Wedge Quoin Key

I’m looking for a key to use with Challenge wedge-style quoins - they are 2.75” long. Some came with a press that we recently purchased, and then I found some that came with a key on eBay, but upon arrival I discovered that the key is too small (unless I’m doing something really wrong).

I know that these wedge-type quoins are kind of “old tech,” but we’re working on a pretty small press and don’t really have the budget for hi-speed quoins right now anyway. I did not see this type of key for sale on NA Graphics. Does anyone know where I might be able to find one?

Many thanks in advance!

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I will be glad to send you a key for these quoins free-of-charge since you evidently area discerning soul (evidenced by the Cimarron Review Ruler)..

Drop me a note and We’ll talk.

The key you have is for the Challenge high-speed quoins.

John Henry

As John said, the key is for a Challenge “High Speed” quoin, which is a one piece assembly that expands when the key (five lobed) is inserted. I believe these were introduced in the late 1930’s.

They were quite the wonder, indeed I found a pair that came in their own leatherette case, proudly emblazoned “Challenge High Speed Quoins”. I’ll have to find it and post a photo.

The two piece quoins you have are Hempel Style quoins, which were a great improvement over the wooden wedges that were used previously. The Hempel quoin could be used with a shooting stick (not recommended), just like a wooden quoin, or you could use a key (four lobed). Hempel quoins came in at least three sizes, with keys to match—though the midget quoins may have used a proprietary key (Challenge?).

Even if you have a bunch of Challenge High Speed quoins, the Hempel style quoins will fit in places the high speeds won’t, and can be handy for particular lockup situations.

Hi. We stock keys and quoins in all styles, wedge, hi speed, wickersham, etc.
contact me at 516-633-5107 cell or text
Stock everything for letterpress newbies and pros except paper and ink !!

And ordinary flat screwdriver will do the job quite well…

Thanks for all of the info, I really appreciate your responses. There’s always something new to learn!

Challenge introduced the HiSpeed quoin in 1932, and sold that portion of their business to Bar-Plate Manufacturing in 1997. On most of the quoins made by Challenge, the year of manufacture is stamped on the quoin. The currently popular 3” quoin was introduced a few years after Challenge started making these. We still sell a fair number of used and new quoins and quoin keys, and Bar-Plate continues to make these.

The key appears to be one for a high speed quoin.
There were two Hempel quoin sizes, the No 1 and the larger No2.