Making a double decker feed table

Hello everyone,

I’m in the process of making drawings with a friend for a double decker feed table for an old Kelsey Star I’m restoring. I have a C&P and an Old Reliable in the shop here, and it looks like their upper and lower feed boards have custom made cast pieces that connect the boards to each other (in the case of the Reliable) or connects the upper board to the press (C&P). For my purposes, do you have any recommendations on common hardware I could use for the new combo board? I hate going into a hardware store, trying to describe something like a derp. Thanks!

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can you post pictures?


Pipe and pipe flanges.

Nice 4 word one liner? but as the enquirer states “I hate going into a hardware store etc” assuming your hardware stores are also plumbers merchants, and your man (as a would be printer with hoards of print terminolgy desparately trying to get on board!) may not yet have encountered “flanges”>>long way from make ready, impression, em/debossing, register, ink coverage, etc etc. Surely the very least should have included the need for pipe threading equipment? or even better, for example, beautiful turned hardwood columns, equally nice engine turned (lathe) support columns, polished brass, barley twist columns, as might have been 60/70/80 years back. Way back not only were the machines functional but were pleasant to look at because of the detail involved, but then and still now, perhaps, nice to be associated with. Looks good on self produced Business Card!! Lump of threaded gas/steam barrel! functional, but not exactly attractive.

Folks around here call them “floor-flanges”… the bits you put on the end of a pipe to fasten to a surface.

But, as Mick points out, there may be more attractive and period-consistent hardware to get the job done.

If you have access to a laser (or sign shop with one) some nice decoration might also be added to the table.

image: engraving.jpg



Nicely finished table , would be a pity to fit it with steam pipe though!
Is that another box car product?

Not my work, but it was made at a shop where members pay a monthly fee to use any of the available tools. (

A. M. Thank you. If you are ever able, to post one tiny picture, of a functional restoration by your own hand, I am sure without ANY spiel! the new ones, would have a good yardstick to go by. TA? Mick

Starting a minor refurb on a windmill in a couple of weeks… No repaint, just functional. (I’ll be seeking advice, I’m sure.)

I doubt I’ll be doing any C&Ps in the foreseeable future, since the shop I support only uses one occasionally for printing bleeds on envelopes and creasing.

John Horn’s suggestion is still probably the best one — I would suggest using 3/4” cast-iron flanges and a close nipple of 3/4 inch steel pipe, which will come threaded both ends. You simply screw the flanges to the appropriate places on the feed boards, screw the nipple into the lower one, and then thread the upper feed board flange onto the nipple. If you go to the hardware store and ask for the flanges and nipple they’ll know exactly what you want. Each flange will have holes for 4 screws, so you’ll want 8 3/4-inch screws as well. Simple and cheap solution. Should be less than $10.


Thanks, John and Bob. That’s the info I was looking for. Simple, cheap and functional.

I was at the recent Ladies of Letterpress conference and Bill Allan had two sets of feedboard bracket/hardware for sale on his table that he had crafted by an Amish craftsman based on a sample he had provided. I think he ended up taking them both back home with him. Not sure which press they were designed for, but they might work for you.

Contact Bill at layoutmini”at”


Thanks, Rick! I was at LoL too. Didn’t see these but of course I wasn’t looking for ‘em!