Advice on purchase

Hello! I am new to letterpress and am looking to buy my first machine. I have been learning and researching for a while, but I would like to get experienced printers’ opinions on this purchase. I am looking for a tabletop 5x8 print (mostly been looking at Kelsey and Adana) and have come across this listing on ebay that is in my area. Just wondering if people think I should jump on this or look elsewhere? Thanks in advance!

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The press needs an ink plate, and ink plates are hard to come by. Without one you are out of luck. Get a complete press and learn enough about the presses that you don’t get stuck with an incomplete press.

Hello, thanks for your reply. It seems included but just isn’t attached. I think it’s shown in like photo 6 or 7 of the posting. Or am I misunderstanding? Same with the rollers. It also has a couple chases, furniture and manuals.

Very small, wait and seek larger 450 for a 3x5 not great

Agreed, I always look for a press that’s the right size and ready to run on day one.

It’s an Adana eight five, which means 8x5 no?

Adanas are popular presses in England, I think. $450 seems like a lot, but small table top presses seem to be more expensive than large ones sometimes. You can do a lot of little things with a 5x8 press, I have a couple similar size that I use quite a bit for envelopes, a couple of lines of type, etc. but will be limited in size of type area/image. Could be a good introduction.

Only buy a press you can pick up in person, or one that is shipped by someone with extensive experience packing and shipping printing presses specifically. Speaking from bitter experience.

One comment that never is mentioned. Modern letterpress is for the most part about the deep impression. Most table top presses are from a time when letterpress was a light kiss impression. I see post’s about broken equipment and wonder how much of that is cause by stressing a press to do what it was never designed to do. With cotton stocks I am sure many presses will work fine. At the same time you need to understand what can happen if you stress with to much of a hit. I think a good blog would be what table top presses perform well by modern impression standards, and which presses are easy to weld or fix when they do break. A broken press you cannot fix is a boat anchor waiting for a boat. I wonder if Johannes Gutenberg had a boat?