Operating dog not turning ink plate on Kelsey 3x5

Here is a video showing the problem:

Any idea how to fix this?

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The dog is attached upside down.

Wow, really? That’s the way it was assembled and shipped to me.

I believe if you look at the dog/pawl it has a little hook on one side of the flat end which is supposed to catch on the ink disc wedges. That side is down in the video and should be facing up. It also looks like the pawl/dog is a bit too close to the center of the disc — maybe that rod is bent?


Platenpress is correct. Turn the dog around so that the counterweight is to the rear, and see what happens.

Ehh, I don’t think so. That seems even worse.

I can’t even find a good clear picture of a press like mine. Uuggghh.

Maybe you just need to turn it so it is parallel to the cogs.

For example your point of contact looks like this: X
it should look like this \ \ .

FWIW here is a shot of what my Kelsey looks like…

image: IMG_0236.JPG


Should that bar be bent/curved toward the wheel?

I’m just not even sure what the exact problem is here.

There may be a set screw holding the bar in position. If you can get the bar loose enough to turn, turn it clockwise a bit.

I suppose you could give it a little bend if you are careful.

I tried adjusting the roller stop adjustment screw, and that almost helped, but not really.

I’m afraid to bend it, so I’m going to hope Alan from Excelsior Press can save me somehow.

This has been my worst eBay experience ever.

Hi Mega,
You know that anyone purchasing a machine should expect to make some minor ajustments, especially upon just receiving ta machine, as things can get rattled during transit, no matter how well packaged. You seemed recitent just moments after your purchase of the Kelsey, as per your previous comments, so you are certanily biased in your thoughts.
Did you try to adjust the stop screw found on the roller carrige?
Or, just tweek the actuator rod forward a little?
Some comments posted indicate that componets of your machine are installed incorrectly. That is not the case. The ink table indexing mechanisim is installed correctly.
You purchased a machine on ebay from a member that is well established and also offers 100% satisfaction, many members have purchased similar machines and are printing very successfully.
I wonder, if you are unable to make a simple ajustment to your machine, if you can receive a full refund? Like buying a really nice piano, then telling the sales people that you cant play.
That seems more than fair, and you should not attempt to operate a machine that you can not adjust, as the letterpress endeavor is an art, and as such, will need constant ajustment and finess, like tuning the strings on a guitar.
Anyone can buy a musical instrument, no matter the cost, but some folks can never play, even if they purchase a “Stratovorious”.
Letterpress printing is not as much as the machine, rather the abilities of the operator.
Please contact the ebay member that sold you the machine and see if they will give you your money back, as you should not attempt to operate any machines that you are unable to adjust.

No bias here. I was concerned about the size at first, but it looked like a really nice press and I was extremely excited to finally get it in my hands.

But to use your metaphor, even a virtuoso can’t play a broken instrument. Ya dig?

Meanwhile, this thread is about solving an issue with this press. So posts should probably relate to that directly.

A close look at RMG’s photo and your video seems to show the following:

1. The pawl is at the wrong angle so that it is not engaging the “teeth” on the bottom of the ink plate.

2. The rod is bent which is a contributing factor not allowing the pawl to engage, at least not every time even if the pawl were at the correct angle. A close look shows it is bent slightly, but unlike RMG’s which is bent slightly downward it is bent slightly upward.

I suspect what may have happened is that the press was disassembled for cleaning, including removing the rod from the casting and the pawl from the rod. When it was reassembled not enough attention was paid to the angle of the pawl or the direction of the bend.

To solve the problem, I would remove the pawl from the rod and use Vise Grip pliers near the bottom where the rod is threaded into the casting to turn the rod about 1/2 turn so the existing bend was going down. Then I’d replace the pawl the same as it is attached now and then turn the rod slightly left or right until the pawl and the “teeth” on the ink plate were in the correct relationship to one another.

Use the Vise Grips and don’t use the pawl as a handle; its cast iron and may break if too much pressure is applied. There may be other reasons why it won’t work but that certainly is one of them and needs to be addressed.


Front Room Press
Milford, NJ