Two 5x8 presses……..

So I am off on an adventure in rural Alabama tomorrow. Placed an ad on Craigslist and got a great call from it. Two presses, a Ludlow, two type cabinets, and few type drawers and a bit of type for a couple hundred dollars. Need the cabinets but I guess I’m going to be restoring a couple of 5x8 table top presses. Anyone know anything about these presses?

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Craftsman is a good press, the company is still in business here in Massachusetts, they no longer make presses but still have parts for some of their machines, the second one is a kelsey, looks like the roller hook is in backwards, the chase and chase bed are there, there should be two roller hooks on each side but i only see one, can’t tell what size it is but you need to measure the inside of the chase to find out. both are good machines. good luck with them.

Thanks. When you look at the photo of the Craftsman, I think I see a second press right behind it, think I can see a second unpainted handle……. Or am I being wishful….. haven’t seen any of this equipment, picking it all up tomorrow.

It doesn’t look to me like the Craftsman needs much restoration — probably a bit of rust removal with steel wool and a set of rollers. The Kelsey will need a lot more work, and you might prefer to just sell it as is, unless you want to have two presses. The Craftsman is so much superior to the Kelsey it’s isn’t even funny.

I think what you’re seeing behind the Craftsman is its shadow from the camera flash.


Your Craftsmen looks like a Superior 6.5x10 rather than an Imperial 5x8. The transfer of the action to the platen by means of arms on the outside of the press (like a Pilot) is a pretty strong indicator that it’s the larger press. Craftsmen’s Imperial 5x8 press worked more like a Sigwalt Ideal or Golding Official in that respect. Great find. I love my two CMC Superiors.

All done! Learned many things cleaning up this little press…. Painted with new boards and off to it’s new home:

Looks great, Mika. Where did you get (or how did you make) that swivel for the feed board?

The feed board and hardware was from Craftsman Tool Company. The still have a ton of parts available for this press. See my update about the Craftsman Superior;