Adana 8x5 Hot Foil Press?

I’m wondering if anyone can help me. A while ago I bought 2 Adana 8x5 machines. One was a “normal” 8x5 and the other I was told was a hot foil press. The seller was unable to give me much information other than it worked and was used by their father for hot foil printing. I have attached some images to help. The close up image of the rear of the type bed shows some writing which reads “RᴼNEᴼ Back Plate This plate goes at back” the rest is unreadable and I don’t really know how to disassemble it to read it.
My question is, is this an offical modification, or a third party kit or something thats been home made. It looks purpose made but the wiring is just diabolical, which could be a repair I suppose. I’m very curious about this and if anyone can shed some light I’d be very interested.

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This looks to me like a self-made ‘hot foil’ version of the 8 x 5 Adana. If I’m not mistaken, Adana sold machines that were suitable for hot foil blocking, but they were equipped with a holder for the roll of foil. I wold take the whole lot off and use it for printing.
Good luck,

I’m not familiar enough with Adanas to know just what’s original Adana and what’s not, but my vote would be for a third-party add-on, with wiring that’s probably been modified, jury-rigged, or home-made. Roneo, the manufacturer of the “back plate”, was best known for its line of mimeograph stencil duplicators but made a variety of other office equipment. They also built “Roneotype” machines, equivalent to the American Multigraph, that took short T-footed type in slots on a drum and printed either through a ribbon or with ink. But I didn’t know they made Adana accessories, interesting!

Hi Dexter
The fortunate thing here is that you have two Adanas so you are able to make comparisons between the two.
Firstly the pictures show an early 8 x 5 which is constructed of pressed steel bolted together. The later models were cast Aluminium.
Adana did manufacture a Hot Foil Kit to convert the 8 x 5 but the heating element needed to be mounted in a chase along with the type.
Yours looks like the Harrison conversion which entailed machining away the fins on the back of the Type Bed. A flat Web Heating Element was then mounted against the back of the Type Bed to heat up the whole Bed and any surrounding metal. This element was similar to those used in traditional Smoothing Irons but were square rather than pointed at one end.
If you are unsure with my description, ask your Mum. She will be familiar with the ‘ironing’ especially of your shirts.
Being a conversion both the above suffered from a number of drawbacks, not least the need to handle a hot chase or forme. Various adaptations were made for this but most were pretty crude. They both also had an attempt at a temperature controller but again a bit hit and miss.
Both worked and some impressive work was produced.
I would advise leaving the heater alone apart from making the wiring a little safer. If you have no temperature regulator then you will need to consider adding one. Beware of mounting a variable resistor on the machine. They can get very hot.
If you are unsure of handling electricity then seek advice.


Thanks for that Mike, thats a real insight and thanks to everyone else who’s contributed. Now to clean it and use it…