Impression lever jumping out of place

I’ve set up a new (to me) Arab letterpress (13x9). I’ve printed on it before and had no problems.

I recently bought Happy Dragon Press’ swiss style packing to put on the press. With that on the press, I put no other packing and tried printing a card with a photopolymer plate mounted on a boxcar press base.

I tell you all that so that maybe someone can point out the problem: When I started treadling the press and pushed the impression lever forward to print the card, there was more resistance than normal and the impression lever FLUNG back!

I understand that the swiss packing is thicker, but should it cause that response?

Should I stop using the packing?

Should I adjust the bed?

Should I not use polymer plates?

I need any suggestions because I don’t want to damage the press.

(p.s. I did notice a fracture forming on arch that the impression lever hooks into, so this could be why it’s jumping out of place. BUT I want to know if its the pressure that’s caused the fracture, etc)



Log in to reply   3 replies so far

Why change the packing if the old stuff worked. Sounds like too much packing, that fracture might not be a good thing, it can only get worse, i would remove all the packing and add it one piece at a time. Dick G.

I’ve had the impression lever on our Arab do this, mainly because it hadn’t been engaged correctly.

Remove the chase and engage the impression lever. You should still be able to turn the press over using the flywheel only. Do it slowly. See if the platen will move up to where the chase should be. If this works, add your chase back in, then add packing piece by piece as Dick G. suggests.

Pictures of the fracture may help.

If you understand the swiss packing is thicker, then the answer seems to already be in your mind. You will have to remove some packing or adjust and re-level the platen to accommodate the new packing dimensions.

Daniel Morris
The Arm Letterpress
Brooklyn, NY