Kelsey Excelsior 6 x 10 Model E Chase Base


I recently purchased a Kelsey Model E 6 x 10 letterpress. It needs a few purchases and repairs but I think I can get it in working condition. Currently it is missing rollers / trucks, and grippers.

Two parts of the press I am most concerned about are the Chase / Chase Bed and one of the Handle Connections.

The chase / chase bed seem to be slightly warped. When I lay both on a flat surface I find they consistently wobble back and forth diagonally. I havent tried printing, however I am certain this will effect inking / impression.

Any suggestions on how / if I can level the chase bed, or does anyone have a spare chase / chase bed?

As for the handle connection, about 1/2 way Through the top rod connecting to the handle has broken off and is missing. It seems to be working fine, but I would be interested in replacing it if possible as well.

This is my first press and I would love to have it up and running!



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The wobbling chasebed is going to be a problem for a number of reasons.
Inking is the least of them.

Your impressions will totally suck if the chase bed is not true.
This means both non wobbling AND true so that when the platen makes the impression, BOTH the form AND the platen are completely parallel.

To make it stop wobbling, you COULD put 400 grit paper on a TRUE surface and do the “figure 8 ” thing to lap the rear flat.

The PROBLEM with this is that then your bed will be just a tad low. Depending how low, you might be able to compensate with the platen screws.

I *THINK* the kelsey 5x8 has 4 platen screws.
If it doesnt, then you wont be able to compensate that way.

This leaves you with that link problem.
The later Kelseys had star washers on the end of the pins that could be removed and replaced.

Yours appear to be “peened”.
This means you will probably end up having to grind away the outer edge of the peening to get the pin out.
You will probably also have to have another pin machined to replace it.
The broken linkage itself, you should be able to trace it and make a patter than a machinist can drill and grind a new one for you.
I suggest ductile steel in place of the original cast iron.

Your project is doable, and not too expensive.
Its going to be time consuming.

If I knew for sure I could at least break even, I would go into a part time business of making replacement parts for these things.
I havent yet because Im afraid of losing my shirt in the deal.

This is indeed quite the project. As for the wobbling chase bed (I assume you mean press bed, the one with rails), just to be sure, are you rocking it with the rails facing up or facing down. if the rails are facing up and it rocks then that is common. If the rails are the part on the floor and it still rocks then it might be a problem. Then bottom line main concern is if the press bed itself is flat. Take a straight edge(any flat straight object that wont bend works) and strips of paper and trap the paper between the bed and the straight edge. If the bed is still level then you shouldnt be able to pull the strip out from under the straight edge. repeat in several spots. If the press bed is level then you shouldnt have to worry about the chase being warped as long as you compose on a flat surface.
-Best of luck!

From your photos and description it appears that your chase has been repaired. However if it was not held flat during the brazing process it most certainly will produce a wobble. The chase bed is most likely fine unless it too has been repaired. I can’t tell from the photos. The ear common to the lever can be repaired but as mentioned by Tex the shaft must be withdrawn then replaced.
We can help, contact us.

T and T Press Restoration

Thanks Tex, Nick, and Tom!

Yes, the chase bed is untrue. When resting the rails face down on a flat surface one corner is off the surface by a milimeter or two. When laying a Boxcar Base on the press bed it also wobbles.

The chase itself shows the same symptoms. Theoretically I would have someone ‘twist’ both back to level. -Sounds like my best bet is to find a replacement.

If I were interested in taking the press apart, it sounds like I should file or dremel the peened edge of one side of each pin off?

Thanks for the advice and suggestions!


More than likely the chase….cast iron is tough to weld and the heat can warp the metal. entirely. recommend a machine shop and have it ground and trued-up.

I just welded up a Handwheel for a Jobbacker (Bookbinding) Nuckleheads dropped, grind it out, use Nickelrod, use a stickwelder, lay in a tight layerd solid weld.