Ink-disc for Victor press.

Hi guys and gals, I picked up a bunch of equipment a couple of days ago and part of the haul was a Victor platen. Its inside chase measurements are 6 3/8” x 4.5” and the side says “Victor Mfg Co Boston Mass”.

From what little research I have done, I believe it to be a Cook’s Victor? Apparently they were manufactured by Kelsey’s landlord, subsequently bought out by Kelsey to become the Kelsey Victor.

Either way, the press is sadly missing its ink disc. There is a chance that it is hidden somewhere in the garage it came from, and the seller said he’d make sure I got it if it was found, but no guarantees of it showing up, obviously.

If anyone has an ink disc for this model and is willing to sell, or has any additional info on it, I’d be very grateful. Would love to see it back in operational condition.


image: victor.jpg


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to kimaboe

Has anyone tried making an inking disc for a platen? Seems to be the part most often missing?

Then you need to rotate it; perhaps 2 hydraulic cylinders?

How to make up a ratchet rack is a problem, but does not need to be a replica of the original.

This presumes the owner is willing to wait till the correct pats turn up, but could make press operational in the meantime?

Decades go, I knew a young man who cast 4 connecting rods for motorbike engine, in the backyard. Much hard labour!


I haven’t heard of anyone fabricating one, I’m sure it has happened. I’m no machinist, but assume that if one had the dimensions of the original it could be done.

Had my fingers crossed when sifting through the boxes, but with the exception of melted rollers with cores and trucks suspended inside, there weren’t any more parts to be found.

kimaboe, check with Alan at Excelsior Press in New Jersey, i think he has had some made, he might even have one kicking around. It looks a lot like the Craftsman press, i wonder if a ink disc from a Craftsman would fit, might be worth a call to them, i heard they still have some parts to their presses.

Before all the negative vibes hit the forum, I.E.”you have to know the dimensions, you have to go to X Y Z ? Graphic Suppliers, you have to go to A B C ? parts finders, etc etc” will it be an impossible quest to find an Old Kermudgeon like myself with even a simple lathe and just a modicom of engineering practice, (somewhere close) to make one??? In this case I am talking out of the correct orifice, because I have done it!!! When I wanted a back plate for my lathe, I made one from scratch, on the lathe itself? My backplate was effectively an Ink Disk by another name. Female Fitting instead of Male!!! You have all the dimensions you need in your shot, to enable your “Good ole Buddy” around the corner to knock you up one.!!! The spigot size and length will be determined by the boss on the machine,? the diameter of the disk will be determined by the width of the rollers, or the distance between the bearers, the overall height of the disk will be determined by “A” the approach of the rollers off of the bearers and “B” the height and stroke of the disk rotator? The thickness of the disk can easily be determined by inspection of a dozen and one pictures on this site?? for reference. MODUS OPERANDI :- >disk turned from a billett of steel bolted to faceplate, with allowance for parting of, faced front and back, stub spindle “T” section, turned to height and fit needs,>>both Bronze Welded, (braised) together, and Trued up as One!!!>>>*Ah Hah,* you say, no pawl and or ratchet to drive the disk.? No problem. I have the benefit and luxury of a “Dividing head,” and “Sine Vice” for my milling machine. Look em up.>>*Ah Hah* you say again, our good Ole Buddy around the corner hasent got either!!>>Still no problem, take a look at most any disk and see how crude the teeth/dogs are, and then make, by hand, as many dogs as required, soft solder, silver solder, braise on, same around the circle, as determined by the throw of the operating pawl.???>>>2 potential (possible) options, locate the “Good Ole Boy” around the corner, or bite the bullet and be prepared to pay a Lorra, Lorra, Money perhaps.>> Alan? was Your Con Rod Guy any kin to, Bert Munro from Invercargil, with one “L” to save ink, from New Zealand down under!!!>>>Now there was a Man that would not mess about wittering !!!>>>Devised it, Cast it, Took it to The Bonneville Salt Flats, and blew em away while they were still thinking about it!!

Hi Kim,

This is not a Kelsey Victor or Cook’s Victor. They were made in Meriden CT and larger (6 x 9). There were a number of presses using this name or something close to it that make it confusing. It is just what it says a Victor Mfg Co. Victor. I don’t have my reference books handy to give you anymore on the company but I do remember the press was later copied by Craftsmen Machinery Co. and called the Victory. If you look in the museum, for Victory, you will see a press that looks pretty close to yours although I don’t believe the parts are interchangeable. If you look for Kelsey Victor you will see the difference. Hope this helps.


to all

I took a chance on that one, seems I have been successful at stirring some ideas, which is what this forum is all about. Looks like The Brier Press needs a register of capable machinists?

When Australia started building motorcars (at one time, over 50% of registered cars in Oz were the General Motors-Holden) [we built aeroplanes, including the Mosquito, and designed some aircraft which should have been very effective if fully developed], a fault developed in clutch linkage of the Holden; I went in to parts department, asked what could be done for mine, was handed a brass bush for a 1926 Chevrolet and another part, solved problem. U.S. troops liked our Commonwealth Aircraft Corporation Boomerang, very effective ground co-operation aircraft; it was very manoeuvrable.

Mick on Monotype, do you refer to “The World’s Fastest Indian (m’cycle)?” I think that one came from New Zealand; over 200 m.p.h. NZ is “across the ditch”, south-east of Australia. Kingsford-Smith flew a scary trip when a propeller was shattered.


Your press looks almost identical to the Craftsman Victory press. You might contact them to see if your press is of same mold and ask if they have the disk you need.

During my training there was a treadle platen in the corner ,covered in bird crap and 100 years of dust , it had a wooden ink disk ,the spigot it mounted on was iron or steel and the gear that the pawl drove was made of lots of steel wedge shapes all screwed to the bottom side of the disk with small countersunk wood screws ,that is well within even the most basic of abilities to make and to fashion the stanchion should be simple for a mediocre lathe operator .
I have never seen one since ,all i remember of it was the little gear teeth screwed as described ,it was always referred to as that old victorian effort so i could assume it was called a victorian or it was built in victorian times . it was upright with a large flywheel ,and the colour was a weak shade of grey ,very likely its original colour . Should that ring a bell with former printers i would be interested to see a pic of one and its name if known .

Hi guys, thank you for all the feedback. Although I still have trouble following one of Mick’s posts without getting lost halfway through ;)

I had a look through the museum last night and would agree with Dick, John and Butch, it does appear to be identical to the Victory. In retrospect, the “Boston Mass” should’ve ruled out Kelsey, given that I know very well where Kelsey’s were made!

I’ll contact Craftsmen and hear if they do in fact have a disc for this press.



It may be the best option you have, but, be careful with substituting with a Craftsmen part. Craftsmen was known to have used the actual parts as patterns to cast their parts for the presses they copied. That will make all the Craftsmen Victory parts smaller than what you have on the Victor as cast iron shrinks quite a bit when cooling. The width of the disk is probably not much of an issue, but, the shank that mounts the disk on the ink disk support arm may be a totally different size which would need to be addressed.


John, I’ve measured the hole that accepts the ink-disc, to make sure that any part they may have does in fact fit.

Does anyone have a Victory they can measure? The hole for the ink-disc on the Victor is 11/16”…

I guess if the difference between the Victor and Victory is big enough, a bushing could be made. Or the replacement disc might even be lathed down further, to accept a custom fitted bushing. Where is that machinist registry again? :)


I would be pursuing the direction you’re going as well. This is not a common press. I have a contact that is a great machinist if you or anyone needs one. He has done some work for me, and it was masterful. He mostly works on exotic car engine parts so working on a press is child’s play as far as tolerances. Contact me privately if he is needed.


The ink disk shaft on my Craftsman Imperial (5x8) is also 11/16” diam. May have been the standard for Craftsman at the Victory and Imperial sizes. My disk OD is 8 5/16” diam, so I’m guessing that your Victor (6 3/8 x 4.5) and the Craftsman Victory (6 3/8 x 4 1/2) would be slightly smaller.

John, I appreciate that, I’ll get in touch if necessary.

Butch, that info sounds promising. The space between the trucks on this press is 7 1/2” so I’m hoping a Victory ink-disc will fit in there.

Alongside the press came two roller cores (and melted rollers), shown in the attached photo.

One of the cores had two 1/4” spacers/trucks, the other did not have the 1/4” spacer (I’m guessing they were missing, or maybe the owner only used one roller). I don’t know if the spacers are common, or if they are a later mod to make a different core fit the press. The length of the core is 9 5/16”, with trucks and spacers 9 11/16” and the space between the trucks is 7 1/2”.

The press has also been repaired, with one of the roller arms having a plate welded to the side. Not the part of the press getting the most stress, I’m guessing it took a hit or a fall at some point.

image: Victor5.jpg


image: Victor4.jpg


Kim - Yes, I do have a press just like yours.

Mine is a Victor made by Victor Mfg in Boston. I have compared it to a Craftsman Victory, and as John Falstrom points out, CMC seems to have used the original Victor parts as patterns for casting their press. See:

And, yes, We did assist a local museum in designing and fabricating a new ink disk for a Cooks Enterprise 3x5 (made in Meriden, CT) last year. See: (April 24)

We have not made one ourselves yet, but have recently added a Bridgeport Milling Machine to our equipment inventory. Once the Mill is set up and running again, one of the first projects we plan to tackle is fabricating custom ink disks using an “indexing table” for the Bridgeport. In the meantime, I’ll see if the machinist who made this one is willing to do another.

Another option is to do just what CMC did - use mine as a pattern for casting. This, too is “in the works”, but with so many projects and so little time, I hesitate to make any promises. Please contact me directly to continue the conversation.

- Alan

Alan, fantastic news. Craftsmen got back to me yesterday saying they no longer had any parts for the Victory. I’ll send you an email later!

Many Thanks,

Hello, I have a press Victor MFG chase 4 x 6, if you still need I can provide measures of the disc and press photographs.

Hi Alfonso,

I moved from the states last year, and the press is in storage.

Due to the cost of shipping the press to Europe, and the cost of a custom made ink-disk replacement, I have mostly given up on finding time to restore it.

If anyone wants it as a restoration project, or have a matching press for which they want spare parts, let me know and you can have it for the price of shipping.