While adjusting this press for printing, it is important that you clean and adjust the gripper bar so that you can mount the gripper arms and easily create friskets when needed as well as use them to draw the printed sheet away from the tacky, sometimes glue-like ink on the form.
It's pretty easy to take this assembly apart for cleaning, but reassembly can be confusing. The adjustment requires the proper installation of some unfamiliar parts.
Hopefully, these photos and the line drawing will illustrate for you the proper way to assemble these parts.
C&P New Series 6x10 Pilot Gripper Bar & Guide Spring mounting details
267 - Gripper Bar Clamp
C&P Old Series 6x10 Pilot Gripper Bar Mounting Details
Note that the gripper arm itself is pretty near vertical when the press is open like this. Just be sure to allow sufficient clearance so that they rollers do not jam on top of the grippers as they come down over the form.
Once the parts are installed properly, it's a pretty straightforward adjustment to set the grippers so that they do not touch the rollers, yet give plenty of clearance to feed sheets onto the platen.
When the arms are set properly, tighten the lower set screw to clamp the bar and spring firmly in place.
The procedure for both presses is essentially the same, the only real difference being the look of the gripper bar clamp itself.
WARNING!! - BE SURE TO CHECK ROLLER CLEARANCE!!!!
Failure to do so could cause damage to the rollers as they roll down over the form.
Note: Since these gripper arms are often lost, and many presses are sold without gripper arms, and they are a very helpful feature, we are fabricating new Gripper Arms for the Pilot Press. Watch here for an announcement when they are ready or contact us for details.
Gripper Arms are often found partially or fully missing from old Pilots. If you need any of these parts, we can help you.
To the right is a detail photo of 3 types of locking screws found on Pilot Presses. The image to the left shows complete units including three gripper springs - one made here at the Excelsior Press Museum Restoration Facility, the others found on presses in the shop.
Also in the photo are various screws associated with the gripper assembly. At the top of the photo are two of the blocks that hold the spring in place. Beneath them are 3 larger screws from the C&P. The wing nuts are from the feed board lock. The square head screw locks the spring in place on the block.
The two machine screws at the bottom are the 5/16" and fit the common style gripper arms. The lowest gripper arm shows a completely different style of locking screw. These parts seem to be common between both early series and new series C&P Pilots. Other "cloned" Pilots may be different.
Click on either photo to see a larger, more detailed image.
Note: All standard Pilot gripper systems require the installation of the (often missing) feed table support brackets. However, our solution for that was to put together a slightly modified design - based upon an idea seen on the 9x13 Kelsey - to link the gripper arm spring to a lower mount as can be seen in the photo to the right.
This easy modification does not require the feed table bracket to actuate the spring, nor does it require the heavy spring made for this press by C&P and others. The lighter spring used on this design has plenty of force to control the gripper arms. It is easily adjustable to allow full control of the gripper arm angle.
Please contact Alan Runfeldt using the email address on our