Advice for replacing a missing chase?

I recently bought my first letterpress, a Sigwalt Ideal No. 3, which was missing its chase. I’ve been diligently scouring eBay for a chase, but it seems like it’s not the kind of part that gets listed often. Does anyone have any suggestions for either other places to look besides eBay (and what a reasonable price range would be), or if there’s any way a different chase would also be compatible?

Log in to reply   16 replies so far

Get the measurements, take them to a reputable machine shop, and have them make a couple of them for you.


A little more complicated than that….

I believe that the Sigwalt chases have a unique part on each side that cradle and hold them onto the press. I have tried to use ‘other’ chases for my own Sigwalt but they do not work right.


Right, the Sigwalt I saw has a pin going through the tracks on each side. The chase has tapered sides and this allows the chase to slide under the pin to seat itself. Taper is symmetrical so chase could be inserted correctly, or inverted. But unlike most platen chases which seat agasinst hooks, I’d think that wear of chase or pin would result in a changing position of the chase over time.

The wedges on the sides of the Sigwalt chases permits them to have two “correct” ways to insert them in the press, which means that when I remove the chase for re-inking I have to remember which way up the form goes when I put the chase back. My Sigwalt Nonpareil shows no sign of wear on the pins or the chase wedges, even though I typically re-ink after 25 impressions or so and have run many thousands of impressions on the press in the 40 or so years I have had it. I think that sort of wear is a non-worry.

But the Sigwalt system makes copying the chase much more difficult, as the wedges have to be placed right for the chase to fit correctly.


Obviously, 546, P.I. and A.L.P put in a little more homework before qwerty-ing, in dud Gen.!! Full marks chaps?

Ok. Get accurate measurements, and have one made by a machine shop. Just because it looks difficult to you guys doesn’t mean it is not possible to reproduce.

***Elementry My Dear Watson***… “O.K. Get accurate Measurements etc” Should we perhaps include the rider, when implying reproduction, that it will probably cost an arm and a leg, and even a mortgage, or are such trivialities overlooked, or do we have machine shops that fabricate *one offs* for 50 cents an hour, overall machining times.???
Possibly relevant to a novice, without experience or a big Bank Account.????

Mick, I don’t care to get into a flame war with you.

It makes perfect sense that someone who has a press that has no chase would consider spending what is necessary to make that press useable as it is nothing but a big hunk of metal without one. It may not fit your sensibilities or purse, but it is indeed a real option and should not be dismissed out-of-hand. The person who owns the press should be allowed to make their own decision, and if you have a better option please offer it.

I recently discovered a fully equipped machine shop in my area with the capability of making almost anything out of metal. Already they have made an earthquake lock for one of my type stands, and I plan to use their services to make two matching chases for a press I own. Yes, it will cost money, but if I spend it for my own ease of operation then I consider it money well spent. Not every press problem can be fixed with baling wire and bubble-gum.


If you can’t find a chase, give me a call.
I run a small side line business repair/machine shop in central Iowa.
I have lathes, mills, shapers, planer, gear cutters, welders, etc. There is very little that I can’t duplicate.

I do need pics of the piece along with detailed measurements to give an accurate estimate.


Paul, you haven’t seen my presses, bubble gum, bailing wire and duct tape, maybe a few paper clips.

@dickg. Isn’t that how you are held together as well?!

Seems half of the Sigwalt classifieds are seeking chases.

Perhaps some kind soul(s) can post pix and measurements.

D.T.P. Apologies for apparently bringing a few more details on line!!!
It still seems a little funny that between 6 26, on the 13th and 23 19, on the, 13th, A *recently discovered/fully equipped Machine Shop, APPEARED*??? Would it not have been logical and constructive to have included such elementary info. in the first place.??

At least now Marshall is offering constructive potential help.

Apologies again for any embarrassment/offence caused!!!
Never my intention to offend, just fullest publication of All relevant/constructive details, for the original enquirer to make an assessment with. Sooner rather than Later!!!

@Mick. No offense intended, but just what relevant and constructive details did you offer?

In addition to fabrication of a complete chase, another option might be to modify a readily available chase (e.g. Adana) to work with the Sigwalt.

Perhaps anniechandler could provide pix and measurements of the bed and pins?

Thanks everyone for your very helpful comments! I believe I’ve found a chase from someone on briarpress.