View Full Version : Letterpress anyone?

06-28-2015, 07:07 AM

I have recently acquired an old Adana 8x5 Letterpress, in need of restoration.

My intention is to use it in conjunction with etching/block printing to print or blind-emboss type.

Has anyone any experience or tips regarding the restoration & use of this vintage press? I can buy new rollers from Caslon, but haven't ordered them yet in case I need any more parts. I am still immersed in other projects at present, but hope to start work on the press in the next couple of weeks.

Any advice most gratefully received!

winking cat press
07-10-2015, 08:52 AM
Hello LillyM-

A 5x8 Adana is a great little machine for printing woodblocks and so forth. I've used a Kelsey press for ~40 years, which is very similar to the Adana.

To learn your machine, the best guide is the Kelsey Printer's Manual, which is available online for download. It will show you how to set it up, and so forth.

Also.... there is a letterpress specific forum called "Briar Press" ( www.briarpress.org ) where a lot of letterpress folks discuss everything related to printing. A few of the people there look down on newbies and small presses, but the vast majority are friendly, helpful and knowledgeable. That is where you want to go to learn Adana.

07-12-2015, 04:14 PM
Hello winking cat,

How kind of you to take the time to reply !

I have just started to clean-up the machine (so it's not too horrible to work on...)
I await the arrival of the ink rollers, a set of quoins and quoin key, don't think anything else is needed, so I am quite fortunate. Luckily, the press came with 2
8"x5" chases (one of which was already in the machine & it took me ages to figure-out how to remove it - simple when you know how!). I have the original paperwork & a lot of fonts - most of which are muddled, thanks to poor packaging and a courier who was sweet but didn't understand the necessity to keep everything upright.

I can't decide whether to completely strip the paint work, or just clean it and leave the original coat. Suggestions welcome!

Briar Press is excellent but US based (I am UK), so many leads are not available to me. Thank you so much for your interest, I'm surprised there are not more folk who are engaged in this field on WC. It seems such a good match - when I was at art school it was a crowded option!

Best regards,