Unique way of Motorizing an 8 x 12 C&P

Some of you may know that I have been experimenting with a somewhat unique way of adding what I call “motive energy” to my treadle-driven 1915 Chandler & Price 8 x 12 NS Press.

As a proof of concept, I used a wheel in an electric drill to see if a small motor would have enough power to keep the flywheel spinning. It certainly does. Since then I cannibalized a battery-powered electric skateboard, which worked but had some drawbacks. Now I’ve finally come up with my solution. Using a 3/4 HP brushless instant-on sewing machine servo motor with a drive wheel attached in lieu of a large motor and a belt.

Rather than go through the whole explanation I’ve made a video that shows exactly what has been done. So far it seems to work fine.
Here is a link to the video


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Steve…. I like it, especially the on-off feature of the pedal.

As far as the flywheel rotation dorection goes, it doesn’t matter a hill of beans. I’ve worked with old timers who did it one way, and others who did it the other way….. and I always run mine in the same direction you do.

(BUT in theory, I guess one way it opens / closes / opens / closes…. and the other way it closes / opens / closes / opens) to the trained eye, it could be construded as… well…. the same.) ;)

Well done Steve! A creative and clever idea.

Steve, first and foremost, thanks for taking the time to create the video and explaining your component selection rational.
Second, I appreciate the creative approach to a reasonable alternative. Third, nicely done. !!!!


Anybody else having trouble viewing this video?
Would like to watch it, but it just sat and load/spun for a while.
Do I need to be a vimeo member or something?

The difference in flywheel direction is real for Golding & Co. presses. I cannot speak to C&P. There is a dwell built in to keep the press open longer if the press is run in the correct direction. The press opens quickly, and shuts slowly. Run backwards, the press opens slowly, and shuts quickly. There is not a huge difference, but, there is a noticeable difference. The correct way for a Golding press is to have the top of the flywheel going away from you. Again, cannot speak to other brands. I enjoyed the video.