Restoring C&P

Hello Everyone,

It’s my first time to restore a C&P. I bought the machine several years ago and have recently started working on it again. I appreciate anyone’s advise as to how to go about it as I’ve locally asked around and it seems not much are knowledgeable on it.

For starters, it’s a C&P 14.5 x 22. The guy I got it from knew some people who can disassemble, clean, repaint and assemble it back. Back then, it was a good idea since transporting the press as a whole to a 2nd floor is a real problem. It’s just now when I started to work on it again, realise, that maybe, these guys didn’t get to assemble it properly. It’s been years and I lost contact of them. I’d also like to learn about the restoration so I’m able to apply them the next time.

I created this thread before: I realised that no matter how I try to fix the rails, the print would always turn out bad because the parts reassembled is the problem to begin with.

So my questions would be:

- The machine is too noisy. I can tell there’s something not right underneath the platen. How can I thoroughly check if the assembly was done right?

- I also noticed the belt moving off the flywheel and not completely staying in the middle. I suspect the motor needs to be adjusted so the belt stays at the right place?

- How far should the motor be from the flywheel?

- How long should the belt be?

- Should there be oil on the belt? It’s not made of rubber though. It’s a flat belt. Unsure what material. It’s sort of like a thread that is weaved.

- The press is currently standing on a rig with some springs. We had trouble with the vibration it makes causing the floor tiles to pop out so an engineer suggested the rigs with springs and rubber to absorb the shock. Will this affect it’s printing? It does jump a little bit up and down when I turn it on.

Once I’m sure about the parts being at the right places, I can then move forward again to the trucks, rollers and rails. By the way, this was used for die-cutting by it’s previous owners. Also, for the years it was idle with me, it was oiled weekly.

Thank you everyone for your time. :)

image: IMG7096copy.jpg


image: IMG7097copy.jpg


image: IMG7098copy.jpg


image: IMG7109copy.jpg


image: serialnumber.jpg


Log in to reply   17 replies so far

Welcome to the wonderful world of letterpress printing.
You have a good looking press. That is a huge chunk of iron.
It doesn’t need any more disassembly and cleaning and painting. You want to make pretty prints and not parlor display presses. It needs regular oiling and periodic wipe downs.
You have a well designed and well made system of vibration dampening. It should not be necessary. C & P did not design it that way. You should look to the cause of the vibration and cure that. Catering to the symptom is not the way.
Tell where you are. You need someone familiar with the press to see and touch it.
No oil on the belt. If the belt runs off the flywheel, the motor needs to be twisted just a little left or right to insure that the motor shaft and press shaft are parallel.

Get some ink on your shirt.

You definitely shouldn’t need that vibration-dampening rig. I would second that there might be something else wrong with the press if vibrations are that severe. This can often be due to the press being out of level and the gears not meshing together as smoothly as they should. I’ve never seen it bad enough to pop floor tiles, but I’ve definitely seen some presses where I could feel this vibration in the floor.

Can you post additional photos of the press? Even better would be to post a video of the machine running so we could hear the sound and possibly help you isolate where it’s coming from.


Thank you for your comments inky and dicharry.

No oil on belt. Got that. Rig also not necessary - okay, but I think I’m already stuck with it.

We do have a C&P 8x12 running so we can tell the difference between the two. The smaller C&P wasn’t disassembled so it’s in good printing condition when bought.

I am having the motor adjusted tomorrow so the belt stays put on the flywheel.

I also asked for the opinion of the men who made the rig as to what’s causing the noise on the press. They said that the crank shaft needs “realignment” as it was bent. They also can see that the large gear cam wheel and the pinion gear (unsure of the name of the part) have no or very little clearance and that is what’s causing the noise. They think there’s something wrong with the gear inside but are unable to tell what exactly the problem is unless they take some parts apart.

Below are some pictures of the large gear cam wheel with the pinion gear (unsure of the name of the part). I’ve also put some links of videos of the machine running.

Curious to know what you guys think…

image: IMG7116copy.jpg


image: IMG7117copy.jpg


The pinion is the little gear.

Based on the video I can’t tell if there’s anything wrong. Is the machine noticeably vibrating? May help to keep the phone / camera still when videoing each revolution. I can say the press sounds similar to mine when it’s running.

Turn the flywheel slowly through a complete rotation of the press and take photos of the gears. Does the clearance between the pinion gear and the large gear change at all? Is there any point at which the press binds? Does the flywheel spin freely?

It may be worth taking the belt off to do this. You will not have to overcome motor friction and will be able to tell if the flywheel keeps spinning under momentum or binds at any point in the revolution. It should spin freely and keep going for some time if you get it spun up.

May I make a small suggestion , clean the great teeth. If in restoring or just by earlier use the teeth got built up ink, caked grease, or paint in them they might cause ruff spots. I’d use spray oil and a brass brush. Mark the teeth on both cogs (finger nail polish) and clean till you have rotated each gear . Then relub . modern greases don’t dry out as bad as earlier type.

May I make a small suggestion , clean the great teeth. If in restoring or just by earlier use the teeth got built up ink, caked grease, or paint in them they might cause ruff spots. I’d use spray oil and a brass brush. Mark the teeth on both cogs (finger nail polish) and clean till you have rotated each gear . Then relub . modern greases don’t dry out as bad as earlier type.

Does it make this noise when switched off impression?

Mgurzo, yes, the machine is noticeably vibrating. I took more videos and have put the links below. The clearance between the large and pinion gear do not change. The flywheel does spin freely too. You can see that on the video. I’m just unsure what you mean about the press “binding”?

Frameteam2003, years ago, when bought, it was dismantled and the old grease/ink/dirt and the like were cleaned. I attached a photo below. We also used a steel brush for it. Are you suggesting we dismantle and clean the gears again? I also do not notice any teeth missing from the large and pinion gear. We are to take out the crank shaft next week since engineer says it’s bent. Might as well, take the gears too and clean again?

Rmiller021, yes, it still makes the noise even when the lever is up.

More videos of the press running here: - Please notice the roller (sorry, i’m unsure of the part name) that’s running inside the large gear. At some point of the cycle, it does not rotate. You can see it just 0:03 sec of the video and again on 0:10 sec. Is this something normal? I suppose so? I read a comment from Ericm on another discussion (see link below) but I’m unsure if this applies to what i’m talking about.

I also read from this discussion that the path inside the large gear shouldn’t have grease or oil. Is this correct? - Not sure why the link isn’t working here.

I appreciate your time guys. :)

image: IMG4390copy.jpg


the press is not going to be stable mounted on the spring system. wood and linoleum and maybe some levelling shims should be all that is needed. The outfit shown looks like an OSHA crapstorm waiting to happen.

Hi Mike, it’s not super bouncy. It just suppresses the vibration. It’s difficult to take out the rig at the moment.

The 2nd video on the last post…..when watching the platen open up compared to the feeder table…..I see it jumping, not a smooth motion open/close. I don’t see the feeder table moving. Am I seeing this correct? If that is truly the case then we might be getting somewhere. Let us know….then we can focus in on what drives that and where to look. Steve - Liberty Press

Looks like you are running the press backwards. The drive wheel should turn away from you.

There definitely seems to be quite a bit of wobble in that platen as it reaches the fully open position.


Hi Steve, you are right. It isn’t a smooth open/close motion especially compared to our C&P 8x12. You can see on the new video (link below) where the feeder vibrates/shakes. I also noticed while turning the flywheel, it sort of gives a resistance/hard to turn when the platens starts to close.

Sharecropper Press, yes, we mistakenly ran the flywheel the wrong way.

Bradley, you are right.

Hi everyone,

Just an update. I have successfully taken out the pinion gear. So far the teeth’s okay. It’s clean. Nothing missing but there are ends that are a tad bent and chipped off. Do those need fixing?

The large gear is clean too. Nothing stuck between the teeth. Nothing bent or chipped off. I didn’t take it out anymore.

I’ll try to take out the flywheel tomorrow. However, I don’t have 3 screws on it. It only has 2 and I already took them out. The last one seems to be a pin because it’s head doesn’t have that line/groove in the middle for a screwdriver to fit. Have you guys encountered this? Attached is a picture of it. :)

image: IMG7136copy.jpg


image: IMG7134copy.jpg


image: IMG7133copy.jpg


image: IMG7132copy.jpg


image: IMG7131copy.jpg


image: IMG7130copy.jpg


image: IMG7129copy.jpg


I’m going to echo inky’s suggestion - in what city and country are you? You need someone familiar with presses to see it up close.

Hi J archibald. I’m in the Philippines. I’ve had no luck on coming across someone who’s knowledgeable on this press. Got a company who wants to charge $600 just for disassembly and assembly of the parts… luckily, I’m able to manage it myself.