on a machine

During my apprenticeship, the foreman, in too much haste, closed the vise (vice in Australia) with the justification lever on the wrong side of a collar on the vertical justification rods. This promptly broke the lever. The mechanic seemed unperturbed, had the arm welded satisfactorily by someone who knew how to. The arm looked like cast iron to me.


It is not that you cant weld cast iron it is that you have to pre heat it and maintain the evenness of the heat throughout the workpiece at all times during the welding of it with cast iron weld rod , the problem is always who has an oven large enough !! Once welded it has to be very very slowly allowed to cool off , its not impossible just a bit involved and difficult . A good way to work out how difficult it is get a blowlamp and two bars of chocolate ,go out in the freezing cold and with the two bars of chocolate butted end to end weld them together with another bar of choc to act as filler rod , that is welding cast iron !!

re welding chocolate

Thanks, Peter Luckhurst.


Peter, do you have something else to try, chocolate don’t stand a chance around here, if the kids don’t eat it the wife will.

the people moving must have insurance to cover………..

to all

A long time back, circa 1969, a person knew I was interested in trying to get into printing, in a limited way. [Family health stopped that.]

He offered me a very large power-operated guillotine (cutter in USA); we both knew the frame had been badly bent by a previous owner. I wonder what they did to it to bend the cast-iron frame of such a massive machine? I decided that machine was of no use to me, in the way I would set up what I was doing.