Better K3 press

Can anyone help me to find some informations about this manual press that I found some days ago? The name engraved on it is “Better K3 Press”. Any ideas?
The ink rollers seems to be in bad conditions: where can I find replacements?

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Here are the images of the press…

image: fotoPress_2.jpg


image: fotocopia2_2.jpg


There was a lot of small time press builders that did not last long. that is a odd one. I would say a late model having a ink pan and 3 roller, is that a hydraulic ram on the front. that was newer technology for a hand letterpress. I can make rollers for it look me up on here or E-bay. You may need to look at British or German press makers to find that one.

Thank you for the answer. Googling around to find some informations take me to discover a UK manufacturer called Ajax that had a letterpress model called Major very similar to the one I found. The mechanics of my letterpress seems to be ok, I think the only part I have to change are the rollers.

The hydraulic part intrigues me. I have never seen anything like that before on a little press.


I will post soon more pictures of the hydraulic part…

This is the link to an Ajax Major

The Major had two rollers and Major in the casting.
We now know there were two presses with a piston, were there any others?

There was another one sold on eBay in the UK recently that was missing the ink disc. I wonder who bought it…

Daniel Morris
The Arm Letterpress
Brooklyn, NY

Peter Luckhurst kindly pointed out to me that the smallerAjax press at Amberley had a piston and also printed parallel impression.

Learned friends, beg to differ re HYDRAULIC RAM? and I quote “the displacement of a piston or plunger driven by fluid pressure” hydraulic ram in this case would seem to involve the need for Master Cylinder/Slave Cylinder fluid and means to top up. Mechanical Ram yes?1? as in Fighting Ships from a long time ago, with a massive RAMS HEAD up front and maybe hundreds of (human) pistons thrusting it forward, to point of impact (BIG BIG impression) Translated today into long lever (visible in picture) exerting pressure via reduction gear or fulcrum at minute ratio, Mechanical Yes, Hydraulic No.>>>>>>Put me right if you feel that I am not. Mick.

I think Mick has right, I can’t see something like fluid or so in the press “piston”. I ask myself about the use of the metallic roller on the top of the press… When the ink rollers move up, one of them goes on the metallic roller that is rotating. Ink dispenser?
Sorry for my bad English and thank you so much to all for the informations…


My guess is that the “piston” is a spring-pushed plunger to add force to the platen on impression. It would help to see the mechanism in operation.


I was in the Army in the

In the US Army hydraulics was just being introduced for mechanical usage. That was in the mid 1960’s, and was for bulldozers. Don’t know if that was used on smaller machinery earlier than that. But that press had to be older than that. That would verify the idea of a mechanical piston.

NASO, ALP, REB, thank you for your back up, I will post a long preach-in later and invite a load of flak I am sure. But now is not the time in view of your gigantic problems. I am certain that our letterpress community, and the country as a whole is with you (and all of your countrymen who are in harms way) at this time. As much as can be hoped for,The Best of Luck. Mick.