Craftsmen Machinery Monarch

I am looking to pick up a Craftsmen Machinery Monarch letterpress and it doesn’t have any rollers. Is it possible to get a set and what would be a fair price to pay for this machine since it doesn’t have any rollers?

I am a graphic designer looking to start making invitations on the side and I plan on getting this machine and starting with my sisters invitations for her wedding next year. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

image: monarch.jpg


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Good rubber rollers from Ramco will cost you about $180 if you furnish cores. You will also need roller trucks if the press does not have them; John Falstrom makes them of Delrin, as does NA Graphics, but I don’t know their prices. I believe this is a 6x10 chase size press, very similar to the C&P Pilot, examples of which in nice condition have been selling for from $1200 to $2500 or more recently. Since most of the more expensive presses have new rollers you can factor the above price into your calculations, but I would say you will find most comparable presses selling for over $1500 in good condition with new rollers.


You should be able to get rollers for that machine without too much trouble. Give Sherwin Marks at Craftsmen Machinery Co. ( a call. They manufactured the Monarch and still supply parts (including rollers) for some of their presses. I recently ordered a set of rollers for a Craftsmen Superior from him. Also, if you give Fritz at N A Graphics your dimensions, I believe he could get you some rollers too. Not sure about Tarheel Rollers; I suspect they could provide them too (though their price guide doesn’t list any rollers for a 9x12, which is the Monarch chase size if I’m not mistaken).

jricharc - Do you have any other pictures of the press you’re looking at? It looks so much like my Superior (Craftsmen’s 6.5x10 press) from the side. I’d be curious to see more of the larger version. Thanks.

I am going to check it out again more in depth. My local printer friend that has it said he would let me have it for about $400 so I am thinking this could be a good buy. They don’t use it and I showed interest and he said they would sell it to me just to free up space.


I got the press home, I can’t find a model name anywhere on the press. The chase is 9”x12” so does that help? Does anyone know where can I get a set of rollers for this machine?

Here are more photos:

Also I need to find a Quoin key, is there somewhere I can get one of those?

You’ll need to specify what kind of quoins — there are half a dozen or more different ones all with different keys.

I’d say you got a really good press for the money. If Craftsman doesn’t have rollers for it, you can make up your own cores and trucks and have the rollers made. A pair from Ramco should be about the same as the rollers for my Official — about 170 plus shipping. I like to make cores out of drill rod because it’s precision machined and strong. The trucks can come from several sources or you can have them made nearby. Or maybe you got trucks and cores and just need the rollers re-made?

Anyway, enjoy! You have an excellent start on a fine print shop!


The pictures of the press show a high speed quoin in the chase, you will need a high speed quoin key, check with Letterpress Things here in Massachusetts, he usually has them.

Until you get a high speed key, you can substitute a large phillips screwdriver. Not perfect, but good enough for a time or two.

Great looking press. Is it aluminum, or steel? These are very nice because you have the luxury of a large platen, but the convenience of portability. Craftsmen still carries rollers for these presses, and a few parts. Many of the parts from the Monarch are shared with the Superior (6.5x10) As mentioned, Sherwin Marks is a great source of info and supplies.

You may be interested in a group of images I have posted. I’ve been collecting Craftsmen paraphernalia, and have it available to see on Flickr. Included is an early catalog, and a parts list for the Monarch.

Thanks for posting the pictures for us. You’ve got a neat press.

Also, looks like you have hi-speed quoins in the chase. NA Graphics sells keys for those.

Thanks for all the replies. I can take a close up of the chase if that can help determine the type of quion. I got an extra chase with the press too, but I was planning on using a boxcar chase with this. So any tips for picking a boxcar chase? As for the material of the press it sure feels like cast iron because of the weight.

I’d suggest a Boxcar base half the size of the chase inside measurements (if it’s 9x12 that would be 6x9) to give clearance for gauge pins and flexibility in positioning the image to keep it (not the base) in the center of the chase. You probably should not try to print an area larger than half the size of the chase to avoid damaging the press, and deep impression much smaller than that. I just posted a lockup diagram to Rebecca to show what I suggest.



Update, I got the rollers installed but I am having issues with them staying up tight against the press. It looks like it’s because the “saddle spring & shaft” are sticking. I am assuming thats because it hasn’t been used for printing in maybe 10-15 years, they are not seized by any means they just don’t glide back and forth like they should.

Would white lithium grease be good to coat all over the shafts and springs to try and free them up or is there something else that should be applied to these?

make sure you have trucks on the shaft of your rollers. i’d use wd40 on the shafts to loosen them up then use a 30 wt. non detergent oil to oil the whole press.

Sorry to bring this thread back from the dead. I have used this press over the past 5 years and had a blast learning on it and creating various pieces with it. However I just don’t use it enough due to a busy schedule with my kids and my wife wants me to get rid of it so I wanted to see what folks think would be a fair asking price for this press now days?