platen adjustment

Ive been attempting to adjust my platen for a few days now and am having some trouble getting it even is there a detailed description on how to do this the operators manual was not much help. I am pretty frustrated I have been doing this for two days and still have not achived even impression HELP,HELP, HELP PLEASE

Log in to reply   6 replies so far

One way is to lock up type-high blocks (preferably the same size) in each of the four outside corners of your chase, so that each block would theoretically get even impression if the platen were adjusted properly. Hand-ink the form (which keeps the rollers out of the way), and pull an impression. Adjust the platen accordingly, and repeat as necessary.

I hope this helps…

Hi Jessica,

I designed a gauge for roller and platen adjustment on most presses. You can read about it here:



John has designed a fantastic adjustment tool. It gets two thumbs up from us.

T & T Press Restoration

I usually lock up type-high blocks in each of the four corners and then place a strip of .007 acetate on one of the blocks, close the platen, and then adjust it until the acetate just pulls free. I repeat it for each corner. Sort of like a feeler-guage.

I have followed the steps of locking up four large pieces of type in the four corners and getting those to print evenly. However, when I put a centered lockup in the press, I find that part of the image is printing light while other parts may be clear. The problem is that as I adjust to increase the pressure in the light areas, the areas that were clear before get out of adjustment and turn light. I’ve been working with a Kelsey 5 x 8 to print a bookmark that is made up of a 2 x 2 engraved cut and 7 lines of type 2” wide at the widest. This seems like it should be well within the limits of the Kelsey, but I seem to be running through the whole range of its adjustment without ever getting the whole image in focus at once. What am I doing wrong here?


You may not be doing anything wrong, nbpeck. My Kelsey 5x8 was always going out of adjustment. The impression screws were in the center of the sides (a rather poor design to begin with) and had no way of locking the screws into position. So they wiggled loose after a few impressions. Newer ones had the screws in the corners.

if you have one like mine, then you’ll end up playing around with the impression screws quite a bit. You’ll shortly become adept at working with the impression screws. I know one Kelsey printer who says he has to adjust about every other impression. He does really nice work, too.

I eventually got a C&P 8x12 OS and sold the Kelsey. That cured the impression screw problem. And created a few new ones. Which I’m learning to deal with.