Printing Problems with Small Presses

Hello everyone. I was hoping to gather some information on inherent problems, if there are any, with small tabletop press machines. I was wondering if anyone has experienced problems that they could put down to being a problem with the machine rather than their personal use? For example, do the smaller presses struggle with producing a clear image for more complex designs?

I am carrying out a research project on tabletop sizes presses and thought that the expertise of the users would be a good place to start. I am aware that this is a very general question but I am only beginning to investigate and need somewhere to start. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.


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You ask about problems with the machines. There are limitations of the machines. Most of the problems are either with the operator, or with a badly adjusted machine. The larger and heavier the machine, the greater is the liklihood that it will print better when well adjusted and at the hands of a skilled printer.
All presses have a limitation on the size of the form they will print well. The rule of thumb is a form that fills more than 50-65% of the chase will print less well.
The tabletops have two rollers. They ink large solid areas less well than a three roller floor model. This can sometimes be handled with double inking, or double hitting on the small press.
Good printing can be done on a small press by a good printer.
The machine is not plug-and-play.

Get some ink on your shirt.

talk about good printers, its good to see you finally got back from your vacation inky.

Dear Eube the following may be useful for starters. Here in the UK we are well blessed ewith adanas but not much else so can only offer that source. Rolling power (Generally) seems to be a little behind the possible capabilities of the machines, people tend to assume that if its physically that size it should ink and print that size I think that is an overestimate or sales pitch except on a comparitively light forme (as our previous learned friend has implied) I did try to solve this problem by constructing a 3rd or rider roller on a bigger, principle stolen from thompson platen, my application was O.K. but the result was a lamentable failure. >Increasing the amount of pressure helped but only to the limit that your hand could exert and was linked to cracks and failiures and didny do your hand any good at sustained use especially with older ball handled machines.My well informed friends suggest that litho inks are o k (in the absence of genuine letterpress inks) I think this is an angle for in depth investigation for distribution and coverage capabilities? Plus obtain up to date information about the suitability of modern roller coverings for use on older letterpress style machines i. e. which performs better with what composition rollers and which ink. Hope this helps to begin with. Regards Mick.>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> . oga wy , adana my applicationery and ink print that size arartrers

Small presses are not great for doing deep/smash impressions. I’m not a huge fan of smash impressions because I’m mostly a book maker, but if you want to do wedding stationary or print blind impressions on that thick, fat (lovely) crane letra 600gm a bigger machine might do you better. I also used to get rather sore running them because of my bad right shoulder.

At least that’s my experience with the Kelsey’s. I haven’t printed on a C&P pilot. I’m sure they can do somewhat of an impression, but maybe not as thick and easily as the floor models. I didn’t print much with them, so if I’m wrong, trust the more expert printers here - it was just my experience.