C&P 8x12 OS Cleaning and Getting Started

Good day all, well after months of getting my small work studio together I am focusing my attention to my old style C&P 8x12 press. When purchased I did not do a thing to it but just wrap it in plastic and put it up in storage. Today I will move it and just wanted everyones input as to how to get started and maybe answer some questions.

1). How to get the press cleaned up without removing what
original paint and scroll work it has on there.

2). How to clean all the oiling holes and remove the grime.
Should a degreaser be used?

3). What type of oil and oil weight should be used after
getting all the oiling access holes cleaned out?

Also my press has an ink disk within an in disk, they turn in opposite directions when working. What are the benefits to this ink disk and the way it works? I have seen ink disks on several presses but not like this one most of them where just one solid disk. Thank you all for your time and answers, greatly appreciated…

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Clean with dishwashing soap or laundry detergent and a plastic pot scrubber. Use paint thinner for the harder to clean spots.
Clean all the oil holes with Q tips and/or a wire.
Put newspaper on the floor. Flood all oil holes and other oiling spots with a light weight oil. 3 in 1 will work well. You want the oil to flow through and flush out any grunk. Later use a 30 weight auto oil.
The double ink disk is something C & P tried for a while. It didn’t last long. Many are missing the gears to turn the inner disk. The double disk is more trouble than it is worth. Hard to clean all the ink from the groove between the disks.
Disable the gears and glue the disks together with epoxy glue. Fill the groove. Sand down any extra when dry.

Get some ink on your shirt


Thank you for the input, will start flushing with 3 in 1 tomorrow. I just finished moving the press I totally forgot how much work and care it took to move but it’s done. I Will disable those gears you’re talking about and get that disk to move with the other the previous owner took the liberty to have the ink disks resurfaced they look brand new and I should be able to get that press to print something out by the end of week.

I’m going to flush those oil holes out tomorrow gonna use a bit of compressed air to get that gunk out. I was thinking about using a degreaser but if 3 in 1 is good enough I’d rather add lubrication rather than take it away. Thank you Inky…


John, re Your comment about the re-surfaced disc,s would seem a shame to lose the benefit of that operation.
I use a Cropper Minerva Press. Based on the Gordon Franklin Press, allegedly, but certainly equipped with 3 contra-rotating discs, within the primary disc.

i.e. Authors on sight at time of post.

Considering the Vintage,? the 3 contra rotating discs, still working very, very, well and quite interesting in operation, in that,

***Unlike a series of post,s from some time back whereby the Disc was pushed around, and with a Worn finger causing problems***

the Minerva primary disc is *Pulled* around with a substantial Hook/Finger, the primary disc rotates freely in the base/mainframe, the 3 smaller discs are geared (cogged) to the underside of the primary disc, and with only 2 of the 3 form rollers in use, ink distribution and coverage on a heavy form are good, to excellent.
By implication !! POSSIBLY try to run with the, double disc,s. At least give it a whirl just once.!

Inky,s take on it is fair comment, as probably on Your
C. & P. the Disc(s) are semi permanently secured to the base and can-not be flipped *out* for wash up,?

On the Cropper, the stub axle for the Disc assembly protrudes below the main frame by 3/4” it takes milli-seconds to flip out, all 4 parts, and washed up P.D.Q.

Good Luck. Mick.


The counter rotating ink tables were intended to improve ink distribution, but doesn’t seem to add anything except a little additional clean up time to flush out ink caught between the disks. It is however, very cool to watch in operation.

A working version is fairly rare and I’d preserve it. My press had all the pieces, but the pin that turns the inner disk had been ground off. I had another put back in and it works beautifully.

If you decide to disable this function, you’ll have to either take off the bottom or intermediate gear behind the disks or grind off the pin as was done to mine. No real need to glue the disks together as they will rotate fairly easily together. At least mine did. Epoxy is permanent.

I like to think I won’t be the last owner of this press and want to pass on as much of the original function as I can.

A simple way to clear a oil hole fouled with hardened matter is to take a twist drill of appropriate size and turn it in the hole by hand; the flutes will pull out the gunk. Follow up with pipe cleaners if needed. There are some small oil holes to look for, the cam follower inside the large gear, and the cam followers for the ink disk and the gripper bar.
Then put a layer of rag around the tip of the oil can, using it as a gasket against the oil hole. With pressure you should be able to force oil out through the bearing area.

Re contra turning inking disks. Always used one for even ink distribution. Took off the single disk decades ago. Never a problem cleaning it. Must be kept lubricated. See video on my site www.willamer.com.au

Arie you are definitely right the press looks great when working with the double disks, it works flawlessly the previous owner had both the inner and outer disk resurfaced. I’m guessing something was wrong with the surface but I am going to keep them as is, working at its most purest and original state is the best way to go. Thank you for your input.

One question Arie where is that pin you are talking about? I see a small hole in the back of the outer disk and the small inner disk has a small indentation. Will post pictures when I get a chance I might just upload some when in storage.

Please do not listen to inky.
Pound wise stupid foolish.
I print with the counter rotating ink disc with great fidelity.
This mechanism works like the worm gear on an oscillating roller. It was design by engineers much smarter than us.
It works especially when doing a double roll.
best james


The hole in the back of the outer disk is a convenient place to push the inner disk up and out, I think. Maybe also a vent for solvents. I’m constantly amazed at the amount of thought that went into the design of these presses.

If you remove the bottom gear, you’ll notice an indentation of the center hole. On the shaft of the inner disk there is a short pin ( maybe a 1/4”) matching that indent.

I’m able to reach behind the press and push up the inner disk about 1/8th inch during press cleaning. I dribble some roller wash in the gap and push the inner disk up and down a few times. This forces the solvent and dissolved ink out the bottom of the gap where it is easily mopped up with a rag as the last step in press cleanup.

If you let ink dry in the gap, the inner disk can lock up to the outer and a dreadful clatter ensues next time you try to use the press. The last (and first) time that happened to me it was a good thing I had a rubber mallet handy. After a number of gentle taps I was able to disassemble the ink disks and scrape off the dried ink with solvent and a knife.

Arie I have been checking my ink disk and can’t seem to locate that pin you mention. Attached are some pictures should that pin be anywhere on these parts?

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image: Image1.jpg


Today I found what I believe is an issue the paper grippers have some rivets that appear to have either been taken out or the previous owner tried to take them out with no success . Any suggestions anyone?

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JohnThePrinter, what you are looking at are the platen bales, the grippers open and close with the platen, and pull
the printed sheet from the type. The bales are held in place with pins with heads, so to remove these pins,
spray a little penatrating oil, wd-40 and grip them with
plyers and slowly work them loose by pulling and rotating the pin. They are not threaded they are a tight fit. best james

James thank you, Im going to try and straighten 2 of them out they are just bent out of shape. One of them looks like they pounded the life out of it with a hammer its all deformed hopefully this one comes out, I will be working on these pins this evening and hope all goes well. Thanks again James very much appreciated.