Can I move a letterpress on its side?

I’ve found a Kelsey Star 7x11 press 5 hours from me, and I am considering picking it up this weekend! After exhausting all transportation possibilities it seems the best option is to put it in the back of my SUV. As someone who is very new to letterpress, I don’t know if that’s an ok way to treat my newest prized possession. Does this idea make you seasoned letterpress experts cringe?? Or have some of you possibly moved presses this way in the past? Any advice is greatly appreciated!!

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I don’t know the Star very well, but one problem with treating any press like that is that they’re made of cast iron, which is brittle, and laying it down either on its side or, perhaps better, on its back, can stress parts that aren’t meant to be treated that way. If you could rent a cargo van you could probably load the press upright and strap it in position with tie points in the van and transport it more safely.


Not a chance I would take with a cast iron press…

The Kelsey Star is bolted together including the side frames. I would take it apart and move it in your SUV.


The trouble with moving a press on its side is the shafts that run through the press and the flywheel would bear the weight of the whole press. One possible solution is to remove the flywheel and sit the press on wooden bearers so the shafts are not taking the weight. Then you’d need to secure the press tightly with ratchet straps (I think you call them tie downs in the US). Any part of the press sticking out would be vulnerable with this technique and I would echo platenpress’s option of a complete strip down adding that you need to mark all parts of the press and gearing otherwise on rebuild the timing could be out. Good luck