Adana 3x5


I just want to say I’m a complete novice. This is my first press and I’m just learning. Please, be gentle with me.

I recently acquired an Adana 3x5 for essentially nothing. It’s quite dirty, but not as rusty as I expected. All the parts move but not very smoothly. I think it just needs a good clean and oil.

I’ve noticed two issues (so far)…

First, the ink plate doesnt spin when the lever is engaged. It spins freely if I turn it, but doesn’t turn on its own to distribute the ink. What is the likely cause of this?

Second, the rollers seem to be coming to a rest quite high up so they’re blocking my access to the chase - which is still stuffed with spacers. Should they come to a rest further down?

I’m just learning, so something small/cheap is ideal for the moment as I learn the basics. I’d just like to get the press in good working order and get some plates made for business cards, greeting cards etc.

I can post pictures when I get home, if that would be helpful.



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The adana comes to rest when the arms are at the least pressure on the springs so kind of horizontal I think is normal ,
You would normally stop them at the bottom of their travel in order to remove the chase this is typical of all platens as thats the way it works ,
your disc drive is just a wee bit of flat steel with an angle point on it ,if you watch it closely you will see what is meant to happen and the adjusment is simple enough you can work it out ,the bit that is pointed and meant to catch the little teeth on the rear of the ink disc is called the “pawl” in most printers words , the said pawl should be free to bob up and down ,if this is free then bring the press to a position where the pawl is coming up beneath the ink disc . Observe the approach of the point of the pawl you need to twist the pawls bracketing until the pawl gently clicks into the front or flat of the little teeth and as the motion of the platen is acted you should see this pawl push the disc around a little , if the pawl doesnt reach make the adjusment onthe bracketing to achieve the contact ,a little patience and careful observation will show you all you need to know .

hello Amanda,

it would be very helpful if you could post some photos, that often helps a lot when answering questions. Have you got the manual for the press?

The bottom limit of the rollers is goverened by the bump stop on the back of the platen when it rests on the handle, Adana actually call it *Platen Rubber Insert* The spread sheet is in front of me now. . .Transmittable if I can work out how to post it.???
The top limit of the rollers over the ink Disc, is governed by (Adana,s Listed) *Impression Stop*… . . Which when the 5 x 3, is set up correctly, the impression handle and its related link, onto the back of the Platen Proper, make a perfectly straight line, just prior to impression (akin to kiss impression) on the last minute downward pressure, to achieves true impression, there is a distinct click, when contacting the correctly set impression screw, which in turn, restricts the rollers from going too far up the ink disc.
With no forme/chase in the machine and the impression screw backed off too much. the rollers are not so restricted on the top approach.???
Ink Disc not revolving, things to check? of course, the primitive adjuster!! also if/when removing the Disc, it should remove with its steel spigot intact from the base of the machine… It is well documented that, seizure of the steel spigot in the cast alloy base is fairly common, usually oiling gets overlooked…The disc has to rotate with its own spigot.???. . Is there any (possibly unnecessary) washers under the ink disc, often mistaken attempts to aid rotation, causing the disc, to be too high to catch the rotator finger.?? .. Post in the back archives, recently, re this very issue. (Mid Jan.)
Usually one thin Steel washer, or better still one Nylon washer, (being friction free) acts well. Not Adana,s principle.??
Original Spread sheet, transmittable (with help???) 36 instruction paragraphs long, 8 pages to view, 17 monochrome illustrations, one full size monochrome shot, one half size, exploded, itemised shot.?
If all else fails, and requested,!! (with help) I will endeavour to post. Good Luck.

Thanks for your comments. I was actually mistaken in my thought that it was a 5x3, it’s actually an HS1. I measured the chase when I got home. There aren’t any markings on it at all - it doesn’t even say Adana. If anyone could make a guess at the date it was made that would be fantastic. I think I read on one of the postings here that there were HS1 ‘diy’ assembly kits sold, I’m wondering if this could be one of those.

The roller issue is solved…thanks! The rollers it came with are badly pitted so I’ll have to order some new ones.

Still having trouble with the ink disk rotation though. I’ll post some pictures. It looks like there should be two arms that catch the disk to rotate it? However one is missing, and the other just gets pushed away rather than catching and rotating the disk.

Thanks for your patience! I’m hoping to learn my way through the basics with this machine and trade up once I feel confident enough.


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In the case of the model you show the pawl is the tab that is sticking out at the rear of your Photo1 It just needs moving to th ecorrect position to push the disc around .

Hi Peter,

Thanks. I’ve just tried and it just hits against the back of the ink disk. I’ve taken a little video.

There are teeth on the back of the ink disk but the pawl doesn’t slip into them. It just hits the smooth underside of the disc and bends, rather than pushing the disc forward.

Am I missing something simple? Is it the disc itself? The disc rotates freely and doesn’t seem to be in the wrong position. There are no washers under it.



That pawl is the right bit it just needs putting in its proper place to do its task , i need look at one quickly to check but you should be able to spot whats wrong . Mine are different in the type of pawl but the curved shape of yours is found on some . of these and yours looks fine its just in the wrong position ,have you got no drawing s .

This is not a 5 x3 it is an H/S 1.

That’s just a bit of metal strip a previous owner has tried to use. The pawl is similar to the H/S 2, has a pointed end.

The pawl shows better on page 29 than page 28

It is highly likely that you have 2 Wrong Fonts OR 2 Red Herrings in the mix, as Platen Printer suggests P.29 shows the correct Pawl and Ratchet assembly???
There would appear to have been no other method.???
I contend that the actual ink Disc and the pen steel (pictured) are the red Herrings. i. e. Adana Ink discs invariably turn Anti clockwise looking down on, which makes the teeth on the underside operable ONLY by the finger sliding into contact on the forward stroke and merely, (just with the counter balane/offset tripping in reverse and/or the disc revolving above) just tripping clear, in reverse.
Careful inspection and analysis of the pictured disc shows a completely Alien Boss where the teeth/dogs should be, with no apparent means for the Pen Steel finger to engage, which ever location or orientation it be in. . If it were in push mode, the curvature would (surely) prohibit it from contacting?? if it were in pull Mode it would (surerly) have to be on the opposite side and involve a small hook.?? . . Again I contend that the Disc is an Alien, the finger is an attempt to make it work, the driving dogs boss, is also suspect and the amount of spindle protruding from the underside of the base is definately NOT Adana original.
If it were of Adana origin, one would expect to see, on the underside of the Disc, cast in, (in production) recognisable/traceable Adana Designated part no,s.???
Akin to Alphabetical Letter (A, B. C. etc) followed by 4 numerical combinations 1 > 9/0??. . .Thence 2 alphabetical symbols and combinations of 1 > 9/0 with 4 figure composition. . .Does the underside of the Disc check out in any way similar, . . If NOT, (possibly) trawl for the correct Disc, with some good negotiable currency, for barter, Sigwalt, Kelsey, etc etc. . Should there have been one model (interim etc) where the Pen Steel finger was attempting to work in, conjunction with the disc pictured, still appears, a non starter, as P. P. has observed. . If my GUESStimates prove wrong I will happily be corrected.!!!!… Good Luck

This is the H/S 1 parts diagram, unfortunately the ratchet assembly P doesn’t show very clearly.

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Im going to have a look at my hs1 lying around in the workshop. I will report back….

Hi Amanda,
I’ve had a peak at the old wreck of an HS1 I have. Yours appears to be different and I suspect very early. Mine is made of a base metal, yours looks like its cast iron.
Anyway the ink disk pawl on mine is held in place with a grub screw (I didnt want to commit to this until I’d checked!) yours is different to that. Anyway on rotating the shaft and locking the grub screw on mine the pawl stays in position and works the ink disk. I wonder if the problems with yours were improved upon by the Adana boffins. I cant see too well on the pics.
And if you need any bits for your press you can have them from mine for the price of postage.

Sorry beings but that bent tab is actually familiar enough that I will now have to think where I saw it , I will look in the daylight at the one that lurks here , yes they usually have a flat pointed pawl but this arrangement is ringing a very loud bell here .
Mick the ratchet is within the ring you can see underside of the disc .

Found pics of the pawl showing the strip metal pawl on earlier models and the later version similar to the No 2

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There is no way, the pawl in the original enquirers own last picture, (Genuine Adana) could possibly, engage the recessed ratchet dogs, not visible by line of *sight*, or accessible, from line of *approach* see the slab sided outer ring, in photo 2, the point of the pawl would smash into the outer ring, on approach and be forced to rotate around the shaft it was mounted on… . Which probably explains why A/THE pen steel finger, was attempted to be fitted, to a non standard disc, using different technology. Albeit crude
A spring steel finger with the appropriate curvature, may well have worked on another application.???
***Other eye sight Testers, and suppliers are Available.***

Hi all, if it helps, one of my hs1 has the normal pawl diagrammed above (as per platen printer’s pic), but one has the same kind as Amanda.

As you’ll see from my pics, this hs1 is in a pretty bad state anyway, but if it wasn’t, I’m pretty sure the pawl would be hopelessly unable to spin the ink disc.

Supports the idea that this is an earlier and inferior model?

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Comparison between Amanda’s pics and the last pic uploaded by kentpterodactyl show the curvature of the strip metal pawl to have been reversed.
Has someone not simply taken it to bits and reassembled it the wrong way around?
If it is held by a screw then can it not be unscrewed and reattached so that it curves inwards rather than outwards?