How to remove the platen on a Kelsey Excelsior 5x8

I haven’t been able to find explicit instructions on how to remove the platen back spring and platen on a Kelsey Excelsior 5 x 8 (Model U). The thing is rusted tight, and I just want to be sure I’m working in the right direction. Advice?

Many thanks.

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You’re going to have to find a way to compress the spring in order to drive the pin out. Several years ago, I had the same problem and made a crude tool out of a piece of plate aluminum, actually an old heavy duty door kick. It had a hole just large enough to seat on the top of the spring; also two opposing cut outs for the pin. If you can imagine that…
I was able to push on it enough to compress the spring enough to allow the pin to be driven out. I had a helper and it was not what I would call easy. It had to be done while it’s still on the press.
Re-assembly is reverse process.

There may be another way to do it, but it worked for me, and I still have the tool someplace. If I can find it, I’ll take a pic of it.

This worked for me. The channels were cut to accommodate the arms of the press. Your pin may run the other way, I don’t know. I no longer have that press, and the one that I currently have is an old style 5 x 8 and it does run the other way.
You may be able to make something similar that runs vertical instead of horizontal, like this one does….and longer. It seems you could get more leverage that way, and possibly do it without a helper. I worked with what I had on hand.
Hope this helps….but maybe there is another way. There always is.

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Hi David,

Thanks for the advice and for the picture, which definitely help. I think I can drum up something along those lines if there isn’t another way that wouldn’t require a special tool. But for today I get to relax now and work on a different part of this immensely pleasing process.

In retrospect, it seems that we may have used C-clamps in order to pull it in. However, I remember my brother being there that day helping with the project…..but you get the idea.

I’m in the process of removing the platen as well on my Kelsey 6x10 (model X). I took a different approach and actually was able to remove the spring before having to drive out the pin. I just used WD-40 to loosen up all the rust from the spring until I was able to turn the spring by hand. I then turned the spring in a counter clockwise direction until the end of the spring rotated past the blocking pin so that it pops out past the pin. I then rotated the spring back clockwise so that it basically coils past the pins and keep rotating until the entire spring is coiled out.

Now you can drive out the pin without having to worry about the spring flying out. But my problem now is trying to figure out the best way to drive out the pin. I’m figuring a hammer and an awl, but that seems like it’ll leave a nasty mark on the pin. Any suggestions or are there better tools I can use for this?

The standard tool is a pin punch. Most hardware stores will have these at a reasonable price. An awl will not be the right tool, The awl would be bent and damaged, and it might be difficult to keep the awl centered on the pin.

I might add that supporting cast iron, while driving out any part, is a best practice.

excellent. just what I was looking for! Thanks for the recommendations.

The trick to removing the platen spring on the Kelsey is to simply unscrew it, then drive out the pin. I use a pair of large-jaw Channel-lock pliers to grasp the spring and twist it until it unscrews itself from the post, then I use a drift pin to drive out the pin.

I have removed the spring by unscrewing it as well. You can even screw it back on after you are done. Channel lock is a big help.