I’m a newbie here, with an SP-15 (and a smaller C&P of as yet undetermined size) ready to be restored, both in a basement. I checked out the logistics thoroughly today, and it appears I will not be able to move either press fully assembled.
I’ve done a good bit of searching in the archives here and reviewed various folks’ experience moving SP-15s and other models.
I gather I should be able to remove the carriage from the bed (after marking gear locations for proper reassembly), and then remove the bed from the table, giving me three separate pieces to move. (I’m not sure this press has its feed table any longer, though it could be hiding in a corner of this exceptionally dark basement.)
What I’m not sure about is how much each of these three components weighs on its own. Ideally, we’ll be hand carrying them up six stairs (a total lift of 80 inches). But that would assume two reasonably stout folks can lift each of these pieces.
Any idea what each of them weighs?
Thanks for the tips, Fritz! I will be sure to remove feed tables and handle before moving.
The SP-15 is somewhat of a lightweight compared to other of the Vandercooks made past 1959. The bed of the SP-15 is a short bed and does not readily lend itself to easy removal and reassembly because all the other parts, like the gear racks and bed rails are bolted to the bed. The predecessor #4 press and the Universal series all have heavy duty cast long beds with the bedrails cast in with only the gear racks added. I have the casting pattern Vandercook used for the SP-15 bed and it measures 26 1/2″ x 16″. When moving these presses, the feed table should come off, the handle most certainly has to come off as these are easily broken, and then the decision about taking off the cylinder is not to be undertaken even by those who are adept with machine work if it can be avaoided at all.
Don’t disregard natural objects. Gary Hantke, in LaCrosse, Wisconsin used a willow tree to lower a press down in the basement of his house, and thereafter used the name Willow Press as a press name for his activities.
An automobile tow truck has been a handy option for several of my press and equipment moves but needs to be aligned with the “trajectory” of the press up the stairs.
I was afraid that might be the case.
It’s difficult to explain; but, the way this exterior staircase (the only viable exit) is positioned, there is nothing handy to which one could hook the other end of a pulling ratchet. And there’s no room — because of structures added later to the building — to position a vehicle to serve as the solid object against which one pulls.
However, if I’m facing the prospect of carrying a 300 lb bed, I may need to reconsider methods of overcoming the limitations I have just described.
I am glad to hear that you believe a pulling ratchet (or come-along, as we call it) will work. My thought was to buy or rent a heavy-duty version of this tool for the actual pulling, attaching a lighter duty one I already own as a safety. I would hate to get the press halfway up the ramp and have something let go. Yikes!
Another option that could work, given the layout of the staircase, is using a gantry crane to lift the presses out of the landing at the bottom of the stairs. I plan to call around on Monday and see if any local rental companies offer these for rent.
Thanks again for your help. I am quite sure, once I actually get these presses out of the hole, I will be relying heavily on the wisdom of folks on this list in order to make them operational.
Hi Greg. Congratulations on your newly acquired presses.
The SP-15 weights a total of 705 lbs.
Most of it’s weight is precisely the bed and the carriage. So, in a rough guesstimate, I would say, 100 lbs for the table of the press, and the rest for the carriage and the bed. These are really heavy components, I would suggest maybe getting long pieces of wood, a dolly, and a pulling ratchet, to bring it up the stairs.
Of course, people with more experience moving presses here will probably chime in with better advice.