Press worth buying?

Hi All,

I’m totally new to letterpress, having never used a press before. Consequently, I was looking for an Adana (or similar) to get started with. But, I’ve just seen this press advertised here… any comments? Any opinions on buying something like this as a first press?

I know already that it’s missing the treadle, at least.



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Hi Scott,

As you are someone totally new to letterpress I recommend you go out to the Penrith Printing Museum and have a look at the presses there and discuss with the helpful staff about what is best for you and your situation (An Adana is a hell of a lot smaller and more forgiving with fingers but lacks in impressional strength and print area compared to this Arab). At the museum you’ll see a huge variety of presses and you can also book in for a typesetting course as well. I’d say they will be open this Saturday but worth giving them a call in case the Australia Day holiday changed their schedule.

Good luck

Hi. Penrith is a bit far away, since I’m in Melbourne. I’ve tried contacting the Melbourne museum of printing, but I haven’t had much luck.

The main reason I wanted an Adana, or similar, is simply for convenience and to ‘get a taste’ for it before I get something bigger… but that one just happened to come up (and I haven’t seen any local Adanas advertised anywhere). Ideally, I would like larger press, but figured I should probably start small.

I guess what I really want to know is how easy it is for a beginner to learn on a press like that, whether (technically-minded) a beginner can do any of the restorations that might be needed and, lastly, what people think of that particular press. I know it’s hard to judge from the single photo.



Hey Scott,

Sorry I figured you were in Sydney as the press is up here. The Melbourne printing museum will return your call eventually but I think they may be still in the process of moving to their new location so they take a while to get back to you. We actually jumped straight in the deep end and bought our Chandler & Price 10 x 15 without knowing much about letterpress. Yes it was a steep learning curve and a lot of elbow grease to get the press back in working order but the cleaning and restoration is a great way to learn the ins and outs of the press. Also once you do get hold of the guys at the printing museum they’ll be able to help answer some of your restoration questions.

Hope that helps a little more..