Basic questions about galleys

Hi there,

I’ve got some really basic questions I’m wondering if some of you experts can help me out with.

(Background: I’ve been fiddling with my newly acquired Poco Proof Press #0 for a while, but haven’t quite figured it out yet. I recently took an excellent workshop and did some printing on a Vandercook, and I’m trying now to transfer some of my skills back to my Poco!)

Ok, basic question #1: What’s the difference between a Galley, a Galley Tray, and a Galley Plate? Are they all synonymous? If not, which is the one that I need to use on the Poco bed to compensate for the fact that it’s not “type high”? I have a three-sided shallow tray, considerable smaller than the bed itself, that I *think* I can build a form in and then place the whole tray on the bed to print— is that acceptable?

Basic question #2: If what I’m describing above *is* acceptable, how does one lock up a form in a 3-sided tray? I can’t figure out where to place the quoins?
Does anyone have any good clear photos of a form locked up on a Poco #0 bed? That would be so helpful!

#3: Finally, if I want to put the form directly on the bed instead of on a Galley thingy, can I do that and just add more padding to the cylinder?

Thanks everyone, I look forward to your responses!


Log in to reply   18 replies so far

#1. The Poco proof press is designed to proof forms in galleys, so the thickness of the bottom of the galley itself is factored into the distance of the bed of the press from the cylinder. A galley and a galley tray are the same thing. A galley plate is a flat plate the same thickness as a galley bottom.

#2. You can “lock” a form into a three sided galley by locking the two opposing sides. To lock the direction with the open end, simply place the galley into the bed of the press and use furniture braced against the sides of the bed. You will probably have one piece of furniture that transitions from the bed onto the galley. This is not the ideal method because once pressure is applied to the sides of the galley, the galley tends to ‘spring’ a little and work-ups will soon ensue in you press run (assuming you might be using the proof press to print a run of something.
It can be done, but you’ll have to pay attention and adjust your lock-up pressure or stop every so often to push your spacing materials back down.

#3. I supposed you could put your form directly onto the bed of the press and add more packing, but that it going to probably amount to way more packing than you will need and could prove to be very soft.

I’ve been printing on a Poco proof press for over three decades, and generally print with my forms in galleys. The only time I use a galley plate is if the form is actually bigger than any of my galleys are. Another tried and true method for locking your form is with galley magnets. The stronger the better. Again, this is not ideal, but it usually works for me.

these presses were designed to proof a galley of type, the galley plate is just a plate the same thickness as the galley, to bring the bed to the right height. when using a galley to proof the type you can tie the form with string, or ues a magnet or a galley lock. you really won’t have any luck trying to lock up type in galley. the string is probably the best method. there are galleys that are the exact size of the bed of the poco, 12x18, i just picked up a bunch of them, i’d sell you one for what i paid for it plus shipping if you are interested. the poco has two holes at each end of the bed, if you put a nut and bolt in each one, make sure they are below type high, then you could use a plate and lock your type in a chase, or directly onto the bed of the press. good luck dick g.

A galley has three sides (four on some styles), and usually has a thickness of .050” (but not always). A press designed to proof type on standard galleys will need a galley thickness plate or bed plate to print .918” forms off-galley (but not all bed plates are galley thickness). Galley tray is an oxymoron, but I see it used a bit these days.
You can certainly print from a galley on your Poco, as long as it is a standard .050” galley, and not warped. Normally typeforms were tied in string while prooofing this way, and the direction of cylinder travel would be against a solid side of the galley. The galley didn’t need to be against a deadbar for this kind of proofing either. You could also try building a form with furniture and lightly tightened quoins, but over tightening may lift the form; sidewalls vary a bit in form and were not designed for lockup, from inside or outside. Or use a brass makeup galley, which has very square sidewalls.
Overpacking the cylinder by .050” will probably give you a slurred impression.

i think the brass galleys are a lot thicker than the steel galleys, they are much better galley, but i think they will jam your press. dick g.

Just mic’d three Rouse brass makeup galleys: 050”, .051”, and .052”. You will find similar variations off .050” with steel galleys, but often on the minus side. Sheet metal as used in galley manufacture is not that accurate.
Older galleys with wooden sides, or zinc bottoms, would be suspect. Stick with later galleys in good condition for proofing.

i thought the brass galleys were thicker, maybe because of the weight of them, i stand corrected. even the steel galleys can very in thickness. the brass galleys are harder to find, but they come up on ebay. if you want a 12x18 galley for your poco let me know. dick g.

I’ve got a website with lots of pictures using a Poco #0. See

I put a galley plate in mine, a piece of brass 0.05” thick and build up my forms on top of it. To do a proof from a galley, I’d pop out the galley plate and put the galley directly on the bed. Hold th type in place using magnets (as suggested by Foolproof).


Hi Lesley,
I had a metal plate the thickness of a galley tray made (Metal Supermarket) and then lock up against the sides and ends. I have bolt heads at either end of the bed and put a steel slug-like metal piece from the hardware store as a sort of lockup bar. I think it’s more rigid and strong than the lead slug material. I worry that the bolts are not butting up against the bar exactly parallel (because they aren’t square but multisided) but it seems to work. I love my Poco and hope to make it easy to register and lock up.

Instead of nuts & bolts, use #5 taper pins. I got mine at the local Ace Hardware.


THANK YOU thank you thank you all. This forum is so incredibly helpful. It all makes sense to me now! Meanwhile, this weekend, I made a form in a galley and locked it up basically the way Foolproof suggests in his point #2. It may not be ideal but it’s working for now. I will look into magnets.

Thanks everybody! And Dick, I may want a galley of that size, but I’m not sure yet. How much is it?


lesley, just cover shipping, got the galley for free, also if you use magnets they must be strong. i thing letterpress things in massachusetts of na graphics in colorado sells them. good luck dick g.

hi dick,

thanks. luckily, i live about 20 minutes from letterpress things!

as for the galley, sure, i’d like it. Can you send me your email address, so we can work out the details over email?

thanks again!

leslie, i am in southeastern massachusetts, if you want to save shipping you could even pick it up, i’m in hanson. call me if you want to 781-293-2157. dick g.

Thanks Dick. I’ll get back to you if/when I’m coming through the area, and perhaps I can pick it up. Or, if I need it before then, I’ll get back in touch with you about the shipping possibility.

I know this is an old thread, but I skimmed it and it appears that if I could find a galley plate I could lock up on my Poco 0 bed. I just ordered magnets from NA Graphics but does anyone know still know where I could find an appropriate galley plate? Thank you.

Try contacting Perry @ suitcase press.

Let him know Mark from Haven Press suggested you get in touch. He’s a good guy and sells nice stainless galley plates.

However, any .050” thick steel plate that is reasonably flat will do the trick, so long as it’s the same thickness all the way along. Hopefully a precision plate like the type Perry sells is what you end up with, but if you look around locally and find a good steel supplier they should be able to hook you up with the right thing.

Does anyone know where to get galleys for a Vandercook Uni 1 that are adequately wide? Thanks, Neil

could make your own if you want a non standard galley , out of 50 thou sheet, that a fabricating workshop just guillotines and folds up the edges and spot welds corners