Dimensions of a kelsey 5x8 chase and bed?

Hi there. I recently acquired a kelsey Excelsior 5x8 press that was missing the chase and chase bed. I have access to machinists who could make me new ones, but I would need to know accurate dimensions to do so. Is there anyone out there who can help me out? Thanks.

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For a chase base, I do know how a machinist makes one. There are lots of twists and turns to a chase bed. The originals were cast iron and duplicates probably need to be as well. To cast it (or even have one machined), you need to get your hands on one to make a mold or let the machinist see what he/she is trying to duplicate. The process will likely be expensive. In the past 6 months, I’ve seen only one chase base on ebay. It sold with a chase for something north of $200.

Having someone make a chase (when you have the dimensions) is not as hard, but it must fit inside the base. You may be able to find one from ebay if you watch closely. However, until you solve the chase base issue, I see no need to make or buy a chase

Sorry that the news is not good, but welcome to printing on equipment that has been mfg in 40 years.


PS Several months ago, someone named Marshall was on Briarpress testing the waters about making parts for some presses. You might search the archives to see if you can find him and check on his progress.

I’d suggest you watch out for a Kelsey like this one that is missing the ink disc. They surface from time to time and sell for a lot less than a complete press. You can re-sell any remaining parts to help others and make back some of the money you spend.



I agree with Dan’s suggestion.

The casting pattern for the 5x8 base still exists but I’ll have to do some checking to see who has it. I saw it at an ATF conference several years back. Even with a raw casting it still has to have the finish maching done.


Thanks for your replies. I have seen what the chase beds look like, and from what i have seen, it looks very doable… especially if it were made into 3 pieces and bolted together. Cost isn’t much of a factor in my case as the machinists i have access to are coworkers who would likely make this on down time for a breakfast burrito :p. I suppose it would be easiest if I had somebody local to the Los Angeles/orange county area to make a template from, unless somebody would scan a scale drawing or outline of the sides to use.

Still looking for these dimensions… I see what i want to do over at http://excelsiorpress.org/forsale/fundraising.html#chase_base except they use wood, and i wanted to use steel. I’ve already asked them, but i realize they likely won’t since I wouldn’t need to buy their product.