oil for C and P 10x15

Hi all, wondering what people are using. I had a big can that came with the press of “oil” its now empty. Wondering what I should refill it with. I saw a few posts mentioning 30wt motor oil etc.. wondering if that is ok?

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Hi Paul,

I’ve been using 20w-50 on my C & P, 8 x 12, with good results.


Hi Paul, I use 30w on my 8x12 and 12x18. Works great. It’s not terribly thick, but it sticks around long enough to make a difference. I oil my presses around 2x a week and run them for a bit after.

50w will stay on longer and not fill your drip pan as fast also handles the temp. better.

To a can of ordinary 10-20w oil, add some automatic transmission viscosity extender. Great stuff; sticks around for the long hot hauls and greatly reduces dripping from sloppy, worn, bearing fit. :o)

thanks everyone, what should I put on the rails etc of my proof press? Challenge M15

I recommend using a synthetic oil, it sticks to metal better so you always have a little on the machine. Just like a car use thinner oil (30w) in the winter, and thicker (50w) in the summer, unless you have a perfectly climate-controlled shop. Don’t over-oil your machines, but rather get in the habit of oiling a very small amount daily, or if you only use the press occasionally, before each run. I was taught to oil a press with the oil-can in one hand, and a rag in the other to catch the drips. The press stays cleaner and you have less chance of soiling your paper while running.


I use 30w non-detergent oil, but that’s mostly because that’s what the Thompson Typecaster needs and so it’s already in the oiler.

Michael Hurley
Titivilus Press
Memphis, TN

OK, here’s what may sound like a silly request but I think that lots of new printers need this help.

Can someone volunteer at the Midwest Iowa goose to show where the not so obvious oil holes and places to oil a C&P are located? I have the drawing from Briar and I can find about 15-20 places, but notes on Briar talk of 32 different points and I just can;t find them (not just the obvious holes, etc.). Anyone do this on Saturday when most folks are there? Thanks.

No, your request is not silly. It would be a good demonstration. Not all printers will be there.
It is not only where there are oil holes. Lubrication is needed wherever two pieces of metal work against one another, EXCEPT the trucks and rails. One needs to roll the press by hand and look carefully. Look from several vantages outside the press, and down inside the press. A flashlight is very useful.
Oft missed spots are the cam and cam follower inside the bull gear, the nearly vertical cam and cam follower low inside the press on left side, the main shaft oil hole on the right outside, the several spots in the linkage of the throw off lever both on the left side and in the back, the cylinder of the ink disk and the cogs (lift/remove disk) and the dog/pawl that moves the ink disk and the cam it runs on.
Also the cylinders in the roller arms and the small holes in the saddles for the rollers. One last spot is difficult to see and to oil. It is a plunger that works against a spring in a small cylinder behind the gate on the left side. You have to look through the gate with a flashlight to see it..
I was taught that if there was not some oil on the floor, you were not oiling the press often enough. Oil is cheap. Wear is bad. Yes, you have to get down and wipe the excess oil from the floor.
I am not at my shop to count, but I believe there are more than 32 points calling for oil.

Vactra 2 - everything else is just making a mess. I use it on a Kluge, Windmill, and 2 other treadle C&Ps

Thanks Inky - this is a great help. Neil

Thanks everyone. Definitely going to go over the press again, with a flashlight.