Excelsior Press & the Chase Base

Does anyone have a chase base for a Kelsey 5x8? How is it? Want to sell it to me?

I contacted Excelsior Press in the beginning of January but I haven’t heard anything back and I’d like to get one sooner rather than later for my project.

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Hello Crystal,
For general photopolymer plate printing I think you’d be better off with a good metal base locked up in the chase with quoins. That way you can use real gauge pins (like the McGills Spring Tongue) set outside of the area of the base so as not to strike it. It appears using the chase base will also require removal of the press grippers. UPDATE: Alan tell me the bases are clearanced so removal of the grippers is not necessary.

The chase base seems to be a way to try to get more working area from the press than it was intended to handle. With the increased impression that people are trying to pull off with letterpress today, doing this is asking for trouble— you risk deforming the platen leveling bolts or snapping a casting of the press.

That having been said, there are instances when having a larger print area (and not using all of it) can be very advantageous. Like when you are printing a thin border around a sheet. This would be an excellent time to reach for a chase base. Just be careful not to use standard gauge pins!

So my opinion- if made well, an excellent tool to have in your arsenal, but not the be-all end-all photopolymer plate base solution.

Daniel Morris
The Arm Letterpress
Brooklyn, NY

Hi Daniel,

Thanks for the response. I am actually not looking to do anything too deep impression wise. I actually need the chase base for work slightly larger that the 3.5 x 5 boxcar base.

I wish their was a metal version of the chase base … that would be awesome.



Boxcar “recommends” a 3.5 x 6.5 base for your press, but they will make it whatever size you want, just make sure you can get your quoins in to tighten it up. And you might have to do something different gripper-wise.

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