German press type height?


Are all German presses based on .918 type height? Not counting galley presses of course.


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Hello, German type height (as well as for many other European countries) is generally 23.56mm which is higher than UK/NA type height (I think .918 is roughly 23.32mm.)

modernman: Thanks for the quick answer. Then if we are talking about a fine German tabletop press, with that little difference in height one could expect to be able to readjust the platen to accomodate the .918 type or plates? I am trying to help an Italian gal, wanting to purchase a German press and use type and plates ordered from the UK!


John, i have a German numbering machine, its just a little over type high, modern man is right. Dick G.

American & English standard type height is .918.
Eurpean standard type height is .930.

I have a Vandercook 325g cylinder press, & the bedplate
is .050 or galley height; the bedplate is removable, so I
had an alternate plate made of sheet steel .032 which is
a standard size & required .006 difference to build up to
the required height for using the antique German foundry type. This I did by laying in a sheet of Fabriano Cover at 150 gsm & it works perfectly.

Some means of making up the difference in the platen beneath the chase or in the makeready on the feed board will be necessary. It’s really just a case of making up the difference wherever that can physically be done.

John, maybe a dumb question, but has the ‘Italian gal’ ordered her type in the UK yet? If she’s getting this German height press, why not simply buying her type and plates on the Continent. That might be an easier solution. Another supplier of type and materials is working from the south of Germany (Suddeutsches Bleisatzkontor)


0.927559055 inches (.928) is the standard for German/Swiss presses.


If your friend purchases a German press and UK type, he shall adjust the rails on the press and not the platen!
The German standard type height is 23,56 mm, and it was common in several European countries. But, it is also common to find old and local type heights in Europe – Dutch, Austrian, Leipziger etc etc. Because of that, it was common to manufacture European boston presses etc with adjustable rails, so it was possible to modify them to the many different and local needs. All the European presses of the Golding type I have seen have adjustable rails. I’m not sure regarding presses of the Pilot type – I have one without adjustable rails!
But, if your friend lives in Italy he shall purchase his types etc matching the local system. If not, he will miss a good and cheep source.
Gott grüß die Kunst

thomas gravemaker: she has not, I will pass your link. She may be unaware of them. thanks.

Gerald: wow. I think my didital caliper only has three decimal places, thanks

bogtrykkeren: actually I think you would want to do both. rails for proper inking, and platen for impression. I believe you are correct that this press does have adjustable rails. I am not sure why she wishes to purchase her type in the UK. I will pass your suggestions. thanks

John: Sorry I was a little confused in my first post. Of course it’s necessary to adjust the platen too, but the essentially adjustment are in the rails for a proper inking of the types when using presses and types of different systems.
Gott grüß die Kunst



A client picked up a factory re-furbished Swiss F.A.G. and might want to order a Bunting Magnetic Base for it so I just grabbed the number from the email :—)

23.56 mm is dead on correct.