C&P Old Style: what’s missing, and is it a problem?

The clean-up and repair on my C&P Old Style 8x12 has been going well, but I’ve discovered some parts are missing.

The grippers are missing, although the gripper bar is there. Also missing is a kind of “bracket” (don’t know the correct name) from one side of the platen, which would hold the tympan and packing in place. The other bracket-type piece is there, but the one on the side nearest the chase is gone – knocked off, leaving the attachment bolt broken off.

It looks like it’s been missing for some time, because there was a lot of tape and tape residue on that side of the platen; I guess the previous operator was using that as a stop-gap.

How much do I need to worry about these missing pieces? How hard will they be to replace? Is tape, in fact, a decent enough solution to the missing bracket until I figure out exactly what I’m doing?

Any advice GREATLY appreciated! (I’ve uploaded a picture of where the missing parts once were…)

image: missingparts2.jpg

Log in to reply   10 replies so far

Updated. [The photo is showing now – thanks Eric!]

Grippers are not hard to reproduce out of stock metal from any hardware store. My press came with one gripper that was made from an old flat adjustable curtain rod, flattened, and a hole bored through one end. It’s been on there since at least 1975, when I got it, and probably a lot longer. A new bail can be fabricated, too. If the bail is pinned on, you may have to pull or drill the stub out.

NA Graphics sell brand new grippers for your press for $54 a set.


Search for grippers and select your press size.

Daniel Morris
The Arm Letterpress
Brooklyn, NY

Thanks for the information! I just bought a bunch of things from NA Graphics and only realised *afterwards* that the grippers were missing… another thing to add to my list.

Kevin re fabricating a bail (because I can’t see any on the NA Graphics site, although I should probably call too) what would you use?

The pin is left tightly in the hole from where the bail broke off. My dad (who’s removed a lot of similar things in his vintage car restoration work) said it actually looked like a tricky one to remove. I can’t re-consult with him because he’s gone home to Australia. What might I use to pull the stub out, do you think?

I’ve never tried it, but I guess Vise Grips would be the most likely tool. As for material, I would make measurements of the surviving bail, and go from there. You may have to go a machine shop.

I bought grippers from NA Graphics for my 8X12. If you call and talk to Fritz I bet he could set you up!

You may find that the bail was intended to just slip over the pin and be held in place by its springiness — or a replacement could well work that way anyway. What is on the other side of the platen where the other end of the bail would be attached? If there is a screw or a threaded hole that’s probably what the pictured side is also. If a stub pin then the bail was meant to slip over it. You could check Dave Churchman to see if he might have a bail for that press. Because the distance from the pin or screw to the bottom edge of the platen is critical, a home-made replacement might be harder to get right than just getting a factory replacement.

Ad Lib – the other side where the other end of the missing bail would be attached also has a broken-off end of a pin or screw in the hole. It looks pretty much the same as the picture above.

The bail that’s still in place has pins (or screws? although I can’t see any threading on them) holding it in place on both sides.

I see your point – maybe another bail could be held in place by its springiness… I hope so, because the broken-off pins look very snugly stuck in place and I’m not confident I can remove them.

I googled Dave Churchman – so long as his email address hasn’t changed I’ll be able to ask him about a ready-made bail.


And thanks Kevin and Courtney!

I’ve got those grippers from NA Graphics on my list of things-to-get hopefully next week.

On the grippers, For short term and tight spaces I have made grippers from a piece of wire coat hanger with a loop made for the bolt to hold it( you may also want use a flat washer to keep it from slipping off the bolt). It’s not always pretty but does work.