Value of 8x12 Showcard Press

I found a great looking 8x12 Showcard press on Ebay that the guy had listed for $89. I asked him how much he was hoping to get for it and he said whatever he can get, so I offered him $150. I’m just wondering what would be the usual price for this press? I want to make sure I’m not ripping myself off if nobody else is going to bid on it and I could get it for $89, but I haven’t had much luck finding a Showcard lately and really want one so… any ideas? Thanks guys. This will be my first press if I get it and I am so excited! I learned on Vandercooks, so it will be a challenge for sure…

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That very same press (but with the addition of a bolt-on ink plate) just sold for $250 at the Great Northern Printer’s Fair in Mt. Pleasant, IA this past weekend.

I paid attention because this very same model was my first proof press (which I still have) and was the basis of my press name, since at that time (1976) I was merely a fool with a proof press.

Rick von Holdt
The Foolproof Press

There’s been a handful of the small ones on eBay lately, if you can get it for 150, it’ll be a good deal.

It looks like the gridded bedplate is in good condition, I’ve seen a lot of Showcards/Line-o-Scribes where the plate is buckled and needed to be replaced.

These are lovely for woodcuts and cards.

Ask for a picture of the other side to see if there is a height adjuster. The poster press had it’s own wood type which is higher than .918” and has slots in the back so that it sits on the removable rails going across the press in the picture, or along the bed if the owner has the longer rails .
In America the press is labelled Showcard Machine Company and in Europe it is Sofadi.

The one you are bidding on must be the 7” x 11”

This is a link to the manual, it is also on Briar press somewhere.

The 7x11 Showcard press that you have pictured does not have any height adjusting feature (The larger-sized presses did). Any adjustments need to be made by adding packing under the plate or galley. The bottom plate is the same thickness as a galley-bottom, so your form can be set in a small galley and printed in it by simply removing the bed plate and placing the galley directly on the bed.


Thanks everyone for your input on this! I’m really excited to say I got the press for $150 and am OVER-eagerly awaiting its arrival. I plan on mostly doing lino and polymer prints with a boxcar base for now, since I don’t have a lot of space and am on a tight budget (still a student). Hopefully it’ll be a great first press! I’ll post some pictures of my first prints when I get it!

If on a tight budget why pay for a boxcar base? I use a piece of wood with the lino stuck on the top using double side tape. I do the same to print from hot foil plates/type on a poster press.

platenprinter well if I don’t need to drop $150 on a boxcar base then I definitely wont! I’ll try out the wood idea!

If you are going to print dry point or etchings the trick is to put the blanket in the gripper with the inked plate and dampened paper underneath.

As for value, I’ve learned that it all depends on what part of the country, or world for that matter, you’re in. If you were in Maine and were serious about wanting to use it, I’d give you one.

I got my press today! It’s such a perfect little thing for me :) I’m absolutely in love with it. I got a piece of plywood cut down to fit and did a makeshift lockup with some cardboard and paper until I can get proper furniture and reglets. I’ll have to think of some ways to do registration for two-three color prints though since right now I can pretty much only do one color

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Nice baby Showcard. I wasn’t aware they were made this small. I have the larger 12 x 18 that I have used for linocuts. I paid $400 for the press, two spring drying racks, and quite a bit of wood and metal type in cases in 2008. I believe the larger press is 160lbs.

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