Platen Adjustment

Sorry to post again but i’m really desperate. I’m not getting an even impression on all of my stationary. I’m to the point that I pack it so much that my press just stops. I’m pretty new at this and really dont know the terminology so please excuse me. I have a 12 x 18 Chandler and Price , i’m assuming old style. I’m wondering if I have to adjust the platen and if so, how? I see so many bolts and dont know which to adjust. Any help would be appreciated!

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If that’s a Chandler and Price then it’s probably a Craftsman model and not an old style model. To adjust the platen you’d need to adjust the 5 (including center) bolts that thread into the platen from the rocker. You can see the top left and right as well as the center bolt on your ‘Front.jpg’ photo. You’ll want to loosen the locking nut on each and then make small adjustments to each bolt in an X pattern—be sure not to extend any one bolt too far without adjusting the others as well. It’s a tedious process but once you have it dialed in you should be in good shape for many years.

John Falstrom sells a platen gauge which I hear is great. There are also magnetic platen gauges for sale on eBay. Either of these options will simplify the process.

Before you do anything, though, you should make absolutely certain that your form is type high (.918”).

Hope this help,

Thanks so much!

K. first, there may be variances within either the bed or the platen, more localized than the bolts will fix. those may need to fine tuned with a “makeready”
Now to adjust the platen, start with a sheet.020-.030” thick under that top plate.
Next lockup near each of 4 corners in chase the same letter. same size. the letters must hit in an area that is backed up by the sheet under the plate
Next comes the adjustment part, use wrench to screw in the center stud, about1/8-3/16 ” gap between stud and rocker, if it has center stud.
you have 4 sets of dies. get any 2 the same and hitting on bare plate as you want(pressure wise). these 4 sets are : Horizontal top 2; horizontal bottom 2: vertical gear side 2; vertical operator side. 1 2 so, this shows your 4 letters, 1,2,3,4 3 4 your pairs are: 1-2, 3-4. 1-3, 2-4…
easiest is to bring up pair 1-2 to correct pressure and even.
now bring up bottom set 3-4 to good even pressure. you may lose pressure on top set, if you look where stud is,,,, you see there is a teeter-totter effect.
you are close to done, now fine tune operator side, then gear side.
you will want to just snug the nuts as you work to make sure platen is seated for pressure checks.
now is an important check,,, loosen top nut #2 make sure stud stays seated against rocker. if it lifts up as you loosen nut, no good. if good snug nut back up. now loosen nut# 1. if that one does not lift, you are good to go… take out packing from under plate. if either of these studs do lift. start over, loosening all 4 nuts. you can’t have the platen “rocking” at all. consider this your die/stud pattern
1 2

3 4
stops/ bottom

Thanks eric!

If a newer model Craftsman presses I have seen have a handwheel for impression adjustment (equalizing top and bottom pressures). Perhaps it could be out of whack and that rather than the platen bolts is all that needs adjustment.

ummm i would like edit my response,,, you will want some sort of stock for letters to hit against showing pressure.. cut alot of 2” x 2” squares and tape down where type will hit, showing pressure. it is easier to use a die cut die and cut a thin sheet at each corner. don’t forget to bring back center bolt in to play by tightening v snug. don’t reef on it.