Kelsey tabletop platen press - difficulty getting rollers up over ink plate

I have a kelsey 9x13 press. It works great. On long runs, however, or runs where a double hit is required for proper saturation, it gets harder and harder to get the rollers up over the ink plate.
This press is big, and it takes some muscle to get it going, but it works well … but even after taking a break and going back, I am having this issue… any ideas?

I’ve adjusted the roller springs, taped the rails, made sure the trucks are the correct height, etc. It’s not an inking problem, but it’s like something is causing the press to get stuck just before it gets up over the ink plate …


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Make sure your chase and chase bed are locked in, if they are not you will have the problem you are having. I had one of these when i was in high school, i tried to print a 8-1/2 x 11 flyer with lots of type and a border all around it. Couldn’t get enough impression so i had another skinny friend come over and with the 2 of us we could get the press on full impression, the run was 2,000 and 45 years later i still have nightmares about that job. With the rails on the bed if your bed doesn’t fit all the way in the press your rollers will hand up as they hit the disk. Good luck, and moving that press you will not have to go to a gym.

I had one of those big Kelseys.Same issue. I am a big and strong guy, but there was a point when the rollers made the transition from the rails to the ink disc, that it was not smooth and required a bit more muscle. They seemed to come back down a bit easier. Not as smoothly as they should, but a bit easier. I could not find anything mechanically wrong and evaluated the problem as a flawed design.
Kelsey started as a boy’s hobby press. They were popular and I believe Kelsey just tried to scale them up. The 5 x 8 was a pretty good press. I think the 9 x 13 was too large for a bench top press and was not as well designed as the Craftsmen or C&P.
Look very carefully as someone else operates the handle. Unless you find something obviously wrong, I think you will just have to print with it and enjoy it as you can.

Thanks for your suggestions. I’ll check the chase and bed next run. Definitely no need for the gym with this thing!
I’d love to upgrade to a floor model, but right now I just don’t have the space …