Anonymous said: I have a C&P 10X15 Press circa 1923 and was amazing by your restoration. Mine is not very rusty but could use a good cleaning and was wondering what your process was. What did you use to clean? - Anna Brown
Thank you! I was amazed by how well it cleaned up as well; when I started, I really had no idea what a beautiful machine was under all that grime!
The building the press came from went through a fire a while ago, and the press was therefore covered in soot, ash, dust, and rust, plus years of ink buildup. Rusty areas were scrubbed with steel wool and Scotch-Brite pads. (If the rust had been any worse than it was, it could’ve been removed with the help of Naval Jelly.) De-rusted areas were then degreased and waxed to seal the bare metal. Since your press isn’t very rusty, there probably won’t be much of this process required.
The rest of the press wasn’t terribly rusty, just in need of a really good cleaning. The initial layer of soot, etc. was so thick that I scraped it with an ink knife and then took a shop vac to the whole thing. After that, it was a lot of hours of scrubbing with kerosine, rags, and used Scotch-Brite pads. I rarely used new Scotch-Brite pads or steel wool because I didn’t want to take the factory paint off the parts of the press that weren’t meant to be bare metal. It took me a bit to learn the difference between the sooty parts, inky parts, and factory-painted parts. Depending on how dirty your press is and what color it was originally painted, this may not be as difficult for you as it was for me.
Feed and delivery boards were just wiped down. They didn’t require refinishing.
From a functional standpoint, it was also important to address the gears and oil holes. A lot of the oil holes were filled up with dirtiness and needed to be cleaned with anything that would effectively get the gunk out. Wire, pipe cleaner, etc. works well for this. I also removed lots of dust, bits of paper, and other stuff that had worked their way into the gears. The final step was applying more grease to the gears and fresh oil to the oil holes.
(There were several other steps necessary to get the press up and running - calibrating rollers, checking the wiring, adjusting the motor for best belt tension, etc. - but they didn’t have much to do with the cleaning process.)
Good luck with your press! I’m sure you’ll have it back to new in no time! :)