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Oct 20 / Scott

Moving Printing Presses

Printing does not just deal with lightweights like paper, type, and ink. Printing also deals with heavy steel, flywheels, and cast metal platens.

Two years ago I helped Steve Robinson from Letterpreservation move the 1,200 pound Vandercook 4, that we paid him to move from Kansas City to Ohio, down the slope of the side yard at my printer daughter’s home and into her basement print shop. Steve buys, restores and moves printing presses for a living and we took it down the grass on plywood sheets and a pallet jack. It just fit through the door. I learned a lot from the experience.

This past Summer I helped Craig Black from Don Black Linecasting move an entire print shop, including a Vandercook 15, trim saw, proof press, assorted printing tools, and about 1,000 pounds of metal type, from a basement shop in Columbus onto a big panel truck so it could be transported to Toronto to be cleaned and resold to needy printers. I learned even more about moving presses that time.

According to a chart provided by Craig Black, a Chandler & Price 10 x 15 platen printing press weighs 1,800 pounds. I was recently challenged with moving a C&P 10 x 15 from Dayton to Columbus for my daughter Erin. We also had to move several type cabinets and some other donated printing equipment. This time it was just Erin and me.

Using a borrowed pallet jack and a rented U-Haul, we loaded everything into the trailer and strapped it down tight. I did not want an 1,800 pound printing press to shift on the trip home. I decided my little Honda CRV would not be up to the move, so we used her husband’s big, pick-up truck. We had a little help loading the press when a friendly loading dock supervisor lifted the big press with a forklift and set it down over the dual axles of the trailer. However, we had no fork lift on the Columbus end.

A good friend, Scott Skiles, stopped by to help with the unloading. Between the pallet jack, heavy duty ramps, shipping straps and 4x4s, we finally got the press off the trailer and onto a stack of wooden cribbage. It then took over a two hours for four people (with 7 university degrees between us) to lower the press to the floor. I truly appreciate the people who move printing presses for a living.

Yea! The C&P has a new home.


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