To buy or not to buy? Adana 8 x 5

Hi All,

I am new to briar press and extremely happy to have stumbled across this website as it has already been a great help!

I need some advice from you all. I live in Adelaide, South Australia and have fallen in love with Letterpress. I am extremely keen to learn the art, however it seems courses and presses are extremely far and few between here (This will not stop me though!).

So, my question to you all, is… I have been considering purchasing a refurbished Adana 8 x 5 from Caslon Limited and having it shipped to Australia… They have quoted me 650 GBP for the machine and 210 GBP for shipping. Is this reasonable?

I’m sure most of you know, they also offer beginner kits. Do you think this is something i should also purchase from Caslon or are there places in Australia that would be cheaper to purchase from?

Any advice you can give me will be greatly appreciated!
Thanks in advance,

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There seems to be quite a letterpress community in Australia, but I don’t know about Adelaide. You might post a query on LetPress or here to try to connect. I know there are several printing museums (Google for them) with communities of practitioners and at least one person who offers workshops. If you can connect with that group you may find a good press closer and less expensive, as well as sources for the other supplies you’ll want.

Good luck with it! Persevere — you’ll enjoy whatever you find!


I don’t know about Australia, but the TradeMe website in NZ gets Adana 8x5 presses listed every few months - and they seem to usually sell for between $NZ150 and $NZ300 depending on whether they have usable rollers, chases etc. There’d be shipping to Australia to pay for (you might need a friend in NZ to pack and organise this) - and the presses are unrestored, but they should still work, or do so with little effort.

I bought a press from Caslon a couple of years ago, but I cant remember the price. I can say though that the press is new and it has performed very well since. I use it nearly every day and not a single problem.
With Adanas the runners are lockable or not. Its a small but important point to have locked runners on each roller to prevent slurring.
If you are going to be printing commercially you would soon get your money back, and in Australia the cost is tax deductable. Bonus!

Thank you for all your responses, very helpful. I have managed to track down a lovely lady who is willing to do a two day workshop here in Adelaide - Looking forward to it! Hopefully with her knowledge & guidance, i will track down a press soon :) Thanks Again!

how does £395.00 for a fully refurbished Adana 8x5 sound with shipping to Australia just £140.00

Hi Bianca,

You can get Adanas here in Australia. I see them on ebay quite a lot. I actually have the details for someone down in Adelaide (don’t have them with me right this second) who may have one for sale otherwise if you’re keen there was someone inland from Adelaide selling a C&P new style recently(see bottom of this message). There is a small but growing letterpress community here in Australia and if you do searches here on Briar you will see a lot of chatter from Australian pressmen and pressladies.

Not sure how far away this place would be -> but you will find lots of ex industry pressman would be more than happy to show you the ropes once you get a press.

Another great place to start is on Poppy Letterpress’s blog -> If you go through her archives there are tonnes of things you will be able to learn from.

This was the chandler and price that passed in at auction -> It might be worth contacting this person if you are keen for a drive out there..

Good luck and have fun!

Hi Bianca,

Saw this on ebay today ->

This seller will also be able to provide you with lead type and furniture too so could get you almost set and ready to go.

Hi Bianca,
im also in adelaide and looking to get into letterpress. ive been trying to trackdown a course to teach me the basics. are you able to ask the person teaching you if its ok to pass on her details?

ive been researching the adanas from caslon also, but other blogs ive read is that they dont keep a great impression, so im still unsure if its worth spending this money to only upgrade soon. hard decision.

would be good to hear how your going on your hunt!

Hi Bianca,
there is indeed a growing leterpress communty here in SA, An 8x5 Adana , minus rollers and in need of rebuild, was bought at an Adelaide auction 2 weeks ago for $160.00 No sundries and iit may need a bit of work.
A good starting point for Adelaide letterpress would be the Adelaide Centre for the Arts in Light square. their printmaking department has a good deal of letterpress stuff and I believe some of the teachinf staff have Adana’s.
If you need any further help with setting yourself up drop me an email and I might be able to point you in the direction of people who sell bits and pieces for ketterpress