(pics incl) Type not ‘meeting’ paper = blank print

I just bought an Adana 8x5 and would appreciate ANY advice, I’ll try anything!

With the type locked in the chase within the letterpress, and the type inked by the rollers and ready to go, I insert 1 sheet of card into the press and push the lever down, however the type and the card don’t ‘meet.’ There is a 1 inch gap between the type and the paper, hence blank prints. I’ve resolved the problem crudely by sticky-taping the card to a stack of 1 inch-thick paper which is then slotted into the press. It essentially bridges the gap. This worked for a while but as a method for doing large runs it’s proving infuriatingly fiddly and inconsistent. It requires stickytaping each piece of card perfectly straight on the wad of paper and then inserted perfectly straight into the press = usually results in crooked letters.

I’m a complete newbie to letterpress, any ideas on why there’s a gap? Is there a mechanism on the letterpress that can be adjusted to bring the flatbed (?) closer to the chase?

Thanks :)

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Would you be able to post pictures of the setup?

The only way you could be 1” low is if you have a poly plate not mounted on a base, CPierson is right, pictures would be a big help. Dick G.

Thanks. dickg I don’t know what a poly plate nor a base is sorry.. I will post pics tonight after work, that might explain it better.

I’ve uploaded some pics. I’d already cleaned the Adana down, so the rollers aren’t on but it should give the idea of the problem. Sorry for the blurryness!

Thanks :)

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Where you put the paper you should have a tympan, under that there should be a piece of pressboard and a couple of sheets of bond paper, that should bring the type a little closer, this is called your packing, without it you will flatten your type. Where your chase goes is the bed, behind this there are bolts that are for adjusting the bed to print evenly. You should lock a piece of larger type in each corner of the chase (at least 36 point type) then you adjust the bolts to get an even impression. You must have some experience or you would not have locked the type in the chase, a lesson or two is always a good idea so you don’t damage your press or type. Don’t know where you are located but if you are close to Massachusetts i would be glad to help you, if not maybe someone on the list is close to you and could help, you are probably in England as these are popular there. Good Luck Dick G.

Hi there,

The press is fully adjustable, if you look behind your chase, under the ink plate you’ll see a series of three nuts running down either side, turning these adjusts the backplate, turn them one way, it will effectively push your chase forward, one way backward.

This is useful to keep an eye on - if your missing your paper, as you said… or areas of you print are fainter that others. Make sure you adjust evenly to get a good impression.

Hope this helps. Happy pressing!

Vici-Jane Kohring @ Artcadia

Thanks for the advice. I located the nuts, they were fastened at the furthest position away from the platen so they’re much closer to the paper now. I had alot of fun (and frustration) adjusting them to get a good impression. I’m still using the plain bond paper packing until I can locate some tympan. Getting a good print is certainly alot harder and more time consuming than I’d imagined!

Next I want to start getting an impression on the paper. A lesson or two would be appreciated DickG but I’m in Australia.

Might have been set up for type that was higher than 0.918”; some areas in Europe were different.


“Getting a good print is certainly alot harder and more time consuming than I’d imagined! “

Ah yes ;-)
Welcome to the search for the perfect taco!

One day will come and you will get a “perfect impression”, only to realize, the next time you think about it, that what you imagined would be perfect when you were starting is not really very perfect with all the new information you’ve found in the meantime.

On top of that, when the weather changes, all bets are off ;-)

Get ready for microscopic adjustments to everything from the press bed (although once that’s set to type-high plus .040” (or so) , it should stay there), to rollers (scotch tape can be helpful), to adding mag-carbonate to your ink, to adding reducing oil to your ink, to dampening your paper, drying your paper, etc etc etc ;-)

and then, there’s multiple colors and forgetting to run enough makeready sheets ;-)

Joy joy!