Greetings - I found this site and wanted to try to do my due diligence and warn people against purchasing a new letterpress from Excelsior Co.
1800 Mineral Spring Ave,
North Providence, R.I. 02904
(401) 353-6120 —phone
(401) 475-7830 – fax

I gave Lou (business partner of Alan Rumfeldt) a deposit after meeting him and seeing the “prototype” of the machine. I was so excited and worked hard to earn extra money to afford this new letterpress. After months of excuses (and discrepancies within the excuses), I asked for my deposit back. Well, that just got me no where. I have emailed the Pawtucket Police (since it is quite late) and I emailed Alan his business partner too. maybe $1500 isn’t a lot of money to some people but to me it is. I have worked hard to get back my life after a bad boyfriend “borrowed” a lot of money from me. This makes me sick to my stomach but I wanted to spread the word: DO NOT BUY EXCELSIOR PRESS!!! I don’t know where else to post but I thought I’d start here. It seems like a nice forum of supportive people. if anyone has any suggestions, I’m open. I’m hoping I don’t have to sue in small claims, etc. because I’m sure it won’t get me anywhere but I worked hard for my money and now I want it back. This kind of thing upsets me so much. Why are there such rotten people out there? makes me so sad! Thank you for any advice you might have!

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I can say for sure that Alan in NJ and Lou in RI are two very separate operations. I’m sure they have worked together, but as far as I know (and I’m pretty sure I know), Alan has no part in making or profiting from these new presses. In fact, when I asked him about it, he said he’s never even seen one of them in person. I just want to make sure he doesn’t get dragged into this one when he isn’t really part of it.

There is validity to the warning posted about the individual in Rhode Island. A person in Virginia had a poor experience with him at considerable expense. At the moment another person’s press is at Letterpress Things for evaluation as to whether the unit can be returned to
operating condition. The owner paid a considerable sum for a Pilot to be restored; it still hasn’t produced an impression. The person responsible for this is not a printer
and doesn’t appear to know/understand the protocols of
letterpress printing or the presses.

To clarify the original posting “Do not buy an Excelsior”,
the warning is meant to alert people to doing business
with the fellow in Rhode Island. The Excelsior is the name
of a line of presses once manufactured by Kelsey. They
are perfectly good presses for the casual printer.

Megahurt - I have never had any dealings with Alan other than in an email or two and those have been nothing but professional. THIS practice is unprofessional and I only mention Alan’s name because I know he reads this board and perhaps he can talk some sense into his ‘business partner’. If I were him, I wouldn’t want to be associated with someone who is committing fraud and taking people’s money. Lou also has a website “selling” this press.


This is a plastic model!!! His business address is a UPS mailing box which I don’t have a problem with but he has told me a few lies about the press companies being on vacation for 2 weeks in July to the entire month in July to “you don’t understand how these projects go”. When I asked for my deposit back he told me to stop aggravating him. Please spread the word!! He needs to be stopped. I will keep you posted on my situation but the police have been contacted.

Megahurt, I don’t know any of these folks, but it doesn’t look from this previous discussion as though Alan Runfeldt is completely neutral on this:


He may not be profiting from these presses, but you can’t say he is getting “dragged into” this. No one made him write glowingly of these presses or their maker.

Again—I don’t know, nor have I ever done any business with, any of these folks. I just want this discussion to be fair.

All I’m saying is, Alan isn’t making or profiting from these presses. I’ve dealt with Alan many times, and will continue to. I don’t know Lou and have never done any business with him.

Just as an observer Alan appears to very knowledgeable and helpful. He is just now beginning to participate in discussions again. There are probably many many people who will not too quickly forget/forgive the absolutely disasterous way Alan treated a gal from Australia a year or so ago. I am actually surprised he feels an adequate amount of time has passed since then to be safe to come out of the woodwork.

I absolutely have no faith in Alan from a business standpoint for what he did, but especially for his deniability that he really had done anything wrong or couldn’t rectify it for an excrutiatingly long period of time. A complete turd in that whole situation.

Thge smell still hangs around.


Alan promotes and provides links to Louis’ website from his own website. He may not be profiting directly from this individual but he is involved with him in his business operations so to say they are two very separate business operations is incorrect.


My I jump in and ask? Are these people taking orders for a printing press to be made in the future?

I gone to the website for excelsior-press.com and not sure what your getting. There is photo of a new press on the website. Is that just for show, and there is no printing press?

Has anyone purchase a printing press from excelsior-press.com and got the press and is printing with it?

If he just taking orders and has no stated dated in writing on delivery of a printing press, you are out of luck getting one from him.

This came up in another thread awhile ago. I recall they were taking orders and waiting until they hit a certain dollar level to kickstart production. I still concur with many that this new press is still too expensive compared to used presses on the open market.

If they haven’t made the press, why are people so upset that they don’t have a press from them?

Do people think the press is just days away from coming to them?

Well, here it begins again. The foolproof fools of Briar Press - popping up with irrelevant commentary on subjects they know little about, and personal attacks which are more likely to get this thread closed than to assist WeddingPlanner to get her press or retrieve her deposit.

To foolproof and any others who missed the point: nearly FIVE YEARS AGO, I lost my steady income to ATT’s oursourcing and downsizing and was about to lose my home. I agreed to sell one of my presses to a charming young woman in Australia. But she sent me money I did not request, then cancelled her order due to delays resulting from my inability to overcome the complications of exporting a 1500 pound printing press to Australia.

I returned every cent she had sent to me. Yes. It took some time - but only because I had just lost my job and my home. The only disasterous aspect of the story was the way in which some ignorant people on Briar Press made unfounded accusations and assumptions.

I suggest we all get our facts straight before acting like stupid asses.

You wanna know what people really think about dealing with me? Read some more posts - and not just duplicates of Megan’s or the associated commentary by ignorant fools with nothing constructive to offer.

Grumpy old printer

Thanks for getting back to this post. I work two full time jobs my self total of 73 to 76 hours per week. Low pay, and have very little money left seeing I am the total support of a 32 year old daughter without a job.

And, understand how talk can get a little crazy, live in a condo building and some people have nothing to do but dream p stories about the building and the manager everyday.

Another Grumpy old printer

Gentle readers, My intent is to warn people about the unethical business practices of Lou Colavecchio, NOT Alan. Alan has actually been very sympathetic and helpful to me which I greatly appreciate.
My intent is to spread the word about this crook and make sure no one else gives this man a cent of their hard earned money. I ordered a letterpress with the intent that it would be ready by the summer - July at the latest. When excuses started not matching up I got suspicious and asked for my deposit back since there is nothing on my bill of sale that indicates that I cannot get it back. I told him that when the press was finished and if I was still interested I would consider it then. This is when he started telling me to stop aggravating him. On a very basic level, this is just not how one does business or treats people. And on the other level what this did was make me suspicious. A simple google search gave me some more suspicious info and so I called the police this morning.
Readers: I work many hours and love what I do. I was excited to have a brand new letterpress. I wanted to grow my business. I did not want to spend my time pleading with people online and on discussion boards. But I have no other voice right now and want to make sure other people don’t fall into the same situation that I did. That is all. Please help me spread the word that this “excelsior” press is not legitimate. Perhaps he will have a great press completed one day but until one actually sees the model printing, don’t do what I did. Hopefully there will be a happy ending to my story but right now I have a pit in my stomach. I don’t understand how people can do this and feel good about themselves.

Hmm wasn’t this how the original Excelsior press came into being?

Oprion -

Yup. Something similar at least. Bill Kelsey’s first press was a total failure; it would not print. And, he had pre-sold many of them, so he was faced with a similar situation - presses promised that had to be delivered.

In Kelsey’s case, he had to go back to the drawing board and come up with a new design rather quickly - one that worked. But he did it - and Kelsey Co made presses for the next 100 years… (more than 100 years, actually…)

In Lou’s case, I don’t think design is the problem. The new press is based upon the proven design of the Pilot with certain enhancements which I personally think will make it a better press - when it gets into production…

So. I think that production is the issue. I think the local iron foundry is shut down for the summer and he missed his time to get the parts cast.

I haven’t spoken to him since last winter, so I really don’t know what’s up with him. I do know that he stopped calling me for advice more than six months ago and has made his own web site.

http://Excelsior-Press.com is Lou’s site and only appears to be about the new press.

http://ExcesliorPress.org is my site - and is about my own letterpress shop, The Kelsey Excelsior Press and Letterpress printing in general.

- Alan

Just a question here:

The issue seems to be that weddingplannerin617 paid a deposit for the press and that they are now not able to get it back. Perhaps this has been discussed in the thread and I missed it, but isn’t that strange?

Your $1500 was most likely used to begin production of the press. Now that that has started, Lou has a responsibility to you to finish the press and you have a responsibility to him to pay for the rest of the press. Deposits are normally non-refundable. Did he make that clear to you?

If he is using the money to finance the production of the press, you have no right to demand your deposit back or he will be stuck with a bill from the manufacturing company he needs to pay. If you can’t afford the balance of the bill, tough, your deposit is down the drain.

Aaron -

Yes. This is about a new press that has not yet been built.

The patterns are ready for casting, and it’s about as close to production as a press could be, but no usable metal prototype has been built and tested.

And, the real problem is that Lou has taken deposits but has not produced the new press on the promised schedule, sort of like “vaporware” for the letterpress world…

It would not be so bad if he’d made at least ONE of these presses at his own expense and tested it and been able to show it, but at this point, all he has to show are the assembled patterns - the resin “model”…

Heck, if I had the money, I’d pay him to make one for me - and then stay on his butt until it was done.

I’d love to see one of these presses in operation. I think it will be great - If he ever gets it into production…

The problem is that he appears to be stalled and has a very upset customer who has already waited far too long and wants - and deserves - to have her deposit returned.

- Alan

Blah ba blah ba blah….Different day same __________


An observation:

Alan Runfeldt is awfully quick to provide excuses why his associate cannot deliver the goods — much like he did a year ago (and has reiterated today) regarding his own business dealings.

While I don’t know either of these “gentlemen” personally, I wouldn’t give them the time of day, let alone a nickel.

Caveat emptor, baby.

I’ve given Alan a few nickels, and I hope to give him a few more for a press very soon. He’s also taken more than a few of my calls and offered plenty of advice and knowledge.

No one is perfect, but really, this thread is about Lou. He is selling presses that currently do not exist. None of this involves Alan in any way, and he is only being dragged into this because they both use the Excelsior Press name. This issue is 100% on Lou.

Who did the deposit get sent to?
Who promised to build the press?

The answer to those questions is the only man this thread should be about.

Please keep the focus on the topic!! Lou needs to be stopped!!! He is the one that is causing the trouble here. I just want people to know that they should not buy/order/give money to excelsior-press.com! This is NOT the same as Alan’s website.

Beware of his scams!! Help get the word out.

With regard to Lou Colavecchio “Excelsior-Press” there
are two issues in play at this time. The first is the remake
of a Pilot clone. The second is his restoration work on
existing Pilots.
There are individuals who have sent deposits for the “new” press and are having issues with him about production scheduling, delivery, deposit security, etc which he seems to be reluctant discussing. There are other individuals who have either bought a restored Pilot or had him restore one. The restorations have rendered the units almost unoperational.
The original posting was meant to draw attention to an individual who was not conducting himself in a professional manner; to alert others who maybe considering making a deposit on the “new” press. As this matter has evolved, it’s fact that others have been impacted by other aspects of the way he has been doing business. It matters not what anybody else has done or
what association they may have had with him. It’s
about what Lou has done, or not done as the case maybe. The weight of his actions rests squarely on his shoulders.

I also want to point out on Lou’s website:
It states “allow 3-4 weeks for delivery” right in the first paragraph.

I’ve been waiting since April.

And modernman: I have a receipt. It clearly does NOT state a non-refundable deposit. And I have waited patiently for something I am sure is not being made anytime soon. So I asked for my deposit to be returned and then Lou got hostile.

This is not good customer service.

I would rather spend my hard earned money giving it to someone who is honest and hard working.

And, WHY is he not allowing PayPal for payment? Think about that for a moment…

SPREAD THE WORD! Lou Colavecchio should not get one cent more of our hard earned money!

Are you sure about the last name—Colavecchio? As in Louis “The Coin” Colavecchio? Just curious, as Dick Goodwin, a regular on this site, doesn’t seem to think they’re the same person. I couldn’t find a last name mentioned by any previous poster who has had personal experience with Lou.

100% certain. Confirmed by the police. I also have his home address and a quick google search confirms that this is indeed the same person. Not that google is the end all be all, but confirmation from the police seems pretty definite to me.

So he moved from casino theft to letterpress schemes? That’s quite the broad criminal enterprise he’s got.

As seen on Google:

WARWICK –– They called him “The Coin” because Louis B. Colavecchio was good at making near-perfect counterfeit tokens for slot machines at casinos from Foxwoods to Vegas.

So good, that he spent more than two years in federal prison in 1998 for his handiwork and was paid $18,000 by the feds as a consultant to explain why his manufacturing dies outlast those at the U.S. Mint.

So good, that he was the featured “Counterfeit King” in a History Channel documentary on Breaking Vegas and made his own video, How to Win at Slots, after advising casinos how to detect fake tokens.

So good, that in November 2006, when investigators from three states and two federal agencies began investigating high-quality counterfeit tokens showing up in casinos up and down the East Coast, they ended up on Colavecchio’s doorstep in Pawtucket once again.

Colavecchio had been a tool-and-die maker before his arrest on federal charges in 1997 in what authorities then called the biggest counterfeiting case in New Jersey’s history of legalized gambling.

Not surprisingly, Colavecchio was banned from every casino in the country. He told a reporter that he was making metal orthotic devices from his new business, Cambridge Orthotics in North Providence.

Then a few years ago, the state police were tipped off about counterfeit coins showing up at the slot machines again, said Lt. Col. Steven O’Donnell.

Colavecchio was allegedly back in action. After searching his orthotics business and his home in Pawtucket, the authorities seized the coin-making equipment and about $15,000 worth of casino tokens, O’Donnell said. The state police believed that Colavecchio was making tokens for slot machines at Foxwoods and Mohegan Sun, the Trump Marina Casino and Trump Plaza Casino in New Jersey, Harrah’s casino in Las Vegas, among others.

Despite the ban, Colavecchio had continued gambling at casinos –– wearing wigs and dressing as a woman to avoid being recognized, O’Donnell said.

“He’s a crafty criminal and that’s what he does. He makes no bones about it,” O’Donnell said.

Colavecchio declined to talk about his case, which is still pending. He said he was still running his orthotics business and had started also repairing old printing press machines. But money, he kept complaining, has been tight.

And folks, there’s more — See for yourself on Google.

Well, I must say, in my dealings with Lou, he showed himself as a very decent fellow and a true gentleman.
He sold me a set of rollers and trucks for the price of just the rollers, acknowledging a mistake in the advertisement, and even went so far as to decline my offer to compensate him for the loss.

Not to argue with anything posted above, just offering my own impression of Mr Colavecchio.


Hi, my name is Louis Colavecchio .It seems lately I am getting slammed in more ways
than one. Not only am I recovering from a total knee replacement operation,
and am currently being beat up by an overzealous physical therapist, but now
I am being verbally lambasted here on Briar press. So, I think its time I
took my head out of the sand and barked back.

As many of you may be aware I have a rather diversified background. Having
sidetracked my life as a custom gold manufacturer, for a few years during which I was the country’s most notorious casino counterfeiter, and later a resident of
the famous Ft, Dix, a Federal Correctional Facility, I finally wound up a
paid consultant to several of the casinos I was accused of counterfeiting,,
as well as a consultant to The Mint, Secret Service, FBI, CT., Stat Police, N.J. State
Police, R.I. State Police, and several other law enforcement agencies. I am also a
respected member of Impac, a non profit corporation dedicated to the further education of young writers, which was founded by F. Lee Bailey, I am also a member of the Free Speech Movement doing work to keep the first amendment in place. I am also a respected member of the CT. Young Writers Association, where students from local CT. colleges compete for a first prize
of $ 5,000 and three weeks in Dublin, Ireland to continue their studies in literature and poetry. I also do several shows a year , called the Louis & Jerry Show with Jerry Longo, Security Director, Foxwoods Casino, , former member of 31 years Ct, State Police , Casino Control Division, Jeffrey A. deClerck, Inspector General, Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation, Office of Inspector General, Franz Douskey, professor Gateway Community College, professor emeritus Florida., Andy Thibault , author and professor, Ed Dunne, retired Editor U.S.A.Today, , a retired Secret Service Agent (must remain unnamed), and soon, Dr Henry Lee. , world famous criminal forensic scientist. Also, our group attracts a nice variety of newspaper and news reporters.

After the sudden death of my lovely Russian wife, Karina, on August 4th,
2007, I needed to somehow occupy myself every waken moment or I would go
crazy. I took to buying, , repairing, restoring and selling letterpresses. I loved doing this as it was work that involved all the duties I liked and made use of most of the skills I possessed, such as model making, mold making, working on lathes, milling machines, drill presses and so forth. I soon had repaired and restored enough presses to know which ones were high quality and which were not. Even when I determined the Chandler & Price, New Model Pilot was the finest letterpress available, it certainly wasn’t without its flaws.

Combine this newly acquired knowledge or letterpresses with my extensive background as a manufacturer, and it wasn’t too long before I decided to set forth and make my own letterpress. Using the C & P as my chassis, I built upon it what I know will be the world’s best letterpress ever built.

A year and a half after deciding to manufacture my own press , and after devoting every spare minute, not to mention dollar, I had to follow this dream, I had fabricated, all by hand, a complete , working model ( working in the sense that all parts did and moved as they should), in a strong plastic material. Getting this to function was no small task, as the minute you touch one thing you upset something else. I had decided early on to make the press have an increased capacity over the existing presses. The chase size was punched out to 7 x 11, instead of the current 6 x 10. While this might not sound like a big difference, it was. It meant all the parts also must be enlarged/changed/strengthened to accept the new press’ higher operating pressures. Although this goal was accomplished in a number of ways , the result was that the new press still had all the looks of the C & P pilot it was based on!! Nor did it increase the footprint of the original Pilot. We here at Excelsior are proud of our accomplishment !!!

Later we will place our press’ parts side by side with those of the C &P press, as direct side by side comparison is the only way someone would be able to distinguish ours from the original C & P’s.

It seems now however, that this press may have become the most controversial letterpress ever to be manufactured. Viewed by some as the greatest invention since sliced bread, it is deemed by others to be a carbon copy of the Tucker Automobile scandal of the 30’s. The reality lies however, somewhere in-between. It is certainly not the greatest invention since sliced bread, as it is not even an invention. The Excelsior Pilot 7 x 11 is nothing more than a C & P 6 x 10 on steroids. It has a larger capacity chase size, which necessitates stronger internal parts in order to generate a deeper print impression. . For example, in order to generate higher operating pressures, it was necessary to lengthen the handle. Then, in order for the handle to withstand the higher pressures it had to be thickened in such a way as to not lose its original character. Both of these goals were achieved beautifully.

It is not a Tucker, either, because the Tucker was a fraud perpetrated on the American automobile buyers’ in that the manufacturer never had any intention of manufacturing automobiles. Their sole reason for being was to sell dealerships for a huge fee and when enough had been sold, they would close up shop and seek refuge in the bankruptcy court.

Although I though the day I finished a year and a half long project copying the C & P in plastic and watching it function, this I feel will not be the case much longer. I now believe the happiest day of my life is yet to come. It will be when I finish our first Excelsior Pilot 7 x 11. And, guess what, that is coming soon. Oh yes, so is legal justice for the hysterical lunatic that destroyed my hard earned reputation. with her rants and raves. A well deserved lawsuit is coming soon. If anyone is interested in seeing exactly what took place, I will provide all the documentation necessary to prove I acted in an honest, respectable, timely business like manner. I do not know where this evil witch surface from , but I think a lawsuit will driver her back there. Her apologies coming now are far too late.

As an aside to the reply I have already made regarding my company, Excelsior Co., I must say that I am disappointed and appalled that Briar Press would be a partner in destroying my flawless name by publishing such a damaging comment without ever attempting to see if there was any truth or documentation to her claim. I am willing to supply all the documents , correspondence and thank you notes from this crazy lady to any legitimate person who requests them. I will also keep Briar Post forever in my mind for not contacting me first..Shame on you. I will survive this assault because I am right. I will continue to supply the finest presses the country has to offer at the most reasonable prices possible, and in a timely and business like manner. If you continue
to destroy people without so much as an e-mail or phone call to determine the veracity of the smut you are about to print, it will soon catch up to you, rest assured. What goes around comes around. Louis Colavecchio

One or two more points. I have dozens of letters, including one from the lunatic that began this whole assault, on the quality of my work, business dealings, etc.thanking me for their press., the reasonable price, service, free advise, and all the things that make a business dealing pleasant. My website does say 3-4 weeks delivery, but clearly indicates the press is not yet in full production.It says that the press shown is plastic and is used as a pattern to make the finish press. That time frame is for presses that will soon be coming off the production line. Now, this lunatic was told many times the press does not exist, otherwise I would deliver it the next day. I told her by receiving a discount, she was trading off her expectation of receiving the press anytime before September, and more likely October., 2011. She told me she had several presses and would wait. I was not bashful in explaining that I did not want to be pressured a week or two after the purchase because I did not want the pressure of feeling I had to rush to finish a press. I am 69 years old and have more than enough pressure without adding to it.
. feeling confident that she would abide by this stipulation , I deposited her check dated April 21, 2011.

I then took the patterns necessary to make her, and others,presses to the foundry. The foundry informed me that they had a waiting time of up to three months. This is the largest, oldest and most reliable foundry in R.I. Obviously, they are one of the busiest. Having taken the pattern to another reliable foundry and being quoted prices twice the prices of the original foundry, I promptly returned the patterns to the original foundry, and asked them to see if we couldn’t get these first few orders done in a shorter time frame. Receiving no guarantee that they would be done sooner than normal, I still left the pattern there. I do lots of business with this firm and have a nice solid business relationship there. I called several times between May and June, and was told they were not done
I called the first week of July and the foundry was having technical problems due to the heat wave. They also informed me they would close for vacation most of July.
Since I would be recovering from knee surgery performed June 20, 2011.I felt this was nicely planned.
I would be recovering during the same period my foundry would be closed Tues day, August 2nd, .i called and could not reach anyone i needed to find out the status of my parts. I called back again , today, Wednesday the 3rd. to learn that our parts were cast and would be ready to be picked up.Thursday. So, now we will be entering into another phase of the Excelsior Pilot. Please check out our progress in a few days at excelsior-press.com.

If anyone would like to view our documentation to the above statements, including the lunatic’s order, check , thank you note, and,especially her dozen or more e-mails one immediately after the other talking about everything from the press, to God, my late wife. etc, etc I would be thrilled to forward them to to you. It will show you her real character. When she asked me to prove to her, by giving me the names of people working on her press, I did flatly refuse. My business does not provide anyone with its inside information. No successful business would. well,from that point on, she went totally ballistic.There was not even a shed of sanity left. I ended by telling her that despite her behavior, she would love the press when she receives it.soon. I offer anyone a transparent view into the documents of this entire fiasco. She stepped way out of bounds this time, and I think she should bear the responsibility beyond just a simple apology. Louis

Who to believe?

Have to admit, the only bad part of our business is the customers ;-)


If you are going to call your customers, namely me,. a “crazy lady” because she expected to see a press by July, then yes I am crazy.

You took a DEPOSIT from me. I was not and would never be an investor. My DEPOSIT should have been kept in escrow until you had the such press. But when I asked for my deposit back, you told me to stop aggravating you. You never even offered me a receipt for my DEPOSIT until I asked you for it.

I don’t understand what the problem is. If you are producing such a press then when it’s done and if it’s as wonderful as you say , then I forfeit my “discount” and will buy it.

But it seems as if you have spent my deposit and you do not have it to return back to me.

Why don’t you just go the right thing and return my deposit to me as I asked?

I don’t own any presses. This is all a lie. You are fabricating all of this and I have all the emails to prove this. You never got in touch with me to tell me what the delay was. I always had to email you and you had every excuse from “only a few more weeks” to 2 weeks of vacation to 4 weeks of vacation, etc etc.

I don’t understand where your background info on your criminal record or your deceased wife is necessary or relevant to what I am asking for.

I WANT MY DEPOSIT BACK. Why can’t you just comply? You have no recourse to keep my deposit, you have not produced a press in the said amount of time and I quite honestly do not want to do business with a dishonest person. Had you told me from the beginning that I would need to wait this long, I would not have given you a deposit/ I would have just waited for the press.

Shame on you for your poor customer service.If you had just returned my deposit, all would have been fine.

But it seems as if you don’t have it.You could have arranged a payment plan with me if you were honest.

But instead you go on with your baseless lies and bring up your dead wife.

She would be ASHAMED OF YOUR BEHAVIOR. I am an honest and hard working woman who is just trying to get her deposit back.

JUST DO THE RIGHT THING! Why do you refuse to do that??

Oh. My. God. People. Take it to the email box and stop clogging the forum up with this he said, she said bullshit.

I mean, because he makes a good point- and I side with no party in this discussion- but he makes a good point about slander and public domain of comment, lawsuit, etc.

I feel for you if you’ve been had, weddinplanner, but really- at the end of the day- there are plenty of legal avenues to go through if you really feel wronged, small claims court for one, etc.

Honestly, arguing to the end of your day on the internet will leave you with blisters on your fingers from typing and a public set of comments that can be drawn upon in court. the best stance when you are attempting to actually get something back from someone is NOT to publicly comment and mud-drag, but to actually go AFTER them and not make a huge scene about it until you’ve been legally vindicated. None of this is going to help your “case” (if you have one or not).

As for the proprietor, you should say as little as possible. In fact, if it were me running this forum, I would have a moderator close and bury this thread. In fact, if I were either of you, I’d be deleting my comments right now and settling this mess elsewhere.

I mean the thing is, it’s all hearsay until it’s put up as information and written fact, and nobody here can prove anything over the internet, nothing is done here but a good old fashioned reputation tarnishing.

Helimited: My intent is to make sure no one else falls into the same trap that I did. I am pursuing legal recourse, etc.

But I think people should know this and not be swindled into giving this person a deposit NOR should he be accepting deposits on his website.

I would not feel good if I didn’t warn other people about what I am going through. If I can stop one person from sending a deposit until there is a press made, then that helps me feel better about the situation.

There is no argument from my end. I am just trying to make sure people know that this is not a good business practice and to beware. He should not be taking deposits for this press until it’s made. What I believe is that he is not using the deposits as what the definition of the word is, but rather using it to raise money to make his parts. This is where the problem lies for me.

That is all.

Yes, you raise the money to make the parts, you produce the finished product with those parts, and then you put the press in the clients hands. We all understand that you cannot afford to wait for him to return your deposit any longer, and also that he has spent it on the press.
We also understand you’re unwilling to wait for the press to be fabricated.

You are not buying a car from a used car dealership. You are buying a car from a company that makes it to order. That is how most hand-printing presses in the country of other mediums are sold!

If you want a press from Tom Conrad- an etching press- you send him a deposit and you wait for him to finish it, then you pay the balance upon delivery.

Same with Takach press in NM, if you want one of their litho or etching presses. They don’t just stock them in a warehouse.

So, you were not aware of this, and you want your money back. That does not make him a liar. You are making a case ON THE INTERNET and your opinion, not the legal systems opinion, is such that you believe this person to be dishonest.

WHAT YOU ARE DOING IS ILLEGAL AND I HOPE YOU REALIZE THAT. Calling a person a fraud and slandering their reputation on a public forum is a serious offense, no matter how the rest of us may feel about either of your opinions or conjectures- that is what they are until the legal system determines a verdict and upholds it.

Then it can be reported.

Until that time, you have no floor to stand on!

I make these remarks with FULL TRANSPARENCY that I know neither of you, nor do I care to be involved in this most unsavory situation, but I do want to point out that you are using this forum as a platform for something that is illegal- slander (in the broad definition, but defined nonetheless)! The proprietor can certainly use this in his case against you in your OWN legal battle with him, and certainly you have misstepped in your zeal to “inform others and do the right thing” while still implying things you can neither prove (Edit: What I mean here is that you have no platform to prove anything VIA this website- so blank statements about things without evidence, which there is no platform to provide it or have it accepted by us) nor has a court passed judgement upon. You have to understand- as much as we have a right to free speech, we also have a system in place for justice and it is the proper route to go when one actually seeks damages, regardless of feelings or beliefs- you can’t really do that on television lady!

I never called him a liar.Except for saying that I had several presses - that is a lie.

I do not believe I am slandering. I believe I am warning people not to send a deposit to a person that doesn’t have any presses right now. Like I said, when he has presses to sell, then that is a different story.

We can agree to disagree but I am warning people. At the end of the day, everyone does what they want.

Yo, this is officially hilarious.

Firstly, you identified a private business clearly, and singled them out:

“Greetings - I found this site and wanted to try to do my due diligence and warn people against purchasing a new letterpress from Excelsior Co.
1800 Mineral Spring Ave,
North Providence, R.I. 02904
(401) 353-6120 —phone
(401) 475-7830 – fax

Then, you mis-represented another individual’s involvement, dragging them into the muck:

“I gave Lou (business partner of Alan Rumfeldt) a deposit after meeting him and seeing the “prototype” of the machine. I was so excited and worked hard to earn extra money to afford this new letterpress. After months of excuses (and discrepancies within the excuses), I asked for my deposit back. “

You also made statements about his discrepencies and excuses, implying dishonesty.

“This makes me sick to my stomach but I wanted to spread the word: DO NOT BUY EXCELSIOR PRESS!!! I don’t know where else to post but I thought I’d start here. It seems like a nice forum of supportive people. if anyone has any suggestions, I’m open. I’m hoping I don’t have to sue in small claims, etc. because I’m sure it won’t get me anywhere but I worked hard for my money and now I want it back. This kind of thing upsets me so much. Why are there such rotten people out there?”

Then you told people not to buy his press, and called him “rotten”.

How is that not calling him a liar (or at least implying it), and basically telling people that he’s a bad person, alongside someone who appears not to be involved?

You’re pretty nuts if you think that’s not what people read into your words- perhaps if your intention was as you seem to have implied in subsequent posts, you may have overspoken! Either way, you grabbed the bull by the horns on this one- better get ready for a ride. No amount of denying is going to absolve you of culpability.

I wish I could see the humor in this. :(

It’s not humor, I’m being dead serious. You have royally f#c%#d up and it is interesting to see how people are responding, but at the end of the day the party who initiated the slander is you. I’m sorry for your problems, but you need to understand you can’t just run around implying things like this willynilly every time your emotions get the best of you.

Well like you said Helimited, you don’t know me and you don’t know Louis. If and when I have to show what I have, it will clearly present itself and it will show that I gave a deposit for an item and it was not delivered at the promised time. and when I asked for the deposit back, I was ignored.

I’m sorry you don’t seem to understand why I want to warn people but that’s okay. You don’t know me.

Can you please close and/or delete this thread?
It’s off topic, offensive and out of control.
Thank you!

I had originally vowed to stay out of this…however:

I heard of this project months ago, and my gut feeling was that it was an iffy business proposition from the start…

The more acceptable way to the letterpress community at large, it seems, would have been to produce the presses then offered them for sale.

There are others who have produced reproduction presses, namely, Steve Pratt in Utah, and Harry F. Rochat Ltd. in the UK….but they started selling them with something tangible.

Too many “ifs” involved in this project, and everybody should have realized that from the beginning, and forgive me when I say that I am of the opinion that it is a piss poor business model/plan.

I have a very unique hand built tabletop side lever press made of wood(!), and other parts made of metal, and I would love to reverse engineer it, and build them and offer them for sale, but you could bet your bottom dollar that before I accepted one penny, several would be built and tested to my satisfaction…or it would not be built and offered at all.

[edit] Only because I mentioned it:


My two cents and I’m done.


• Alan never should have been dragged into this. That was effed up.

• Lou is way wrong for quoting 4 weeks (or whatever) and not delivering on time. After the advertised time has passed, a refund should be given if requested.

• It is really weird that ‘weddingplanner’ does not own a press at all and chose THIS non-existent extremely expensive press to be her first one. Like, what?

• Lou obviously has a shady past and this wouldn’t be the first time he’s ripped someone off. Not that he’s trying to do that here, but certainly it raises an eyebrow.

Magahurt: I do actually own a very small press but I don’t use it often because the quality it not great. I am a graphic designer and I do a lot of custom invitation work and have outsourced my letterpress. I thought it would be a smart move to start offering letterpress directly. I have print making and an art background/degree from the MFA school. I wanted to do it the “right” way and found Louis through Excelsior Press and visited him to see what he had for restored presses. This is when the tale starts because he showed me the prototype for the press. So I decided to make the investment to have the ‘right” press. Clearly I was wrong about this. I hope that helps shed light from my end.

This should have been set up on kickstarter, no?

There would be one value of “donations”, 1500 dollars. This being a deposit, and not a donation, in the sense that it guarantees the person a press at the remaining balance. That guarantee being the “reward” in kickstarter terms…

Louis would have set a certain number of such donations, or in this case presses that had to be made for the investment to make sense, in order to deem the project funded.

Now, everyone who had been willing to pitch in could see how near or far it was from reaching that goal at any one time. At the set date, if that number was not met, no money changes hands and no damage had been done.

Not saying there was anything wrong with the way Louis did this, but doing it that way hinges on confidence and good communication.

If the parts are now cast and ready to be picked up, it seems the press is not far down the road… good luck to all.


I don’t want any readers to take this the wrong way, I feel sorry for your dilemma, but I find this all hilarious! Doesn’t anyone do research? Did you really think someone was going to build you a press in a few weeks/months? There have been plenty of posts regarding the practices of both Lou and Alan on this website (no input from me at this time, that’s been taken care of already by others) that would of helped you decide to do business with them or not. I mean seriously, $1500.00 for a deposit on a press that isn’t even built? You should of been able to find a working press for that much and had money to buy new rollers to boot…
Unfortunately, like all businesses, there are people who are willing to take advantage of people who don’t know what they’re getting into.
It is sad that is has invaded the craft of letterpress as well.

Lou Colavecchio is a convicted criminal who has served prison time for ripping-off people and corporations. To expose his very questionable business practices is in my mind a public service. His position is indefensible, and he should refund the young lady’s deposit taken under the pretense of being able to deliver a product by a certain date. The situation is not funny or hilarious, it is a breach of business ethics by someone who has a proven criminal track record. To chastise and condemn weddingplannerin617 on her investment is re-victimization, and those doing so should be ashamed of yourselves.

As most of you know, Briar Press does not usually moderate these discussions; we rely on contributors and readers to self-regulate. This community has good instincts and the system works brilliantly.

Now that this thread has been brought to my attention, I think it’s time to close it. It appears to have run its course. Readers can make up their minds about what to make of it.

Contributors are welcome to use this space to speak about letterpress businesses, but please do remember to exercise restraint when speaking about other individuals.