Newbie rant


Ok so for about a month now i been aquiring all the items i need to get my Kelsey 5x8 press going. I been taking my time hence i am also finishing an interior of a new garage.

But i have aquired some cheap complete fonts on ebay for under $20 a pop. Bought slug cutter, wickersham quoins, some galley trays(mostly because i have more than one use for these). Picked up 10lbs of spacers in various sizes, and the longer spacers.

I have ordered ink from Vansons, got the ink knife, found some old type trays locally. Bought some mineral spirits, plastic boxes, paper, and numerous other items.

Anyway, i got tons of metal lol. Now im building a table for my press, a table for my cheapo paper cutter, and some wall shelves. Our spare room is now a craft studio, for me and my wife. Im also making a cabinet to put my 4 Thompson trays i aquired, there small ones.

I started out getting myself aquainted with the type, sorting out spacers in now very heavy plastic boxes. Slowly working my way to fiddling with the composing stick and off to my first project.

I bought the press so i can make my own business cards for my store. Yeah probably take me for ever to print, but i enjoy making things for myself. I figure for a first project its not to tough. I can start out simple, and then tweek my card and make it more interesting.

I think my next project will be some cards for my cousins flower shop the tiny ones that come with the flowers. And i might letterpress some price cards for items in my store.

I have to thank everyone on this board. I have been reading this board for about 4 months straight, and when i joined and was wanting a press 4 years ago. I read it then.

Then out of the blue, a kelsey press shows up at a local antique dealer for $50. I was like yep, im taking it home….

Any ideas or words of wisdom are appreciated.. I can see why people enjoy this hobby. Its like therapy….

Have good day

Log in to reply   6 replies so far

hey there! 50$!! i envy you!! goodluck with this new journey - im still in the first chapter of my letterpress journey and couldn’t agree more - its absolutely therapeutic! …post your cards when you’re done!! :)

A Series,
Congratulations and welcome aboard.
Where are you located?
Sounds like you’re off to a good start. I recently had and opportunity to use a Kelsey Excelsior and was surprised and “impressed” by how well it can print. (Granted it had brand new rollers.)
Good luck, keep us posted,

I will post my cards and ill probably post the i need help msg also before im done lol

Yeah i hear $50 is a good price, hence the $400 rusty broken ones on ebay…

But yeah its relaxing in its own good way. Next week im planning on firing up the press and trying my lack of skills lol

I might suggest a textbook I found very helpful when starting out -

Other than that, I’d like to wish you well and welcome!

You might like Jessica White’s book, Letterpress Now - available on Amazon

Soon as i get more money ill purchase one of them books. I been playing the ebay font lottery. So far i aquired about 6 fonts for less than $100 all in original atf boxes. Some still taped shut. I only bought ones i liked just to tinker with to get started.

I got about 5 complete fonts, and a few POS ones… I was like i wanna sort ten lbs of lead lol. I must be going crazy but i find it like buying a surprise bag and if i dont like them ill cut them down for spacers..

But thanks for the book suggestions, all i got are a few vintage kelsey books. Those tiny ones… Actually i got quite a few from the 70s