I’m not sure what this little press is, but I’m thinking of buying it. It has the ‘handle’ type piece behind the ink disk, but the lever is not a stirrup like I’ve typically seen. It’s in the 3x5 size range and looks to be pretty complete. If I buy this, how do I deal with the missing trucks/rollers? What are the chances that Kelsey rollers will work? Thanks! Leslie

image: press.jpg


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Okay, so actually I think it’s an Ideal #2, but I still am not sure how to deal with the no roller situation. Thoughts?


First you need to identify the press, then measure the inside of the chase, that will tell you the size of the press. A 3x5 is pretty small and will limit what you can print. It is definately not a kelsey, and kelsey rollers won’t work. Once you can identify the press roller companies should know the size rollers you will need. Good Luck Dick G.

I’m pretty sure it’s a Sigwalt Ideal. It will clean up and print fine, but you will be very limited in printing area. For rollers, you can simply measure the inside diameter of the roller hook at the bend — minus a very little bit, that’s the core diameter. Measure the distance, outside to outside, between roller hooks across the press and add a little (maybe 1/4 inch) — that’s the length of your cores. Measure the ink disc diameter — the roller covering should be that long. Measure the center to center distance of between the two roller hooks on one side — minus a little, maybe 1/8 inch, that’s your maximum roller diameter. Round that to an even measurement (probably about 1 inch) and order a pair of rollers and trucks to match the roller diameter. I’d suggest rubber rollers as they don’t change size with humidity and temperature changes. Get some type and other supplies and enjoy printing!



Thanks for the great description on how to spec my roller size. Will any of the companies I normally get rollers from be able to make the trucks too? Don’t be concerned about the fact that it’s small - I’m buying it so that I can do demonstrations and print at shows I go to. I had a kelsey 5x8 for that purpose, but even that was pretty heavy to lug around by myself, so I decided to go even smaller. At my home ‘shop’ the Pearl #11 and Uni I are enough to do anything else I might want to do :)

This is such a sweet little press, cleaned up I think it will be great for showing people how the process works!

There may be a problem with the handle attaching to the press. Normally with the rollers in the down position, the handle should be little forward of straight up and down. In the photo it is too far back.


The Sigwalt, even one this small, can do very nice work. I think it’s perfect for traveling demos. I used to use a 6x9 Ideal for the same purpose.

I’d suggest Duro Roller, 13006 Park Street Santa Fe Springs, Ca. 90670. 1-800-758-DURO(3876). They turned my order around very promptly and for less money than another supplier and the rollers are great. I don’t think they can make you the trucks, however. If your press can take 1 inch diameter rollers, that is what I would get. A nearby machine shop can easily make you four trucks to fit the cores and one inch in diameter is standard.


Sorry, I forgot to add, the handle is indeed too far back, but it’s held to the shaft with a set screw (usually with a square head) and should easily be adjusted. Some of these presses have a divot drilled in the shaft at the correct set screw position.


I own a 3x5 Sigwalt. Kelsey 3x5 rollers and trucks work
fine on my press!!