Colt's Armory press FOR SALE
14x22 Colt's Armory press in great working condition for sale. Asking $10,500 obo.
I love this press. It had a lot of surface rust and hadn't been used much for a good while when I first got it. I spent six months cleaning it up, getting to know it, and another three years sourcing parts and pieces to get it running beautifully. Which it does! The crowning achievement of its restoration was getting a steel oscillating roller custom machined after finding the original patents and borrowing an existing one to model it after. That cost $2.5k alone but felt like the right thing to do for a rare press of such great beauty and capacity.
Previously owned by Harold Berliner of Nevada City, CA, this is a parallel impression platen press that are quite seldom to come by. It's a Half-Super Royal 14x22 Colt's Armory press made in 1906. I am selling because I got a Vandercook, I'm moving my shop, and am about to acquire a Heidelberg Windmill. It's a huge host of changes and while I love the Colt's dearly and I know it's rare and maybe crazy for me to sell it, the truth is, I've already not been using it much the past year and I really, really want for it to be used.
Comes with lots of things! All rollers, including the steel oscillating one, are intact and in good condition. Rubber distribution and form rollers were recovered by Ramco about six years ago, form rollers could probably stand to be recovered (I mean don't you always do that when you get a new press??). You're welcome to the custom rack we built for the rollers too. Has original trucks, locking tensioners for the distribution rollers, and all oil brass cups! Has three chases and ink fountain (that I've never used, and needs to be cleaned up). I don't have a manual but I do have an original parts list. Has a 1/4 horsepower 90v DC motor with variable speed controller that has a 240v plug (plugs into a standard dryer outlet).
Press has been in active use the past seven years, always well oiled and generally well attended to. Primary use has been for poetry broadsides and protest posters from handset type. No die cutting or scoring. Only big thing of note is that I think the platen needs to be adjusted, the impression is uneven from bottom to top. It's an issue that has slow crept up and I've honestly not had the gumption nor time to delve into making that adjustment, and it makes less sense as my shop move nears... I think it should happen after a move not before! Also you'll note that there's tape on the rails for roller height adjustment, I have much nicer stuff that's hard, clear, and sandable to fill any wear spots, recommended by a press mechanic friend of mine that I've been meaning to replace it with. I used it to refurbish the rails on another platen I have and I'm glad to send some with you. Ah you'll also notice in the video a bit of a whine sometimes from the belt on the motor, I think that could stand to be replaced, and we have wondered after the bearings in the motor itself, but last opened it up a year ago and all looked good.
Located in Kingston, WA a few blocks from the ferry. Easy load out, ground floor, garage door, cement pad continues outside with no lip. Press weighs 3,400 lbs, we moved it with a johnson bar, machine skates, small uhaul and forklifts — happy to consult re: moving it but you'll be responsible.
If you're excited about this press, please do make me an offer. It's notoriously difficult to price antique presses and the more rare the harder it is. I do need dollars to support my move and new equipment in; but it's most important to me that this press find its next right home where it will be loved and used a lot.
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