After removing the rust from my 1925 (new to me) 8 x 12 Chandler and Price printing press, I needed to figure out how to animate it. Operating the press only with my hands and arms is not practical or efficient. My options were to buy a foot driven treadle (like old sewing machines had) or a belt driven motor. I decided to go for the motor.
So, I acquired a motor, which happened to be sitting around Hound Dog Press (lucky me – they are very generous). The next step was to find a pulley for the press so I didn’t have to use the fly wheel (the big wheel on the left side) as the belt driven pulley. I found an 11.5 inch pulley on Etsy – it was being sold as a “Steam Punk” accessory for crafts! The bore hole was too small, so I had to bring it to a machinist to make it bigger.
We now have the motor, pulley and belt – now I had to secure the press and motor in place. I opted to build a platform that could act as a pallet if I ever needed to move all 1200 pounds of press again – this would make our lives much easier.
So after a couple very helpful, strong men assisted us in moving the press onto the platform, I could place the motor in the correct spot, mount it to the platform and install the belt. I also refinished the feed boards. Click on the image above to see the press in action!
Needless to say, I wasted no time at all putting the fully operational press into action! I printed four separate “jobs” in two days – here are a few! It was pretty easy to print a polymer plate, handset type and a wood engraving block – I’m very pleased!