Charles Brand Etching Press

Hello! First at all my name is Juan Valdelomar, from Costa Rica.

I’m a engraving student of the Universidad Nacional (UNA) (Art Dep.) and I’ve been reading briarpress’ topics for months, as one of my dreams is to, someday, roll my own press.

In the meantime here’s the main press that we use at class:

A Charles Brand Etching Press from 1967.
It’s been with the college for over twenty years (It is older than me!) and still working perfectly.

We also had one lithography press on another “roll” press (look just like this one: But they are less than fie years old and not currently in use… don’t ask me why, It’s my first year on this lic!

Also! I found the patent for this design, as the instructional plaque on it indicates, and as I find it interesting, here is the link:,336,865

The class is focused on artistic prints, but i’m more interested on printing type (and so forth) as I’m making efforts to acquire some metal fonts that my uncle, a printer himself, left behind.
So I don’t know if this possible on this press, as it does not have a a method to fix the cast above the bed.
I am new on this, any advice?

Pleased to meet you.

One last thought: the plaque reads: MAXIMUM PRESSURE IS NOT NECESSARY! and it is the hell out of true: while we where test printing linocuts we smash them flat. A very gentle press this one is :D

image:  Charles Brand Etching Press

Charles Brand Etching Press

image: Plaque.


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Hello- You need a chase (square cast iron form from a letterpress), and a wooden form out of 3/4 inch wood/plywood that is the size of your press bed with a beveled edge so that the upper roller of the brand press can climb up the bevel and roll over the form.. You will have to glue matt board on the bottom of the wooden form to make it “type-high”…then lock your type in the chase with spacers, furniture and quions , dampen your paper and lay it on top, place a sheet of cardboard over it an roll the cylinder over the inked type and the paper…it will need adjustments but this will turn your etching press into a “proof press”.

I am using(or trying) to use this same Charles Brand etching press, but I can not adjust the pressure. The two screws will not turn. I’m wonder if you have any idea how to fix this. It hasn’t been used in awhile. Might it just need some oil???

Thanks in advance.

Oil might help. They might be set too tight already and need to be backed off. I suggest you start with the oil then tap the T handles counter clockwise with a rubber mallet. Try to make sure they remain relatively similar in adjustment as you back it off. The press doesn’t like it when one side is set much higher than the other.

Coincidentally, this press was made in the basement directly across from where I live in the East Village!

Daniel Morris
The Arm Letterpress
Brooklyn, NY


If you’re interested in trying a small press made for printing blocks and type, I have an Adana Hand Quarto (17x22cm printing area) at my house near Turrialba. You’d be welcome to visit and see how it works. The etching press is made for printing thin plates and you would have to adjust it carefully to print linoleum blocks or unmounted sheets of linoleum.


She is working. A little oil did the trick! Nice coincidence re: proximity of where it was made and where you’re loving now.

Thanks. The Arm always comes thru!