Adjusting the platen on Sigwalt Ideal

I just recently got my sigwalt Ideal No. 3 up and running again. I tried to pull a sample print and it didn’t not go nearly as well as I had hoped. The type printed fine in some areas and competely missed in others. All the type appears to be inking normally and I took out the chase a few time to level out the type as I thought maybe that was the issue. The rollers are brand new also.

I think that problem lies with the planten, I tried adjusting the bolts underneath the platen but it seems to be locked in place and I can tell from looking at it that the right side is higher than the left. The right side will not lower with the bolts and the left side will not go any higher.

I’m wondering if maybe a little oil is all it needs to loosen up the platen and allow it to move again. But, I was hoping maybe someone would have some experince with sigwalts. I can’t seem to find much regarding this type of press.

I’m in the Philly area.

I had been rather busy so unfortunatley today is the first day in a while I’ve been able to work on this press. The help and directions have been wonderful so far!
The issue I’m still having is that the lower part of the image (down in the press) is printing and I am getting nothing on the top part. I currently have 4 M’s in my chase, one in each corner.

When the press is closed the lower side of the platen is tight against the type while the top is further out. I’ve been trying various adjustment to the bolts on the back of the platen with no luck making it level. I’m going to find a tool large enough to loosen the bolts in the back at the moment to see if that’s what need to be adjusted.

I would appreciate any other ideas or tips. Thanks!

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I have some. The larger Sigwalt’s (Ideal and Nonpareil) adjust quite differently than a standard press. The four bolts at the corners are not the main adjustment. They are designed for changing the angle the platen meets the form only. You cannot bring the whole platen in or out with them. That adjustment is in the back of the press where you will find two very large nuts sandwiching a casting. You loosen one and tighten the other or vice versa and that brings the entire platen in or out. I cannot tell without being there if all you need to adjusts is the four bolts, but, as an example: If your form has no impression on the right and too much on the left, you may be able to resolve the issue just with the four bolts by loosening the upper and lower bolts on the right and tightening the upper and lower bolts on the left the same amount. Any loosen or tightening has to have the opposite done on the opposing bolts. The platen is in a sort of cup that allows angle adjustment in any direction based on the position you put the four corner bolts in. Here is a similar but different example that requires you to adjust both the four bolts, and the large nuts in back. Say you had no impression on the right again, but, perfect impression on the left. You cannot in this example get what you want by only adjusting the four bolts. Any movement of the right side of the platen to get more impression requires an equal opposite movement on the left. So, if you adjusted them to fix the impression on the right, you would now not have impression on the left. In this example, you would need to adjust for kiss impression on both right and left and then use the back nuts to bring the entire platen in evenly. Or, possibly just add packing. Whew! Is any of this making sense? Its a lot easier to show this in person than to explain.(for me)

I believe at least some of the Ideals used the platen adjustment scheme more similar to the C&P, or else they have a coil spring in the center against which the four impression adjusters work. John’s description fits my Nonpareil perfectly, but it’s been too long since I had and used an Ideal 6x9 and I don’t remember clearly. If it has the C&P-style system you have to loosen one nut and then turn the other, then tighten both again. (For example to reduce pressure on the upper right corner, you would loosen both the outer upper right and inner lower left nuts, then back off (turn clockwise) the inner upper right nut to reduce pressure (very little, like one flat on the nut), do the same in the opposite direction on the lower left inner nut, then snug up the outer nuts on both corners and try the impression. This is where John’s type-high platen adjusting gauge is a big help.

It also really depends on how much short or over you are on impression once the platen is leveled — packing may do it all. I think I’ve only ever adjusted the rear impression nuts once, on the Ideal, because they were pretty far off.


Hi Bob,

Thanks for the additional info. By the way, for those interested, some Golding Officials have a similar system but elected to use a shim system in the back. You take out, or put in shims to bring the entire platen in or out if it is not possible to obtain proper impression with packing changes.


Excellent, accurate and clear instructions