Help with impressing using base on Sigwalt No 25


Help would be greatly appreciated. We are going crazy trying to figure out why we cannot get an impression on our Sigwalt No. 25. We bought our letterpress with the intention of pressing 5x7 invites. We ordered a base from Boxcar.

Unfortunately, when we go to press we get nothing pressed at the top and very little on the bottom. It is almost like the base and paper meet too soon (if that makes sense). We tried adjusting the press the best we know how, but no success.

Any advice would be fantastic.

Thank you!!

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What steps did you follow to adjust the platen bed? Search the forum with keywords such “adjusting impression bolts” for proper adjustments. When platen bed is set correctly, top-heavy impression means not enough packing.
You will get there, just hang in there!

You might want to invest in one of John Falstrom’s platen leveling gauges. It is a simple tool, but really worthwhile- it will take a lot of the mystery out of setting the platen.


image: Copy-of-roller-platen-gauge-217x300.jpg

Thank you for the suggestions.

@lishii: As far adjusting the platen, I have only tried loosening the four bolts under the platen. It did work in leveling the left to right impression when that was uneven, but to get the base completely parallel with the platen seems almost impossible. It seems like we would have to push the platen top out and the bottom in much further than just loosening the bolts will allow. Does that make sense?

THanks again for the help. It’s frustrating when something that seems so simple is causing such a headache.

Thank you!!

Have you read this post?

duplicate comment

If your #25 is the Nonpareil with a round base you probably have the same platen adjustment system described in the above referenced exchange. You can adjust the tilt left and right and up and down with the bolts on the back of the platen, but for impression overall you have to adjust the toggle behind the press. You don’t say how much packing you have on the platen. You should only have maybe 1 sheet of pressboard and a couple of sheets of bond paper behind a single sheet of tympan paper. If you have more packing than that, it’s probably at least part of your problem. Because the press is the “clamshell” type of impression, it’s very important to have the packing right for the adjusted impression.

A lot will also depend on the amount of surface area of the copy you’re trying to print — 5x7 is a bit large for a 6x9 press, unless that is the paper size with a lot less area of printing.

When adjusting the press, be sure you set it so you can close the press to the stop of the handle so you can get consistent impression.