Thank you, Briar Press

We just moved our 10x15 C&P, using much of the articles on here for reference. Due to size and location, we ended up compleatly taking our 10x15 apart and rebuilding it from the ground up; while giving it a good cleaning in the process. It was covered in years of oil and paper dust, so it needed it.

Long story short, without these communities none of this would be possible. And I’m pleased to (finally) get our password so we can post here and participate in helping others.

As far as the current condition of the press - A few replaced bolts due to age and the weight of parts slightly bending them, but perfect fits none-the-less. My background in machines, machining, metal-working, and mechanics made it a breeze to both take apart and put back together. It was actually very enjoyable to put it back together, and entertaining. The hardest part was getting the chase-assembly up into position and on, as I did it alone without the aid of anyone. (Come-alongs, rachets, and a heidelberg in position already helped to manuvere it.)

Our only issue now is roller height, which we are thinking of making false-rails out of formica to raise it back up to the proper height and pepare for poly-plates. Suggestions welcomed, as we are near an 1/8th of an inch low (This press has seen much use since it was made - a true workhorse).

We have a small posting on our blog (I’m bad at taking pictures, I won’t lie. I hate to do that.) that pertains to the process. Any questions on how to handle parts, just ask.

Again, thankyou Briar Press (and other sites as well).

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You can get adjustable trucks, i think that NA Graphics has them, also you might find them at letterpress things. Good Luck Dick G.

I looked into them, but for some reason I’m just not sure I like the idea of increasing the truck size (There-by increasing the amount the rollers actually turn, causing slurring). Especially with how dramatic the raise is needed to be. I’ll certainly consider giving them a shot though!


you can use electrical tape and tape your trucks. you might be right about raising them too much. the trucks and rollers should be about the same diameter. Dick G.

Rollers and trucks turn together as a single unit. The rate of turn is always one-to-one, so travel across the form doesn’t change. That said, are your rails worn evenly? There is nothing you can do to trucks to compensate for high and low spots on the rails. That would be a reason for working on the rails if you have the means to machine them.


While it seems natural that a roller will turn at the same rate as the truck if they are pinned together, you will find that the surface of the roller will turn slower than the surface of the larger truck, thus scraping over the surface of the plate or type, causing ink to be wiped off the surface. They both will make one rotation, the truck will just travel further.

Think about an extreme case, the roller surface vs. the core. If the core diameter is 3/8” and the roller diameter is 2”, the circumference of each is 1.17” (core) and 6.28” (roller surface). Thus when the roller turns once, the surface of the core only travels 1.17” while the roller surface travels 6.28”.

These calculations would indicate that we should try to keep the truck diameter as close to the roller diameter for best inking on the press.

To make up the 1/8” difference, you might be able to use a leather strap the proper thickness as do the Arab presses produced in Britain.

John H

Rate of turn is still the same. The truck and roller share the same shaft and point-to-point contact from roller to form is not going to change. The surface of the roller may travel at a different speed than the surface of the truck, but the surface of the form is higher than the surface of the rail.

I could be wrong - wouldn’t be the first time. But we’re not talkin’ pulleys and belts here. This makes sense to me.

Actually, think of of a record player, Sharecropper. If you put your finger on the inside while it’s spinning, it’s gonna go fast. Put it on the outside, it’ll move slow. While it’s an odd concept, the outside of the record is actually spinning ‘faster’ to cover more ground and basically stay in the same position as related to the inside of the record.

More simplified: Run a small circle and have a friend keep pace with you, 10ft further out from the center point. Move to 20’, at about 30’ your friend will be huffing and puffing while you’re not even cracking a sweat.

There are some inconsistancies in the rails. I’ve been thinking ideas over, and the formica seems like a nice temp-fix (if I can find the stuff as scrap from someone) and use my machining tools to mill it down to the proper width. I’ll also have to figure a way to build up the inconsistancies in order to get a perfectly flat surface.

Leather may not be bad, but wouldn’t it compact over time, leaving me with two hard, yet thin strips of tanned skin? I had an idea to custom machine a ‘bolt-on’ rail-adjustment system… Would involve drilling the chase assembly at specific points to tap it and use machine screws and a piece of 280 stainless. Having it cut to adjust any inconsistancies and height adjustments taken care of by just bolting it on.

No real reason to reinvent the wheel here. UMHW tape sold by NA Graphics does not compress and comes in .005” and .010” thicknesses. The rails will not have worn evenly 1/8” all the way down and would require a lot of work to have a piece of formica machined to bring them to proper ink height. I would recommend taping with the use of a roller setting gauge, with new rollers and Delrin trucks if possible.

They haven’t worn evenly, so that’s why we are considering a system to compensate as need be. I think one solution is using metal filler to level and plane the rails existing, then machine (I have a machinist on standby for many other things I do… who ironically got his certifications to machine parts for presses) that can do it on a CNC.

The rest is just as simple as bending the metal and drilling/tapping holes for machine screws to hold the stripping/lathe/risers/whatever-you’d-like-to-call-them in place.

I’ve attempted the taping, but there are just too many inconsistancies in my humble opinion. Formica is the cheap solution for now; and I’m a firm believer of temp fix to test a permanent idea.

I should mention, the rollers are only 4-months old. So the issue isn’t with them, and they are ‘true’ (Flat).

To prove my point I calculated carefully and created an illustration. Damn! I was wrong! My humble apologies for posting errant information.

From the Kluge operation manual, “the correct adjustment of the rollers to the form is through the trucks which must be the same diameter as the rollers to assure proper rotation of the rollers”.

If you opt for a method other than tape to bring your rail height up to spec please post your results.


I have one tabletop press on which the rails were about 1/16 inch low. I epoxied lengths of 1/16x1/16x1/2 inch extruded aluminum angle to the rails, which brought them up a little over type high, and then filed them back to very close — I still have a little filing to do but I shim behind the forme with a piece of acetate to get the roller contact. I’ve been using it like that for many years and it’s been fine. The aluminum angle gives a true surface that doesn’t follow the possibly unevenly-worn rails. I beveled the ends so the roller trucks roll on and off more smoothly. You may need wider than 1/2 inch angle to make this repair on a 10x15.


The measurement from the bed to the bed bearer surface should be taken from the height of the print form . the resulting figure is the difference in diameters of the inking rollerand the inking rollers bearers Which are properly called runners and they run on the bed side bearers. there are variations in this but all heidelberg rollers are usually pretty equal in dimension to the runners, however the swell that occurs on roller ends makes the runners look smaller . having said that ,heidelberg overcome that by making the bed bearers adjustable. and to eliminate the possible wear in the bed beares they used a composite like bakelite for the roller bearers ,softer than the bed bearer and easier to change . I used to have an old peerless that had removable leather strips that went on top of the bed bearer it made for great fun (not) when trying to ink a wide form properly .