C&P New Style Press: Inital Set Up Help

Hello all,

As the title suggests, I have recently had an opportunity to work on a C&P New Style Press with the foot pedal to drive it. Prior to its new home in the print shop it had been out of commission for quite some time. After a thorough cleaning & grease it is very difficult to operate. As you operate the foot pedal, you must keep it at high speed for the cadence to allow it to work, and you must apply a full amount of “man power” for every pump. I have seen others operate similar presses with much more ease. (I am a 230 lb man and I cannot use this for more than 5 min) Thus I assume that there must be something that I am missing in the initial setup of the press.

Any tips or resources would be greatly appreciated. Feel free to ask any questions if you feel that it will aid in the effort to get this press working properly.

And thank you in advance.

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Lague, as you imply newly acquired, etc, and with severe friction somewhere in the *train* perhaps with a second pair of Hands & Eyes ascertain possibly where the problem may be, i.e. shaft(s) out of line from moving/re-assembly, *main transverse shaft, often carried in one pear shaped outboard bearing carrier, not aligned, *treadle connecting rod out of line/bent, or 180 degrees out, shaft that carries the *Roller Carriage tight at the apex of its travel, *main gear train running tight at any point during 360 degree cycle, *tight spot at/on point of impression, more similar, but process of elimination.??
***With the extra pair of Eyes & Hands with Extreme caution and safety paramount, turn M/c. by hand and possibly/probably figure which component is causing the problem. As the M/c is not 2014 model there has to be some backlash 2/3/4 thou, between the components, consequently “rocking” the.flywheel backwards and forwards, the 2nd pair of eyes should see/hear etc.,?

If all else fails, either with substantial Spanners/Wrenches on all/any outboard nuts, or Self grip wrenches around transverse shafts, (with protection for the shaft, of course, lead, nylon, leather etc.) attempt to turn M/C.from shafts, still possible to pick up WHERE the backlash is occurring & and which is the “fly in the ointment” pointing/eliminating exactly Where.!

One more often used, tried and useful, small slivers of paper stock, approx, 1/8” x 3” ish, M/c. turned by hand slivers introduced into/between the teeth on the main drive train, (driven & driver?) and ascertain exactly where in the 360 degree cycle the slivers get chopped or not chopped.??
Ramblings yes, but reasonably well tried and tested, >> short of complete strip down & minute examination of ALL bearing and friction points, Aplogies & Good Luck

I would not operate it if its as hard to treadle as you say, something is binding. How far did you take it apart to move it? pictures might help, its hard to know whats wrong if it can’t be seen.

One mention in your query is a bit of a red flag — “grease”. If you greased all the bearings upon reassembly that itself could be your problem. Grease has a much higher coefficient of friction than oil and the joints were meant to be oiled, not greased. It could he that if you in fact did use grease the total cumulative effect of grease in the bearings is to increase the effort to move the press in the way you are experiencing it. But if in fact “grease” is a word for “oil” (SAE30ND is the gold standard) then there is some other problem causing the drag.


Is there any noise as the press turns over? Well lubricated and properly adjusted, a C&P without rollers installed should make very little noise apart from the ink disk pawl. You could try slowly turning it over by hand (via the flywheel) and listen for any grinding or binding noises. Also, feel if there are any points in the rotation that are particularly difficult to turn. That can also point to what might be binding. Having a second person to help will make this much easier as one can turn while the other runs around listening at various points.

And, as Bob said, grease is not your friend here. If the press has actually been greased, you’ll need to remove the grease before the press will run well. This may be possible by putting breaking fluid such as PB Blaster through the oil holes, but it may require total disassembly to clean all the gunk out of the races and channels.

30-weight, non-detergent oil is what Bob means by SAE30ND. It’s not a multi-viscosity oil like modern engine oils (10W30, 20W50, etc) and doesn’t have the extra additives like detergents that modern engine oils also have. It’s basic, no-frills oil and exactly what C&P intended as the lubricating oil for these presses. You can buy it in most auto supply and hardware stores as some lawnmowers use it.

Michael Hurley
Titivilus Press
Memphis, TN

First off, thank you all for your speedy response(s).

It sounds like I have a few levels of things to check to make sure all is well. It is also worth stating that we didn’t have to take the press apart, it was bolted to a palette and moved into place. So any grease that has been applied should only be on the surface and not in oil holes (I hope).

The press makes very little sound as it runs (even with the rollers on) however there is a spot where is is very hard to turn the flywheel. So this would most likely be the source of the problem.

So I will first see about getting it properly oiled than see if I can find out what is causing the resistance.If those fail I’ll use Mick’s “check list” to see if I can identify the problem.

Thanks again. Ill keep you posted.

you need to be sure the press is sitting under equal pressure on the floor. this is checked by using the help of the most attractive assistant you can find.
1) identify where the rocker comes up to contact the frame on each side of the press. the rocker is what the platen sits on and is bolted to. these contact points are a bit hidden. just watch the rocker tilt/rotate as your assistant turns the press over slowly. the contact point come up and “kiss” the frame.
2) with the assistant, turn the press VERY slowly, use some thin stock, cigarette rolling papers work great for this, put the papers in where the rocker comes up to contact the frame. BE CAREFUL! if your fingers are in the wrong place it is doubtful your assistant will feel it until you are yelling to stop.
3) the press should close on the papers at the same time. if not, shims under one of the front(operator end) feet are needed. if the unequal-ness gets worse take shim out and do the other foot.
The C&P bolt together frame is quite flexible and this may help.
you can email me if you want some pics of this procedure.
also, try a 50w full synthetic oil. my presses love the stuff and run noticeably quieter, not your issue but the oil is better

When you turn purely via the flywheel, how much force do you need at the “hardest” point?

For my recently acquired press, I can move the flywheel using my little finger (with close to the max force my little finger can handle).

Using my treadle I do need to “pump” as well. But not to the point where I am putting my entire weight on it.