Trucks for Kelsey 5x8 Rollers

Hey again!

I received my press today. I’m so pleased! It’s in great condition.

Taking a look at the rollers it seems I am missing trucks, I have seen them for sale through NA Graphics(, but I’m wondering if they are still the right ones.

I’ve never seen rollers made from this material before (they are squishier than usual) so I was wondering if they were a special type of roller that needed a certain type of truck.

I’ve attached some photos for reference.


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The rollers look like the old composition rollers, they do look pretty new, check with Excelsior Press in New Jersey, I think he makes trucks, maybe John Falstrom in Lyme, CT makes trucks also. You don’t need special trucks.

David Hauser at Tarheel Roller made composition rollers on original cores for my Gordon Oldstyle. My press was missing trucks, however, and he machined them for me based on specs from his database. They work beautifully and I recommend David and Tarheel Roller to anyone who wants professionally built rollers and trucks. He also made a composition roller for a little Kelsey Junior I have been playing around with.

Hi Amanda, Those are cheap polyurethane they are getting ready to go back to there liquid state. Do not keep them anywhere you do not want a big sticky mess. Your trucks need to be the same diameter as the rollers look me up for some or a new set of high quality rubber rollers.

No, those appear to be standard composition rollers, not polyurethane. Make certain you always support them by the shafts and not allow them to lie on a flat surface as they would easily conform to that surface and would develop a flat at that point. The roller you pohotographed seems to be in fairly good shape and should last you for several years.

John Henry

Yeah Jhenry, they are the original rollers that came with the press. The box they were in supported the shafts (photos attached)

Would I just need the normal trucks from NA Graphics? The seller on ebay mentioned something about having the originals. I should contact them and see perhaps.

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Has anyone worked with this seller? I feel like their rollers look similar to the ones I already have.

Also, it seems that Tarheel can recast my cores. Is rubber better than composition?

I have used Todd’s rollers on Kelsey 5x8 presses and found them to be very good.


Thanks Dan!
I’m also contemplating whether or not I should get a deep relief base or a standard base from boxcar. It seems I can use a standard base if I adjust the rollers properly, which seems pretty easy with this press. What would you recommend?


Composition rollers are not recommended if you will be printing from photopolymer plates, something Tarheel has recognized. The Tarheel composition rollers I’ve seen were red, just as shown above. Tarheel is the only manufacturer of compsition rollers in the US. That Etsy listing is likely just a resale of Tarheel rollers (though for the really ambitious, Tarheel used to sell bulk composition so you can do your own casting).
Composition is good with metal type, especially used metal type where height varies slightly, and wood type which really varies.

Ahh I see, parallel, that makes a lot of sense!

A deep relief base is definitely a better option for the Kelsey tabletop. What little you save on slightly cheaper standard-height plates, will be spent away on grief counselors after weeks of trying to keep the rollers from inking the base.

I am pretty sure these can’t be “original rollers”, Kelsey went out of business in the 80’s. I very much doubt composition, polyurethane or even rubber could survive in such a pristine condition. These are original roller cores (in the original roller box) that most likely had been recast in one of the aforementioned materials.

The box had ‘1982’ written on it, so who knows. Haha. I’m planning on purchasing rubber rollers though.

Composition lasts for 4-7 years :)

Haha, well then they are probably not from 1982 then, since that is before I was born. ;)

Ouch. I feel old now….


Michael Hurley
Titivilus Press
Memphis, TN

Haha. I’m only turning 28 I felt old the other day when I couldn’t turn on my boyfriend’s parent’s stove. There were so many buttons and digital nonsense.

I consider myself to be pretty tech saavy, but come on!