Rollers for my press

Hi from Australia
Recently I bought a “Morfitt’s Empress” Letterpress circa 1890. It came with three rollers all the same diameter but all with different roller lengths, shaft lengths and slightly different roller shaft diameters. It also came with a varity of different trucks and washers for “bulking” the the trucks up.
Having said that……
I would like to purchase a set of 3 brand new matching rollers and new trucks for her and I am wondering if there is a press with the same/similar rollers “off the shelf” or if I have to get them custom made ?
I was wondering if say another 12 X 8 or 13 X 9 press had the same spec rollers ?
I have provided a drawings below of the dimensions.
Apparently the Empress is a copy of a…
Minerva Cropper and/or
American Franklin/Gordon and/or
Franklin Jobber….
The internal chase size is 12.75” (W) X 8.85” (H) so I am not sure if she is an 13 X 9 or a 12 X 8 !
The external chase width is exactly 14.5” so I am guesing that is also the maximum roller length.
There is then clearance of 0.92” for a truck either side of the roller. Next the saddles measure exactly 0.78” wide and then (based on the best roller I have here) the roller shaft extends past the saddle by 0.66”.
The diameter of the roller shaft is 0.43”
The diameter of the roller is 1.5”
I have provided pictures with the roller I took the dimensions from. It seems a perfect fit for the trucks and print area.
The press had leather strips on the rails with I have removed and will replace with metal strips to the same height or just below.
I trained as an Etcher, Stone Lithographer and Screenprinter and I have been practicing for 25 years now. However I am a total newbie to Letterpress.
Could somebody please give me some advice ?
I need some rollers & trucks ASAP so I can start working.
All the best from Oz

image: Empress-Rollers.jpg


image: empress.jpg


image: P1.JPG


image: P2.JPG


image: P3.JPG


Log in to reply   2 replies so far

Franck - Do a search on this web site for names of roller manufacturers. Contact them. They will be better able to tell you what stock they may have which is compatible or any other technical details.


Thank you kindly John

I have contacted Fritz from NA Graphics and he has been really helpfull.

All the best