Proper Roller Trucks for a Model P Kelsey 5x8 ?

Hi All,
I am refurbishing a Model P Kelsey and I finally am ready to put its new roller on. When I bought the press, it came with 5 rusty trucks, which I assumed actually went with the press….I just cleaned them up and tried to put the new rollers on (ordered from NA Graphics and appear to be the right size, etc) but it seems like the trucks are too wide. They measure 1.5 cm across……Any suggestions or answers on the proper truck width for a Kelsey Model P 5x8…And also, what is the best way to put them on correctly….Thanks!

Log in to reply   5 replies so far

And how large is ‘1.5cm’? :o) As a general rule, trucks should measure two points less than roller diameter. There’s an earlier post containing a method for determining roller/truck relationship. As for correct installation, well, that depends upon the truck and the roller ends. If the trucks have indentation to receive the roller shaft ‘ears’, the matching will be obvious. If plain on both roller and truck then simply slip the trucks on to the roller shaft. Once on the press, observe rail track. Occassionally a roller might wander and slip off the rail, or bind against roller bracket or chase. Changing them end for end or one with another often cures that situation. If not, the truck must be measured for roundness and its fit upon roller shaft. And don’t assume the rollers and trucks received with the press are correct. Measure them all for match. Close observation of the roller train will often reveal seemingly unsolvable problems with inking.

Oops! You’ve asked for width and I provided diameter. Mea Culpa. Trucks varied from 7/16” to 9/16”. Kelsey was not that consistent of precision.

Hmm, well, I see that more information is needed. My rollers do have grooved features, or ears (?). However, the inside of the truck is a smooth surface, so that may be part of my problem- I’m not sure. The trucks have a 1 1/8 inch diameter (approx 80 points) and a width, across the rolling surface, of about 9/16 of an inch, or 42 points. Sorry, I don’t always know what is the right form of measurement to use. :)

When I placed the trucks on the rollers, they do not slide over the grooves, but instead that’s where they stop. When I tried to put the roller onto the hook arms, it seemed like the trucks wouldn’t fit between the hook arms, but I didn’t want to force it to fit. It was pretty close.

So, perhaps the trucks and roller core do not match up, or the trucks are too wide…Any additional thoughts? Thanks!

From your descript it appears the trucks and roller shafts are not compatible. The rollers should have free lateral movement and fit easily in the roller hooks. The ‘ears’ on the shaft are designed to fit a corresponding slot in the roller in order the trucks propel the roller over the forme rather than the forme propel the roller; the latter action leads to slur and filling in of typeface counter. Ideally, the ear/slot configuration should be sought. To that, take your trucks to a machine shop - along with a roller - and have them cut slots as appropriate. Yes, you can file off the ‘ears’, mount the rollers, and print to heart’s content. But, you will not be satisfied with the result and come to lament such expediency. The Kelsey is a good, dependable press - but it needs all the help it can get to even meet that criteria. And good printing begins with good roller action. In my opinion

Forme, Thanks so much for your help “troubleshooting” this with me. I will need to do something about the truck/roller configuration. It seems that replacing the trucks with ones that will accommodate the ears is the most economical option. Luckily for me, I have a great letterpress supply shop an hour from my house. I will go hunting for some new trucks or have them altered at a machine shop, as per your recommendation. I’ll let you know how it goes.