Little Giant #6 help

I work at a printing press that recently acquired a Little Giant #6. Automated presses are new to our shop and figuring out just how the press works can be a little intimidating.

We just inked it up and did our first test today and everything went pretty well except we couldn’t figure out how to take the press off of the printing mode and simply let it run on its trip “inking” mode. Does this press have this feature and if so where is it at? This might be a very basic question for some but any help would be greatly appreciated. I do have a manual but it doesn’t always answer all of my questions.

Thank you!!

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The Little giant will go on “trip” if a sheet is not fed to the grippers. There is a little metal “flap” in the middle of the feed board which locks in place when a sheet does not feed, and that keeps the cylinder bearings rotated so that there will be no impression.

If that is not working, you need to take a look at the linkages to which it is connected and make certain all is properly lubricated and adjusted. Please drop me a note if I can help you with the adjustment.

John Henry
Cedar Creek Press (longtime Model 6 user)

Thanks John! We’ll take a look at this further.

anyone in the NYC area who knows how to succinctly and correctly operate a little giant number 5?

-I’m considering a purchase. It would be my first Automatic.

-Anyone willing to offer some points/counter points pros/cons of these machines versus other automatic cylinders?

Were they good at larger solids/forms?
Are the feeders problematic or typically routine in setup?
Do their inking systems have reliable distribution?

I am bidding on a book project and it is looking increasingly like I should be considering a press like the number 5 over a platen, due to the volume of printing involved. I realize a ‘large project’ is not the ideal to be bidding on not knowing exactly how to use a press, but I’m a competent printer in other aspects and feel it could be a pretty routine thing to learn once I’m up to speed on the feeder and inking system.

It (the project) will mostly be a lot of plate changes and some of it will be larger solids, though not full page (or I would consider it on my C&P 10x15). Photopolymer forms and some copper plate engravings/etchings.

Any advice would be appreciated!

(if you’re an operator in the NY state or NYC area, you could email me at [email protected] to chat about this or offer pointers!)

mark- I don’t know fully what the differences are, but I’d imagine you might be able to find a number 6, which I also imagine is better?

Do both have the ink trip feature? I know that’s a big thing people talk about on the 6, the ability to automatically only feed every other time, the equivalent to tripping a vandercook for another pass of ink.

I also wonder if it’s worth considering a V-50, which you can pick up dirt-cheap usually, and from my reading, it can be finicky but those who like them consider them workhorses.

Hi John, after looking at our press I’m not quite sure which flap is the one I should be focusing my attention on. Photos are attached. With the photo of my hand lifting the flap, this flap seems very flimsy and easily moveable up and down. And then with the other photo this is a more stationery flap that really isn’t allowing me to move it. Are either of these what you mentioned?

Again, thank you so much for any help!


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The flat blade in the center of your first photo is the impression trip. It locks in place if a sheet does not feed. When the sheet is sitting in place in the feeder, the trip sensor doesn’t engage the detent under it, and the cylinder should go on impression. You can test it without running paper by lifting the lever by hand while the press cycles. when it is down and latched, the cylinder will be in trip, but when it doesn’t engage, the cylinder bearings will rotate to the impression position. To lift it, you should rotate the press until the timing for the sheet to feed, the lever is then laying loose, and not in a fixed position.

I’ve attached an image with arrow pointing to the trip sensor lever

John Henry

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After further testing our little giant still continues to print onto the drum when no paper is loaded in. Our linkages may be off but we are having a hard time distinguishing what exactly may be off. Attached are a few pictures of what is going on below the feed table, any thoughts of what needs to be done or suggestions would greatly be appreciated! I just don’t know if the linkages to our trip sensor are linked properly or not. Thank you!!

~Maggie Filla
The Firecracker Press

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The sheet detector lever ends in a little catch (A) (in new photo below) which engages the sheet detector pawl if a sheet does not interfere with that action. Once the catch engages, it holds the lever from advancing to move the cam (B) to press on the Impression throw-off hook, which causes the impression cylinder bearings to rotate onto impression.

If the sheet detector lever is bound up or bent, it may not move through its entire action, and may not return to the position where the sheet detector pawl can engage it. Check to make certain the lever moves freely. Check the stud (C) to make sure it is screwed all the way in, and check the spring (near (A) to make sure the lever moves back to the rest position after engaging the impression throw-off hook.

If the lever is bent so that the catch doesn’t engage the detector pawl, the press will stay on impression.

If all that is OK, post again, and we can go a bit deeper into the mechanism to make sure it isn’t something else.

John Henry

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LGFeedboard bottom.jpg

when I had a number 6, and I am sure it the same as the number 5, take some time and remove the feed board and take it apart, clean everything.

I was having problems with the feeding, I spent the time taking it apart, which is easy, cleaned all the parts and made sure I washed the cleaner off and dry them.

At first it looks hard, but take your time remove the parts and place in a pan so you can wash them and not misplaced them.

Once I cleaned the feed board by paper feed problems went away.