Purchasing my first press

I purchased a Kelsey 5x8 as my first press. Luckily I was able to get the press at a very good price. The only thing missing are roller, which I will purchase from NA Graphics (thanks to the advice of fellow Briar Press blogs). I just want to know if the press can be cleaned up at all. Attached are some pics. Any advice would be so helpful to this novice “presser”. Thank you!!

image: Kelsey 5x8 pic 1.jpg

Kelsey 5x8 pic 1.jpg

image: Kelsey 5x8 pic 2.jpg

Kelsey 5x8 pic 2.jpg

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adim…. yes, Kelsey presses are quite easy to fix up, and are great for learning to print. Looking at the pics though, it appears that you are missing the bed… or did you just not photograph it? Without it, the press will not function.

I can’t seem to spot the chase bed with the roller tracks in this picture. You’ll also need the roller wheels (4). Please see the following…

To winking cat press … I guess we’re in the same time zone!!!!

Great minds must work alike!

Hmm… this may sound silly but I’m not quite sure what the bed is? Is that something that is found with the rollers?

I just noticed the aol website Stanislaus provided. I will check it out. In case it is missing is that something I could replace?

Now I see what it is. Is the correct wording “chase bed with the roller tracks”? I want to make sure I search correctly. Can you tell I am just starting :)
thank you again for your quick responses!!

on a Kelsey, the roller tracks (also called rails) are cast in one piece with the bed…. so Kelsey just calls them “the bed”. Stan’s terminology is technically more accurate though.

I’m not sure if you’ll be able to find one or not. NA Graphics is the owner of the remnant Kelsey parts, so they may have one…. If not, you may have trouble finding one.

Thanks again!

Congrats on the new press
Try Excelsior Press. They rebuild Kelsey presses, and have a source for parts.

I have a broken Kelsey 5x8 for which the bed is still OK. Let me know if you’re interested.

How much would you ask for the bed? Also, is that something that is easy to repair?

You can have it for $25 plus shipping, which should not be very expensive. I loaned it to someone, along with a small press, for use as an imposing stone. I can get it back if you want it. It’s should not need any repairs, and it simply slips onto the frame and is held in place by the chase clamp, a spring hook on top of the frame under the ink disc. (You do have a chase, right?)

I do. Can you please confirm that the below picture is in fact the chase (it probably is a silly question but i want to be 100% sure). Thank you!!

image: chase.jpg


I went ahead and attached more pics… I think you will be able to tell better than I can if I have the correct piece.

image: kesley b.jpg

kesley b.jpg

image: Kelsey a.jpg

Kelsey a.jpg

image: kelsey d.jpg

kelsey d.jpg

image: kesley c.jpg

kesley c.jpg

Does it seem to you that one of the Gripper fingers is missing? See “kelsey d” photo (second to last)? I’m looking on the Don Black website and comparing his drawings to mine…

One gripper is missing. And unless I am mistaken, that isn’t the right chase for this press. I could be wrong, but this looks like the parts press I have. The lines of the chase are not nearly as harsh (90 degrees) in nature. They are far more rounded.

Geez… I hope I didn’t get a lemon. Secndshft - are replacement grippers hard to come by? I will check w/ NA Graphics but thought I would get your opinion first.

I agree with secndshft, it does look as if the chase you have is not for your press, and you are missing the bed and a gripper. You may need to straighten out one or two of the roller hooks. Also, it looks as if the spring on one of the roller hooks is missing.

Below is a diagram of the basic parts of your Kelsey press and a photo of the chase with a corner detail shown. The screws in the photo are often missing and are not necessary.

Your press is one of the older 5x8 models, but many were made. With patience you should be able to find the parts and put this in working condition. One caution - some of the parts on the newer Kelsey 5 x 8 models will not fit your press, so make sure of the specs before you buy the missing parts.

You can compare the older Excelsior Model O that you seem to have, to the newer Excelsior Model P that was the later 5 x 8 press that Kelsey made.

image: chase.jpg


image: pressparts.jpg


Thank you!

You also might get some help from the photo below which is part of the 'Kelsey Printer's Guide'. Don Black has made a PDF of the booklet that can be downloaded from his site.

image: kelsey_parts.jpg