Thoughts on presses

I am new to the website and discussion group. Our daughter will be graduating from college this year and is very much interested in printmaking. We are thinking on purchasing a Conrad brand etching press for her, 15 or 18 inch in size. Any thoughts on this brand of press or other brands available?
Thank you in advance!

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Congrats on her graduating! That’s a great accomplishment. I’m sure you all are proud.

A Conrad is indeed a decent machine… and if well cared for, will last a lifetime. I have used a Takach, it’s also a well made press, but they only come in larger sizes.

As far as size goes, you have to strike a balance between what she wants to print…. and how much rooms she has for a press. Most printmakers I know tend to think that bigger is always better…. just in cast they get an urge to print large posters….then settle for a smaller machine for economic / space / weight reasons.

My own etching press is only 12” wide, and it does everything I want it to do…. but if I were to buy another one, i think I’d go with a 24” wide press.

Conrad offers several different sizes and makes, including a combination press that allows a fairly quick change over from standard cylinder press to a scraper box that allows a person to print from lithographic stones. They are sturdy enough presses and, as wcp indicated, will last a lifetime if properly cared for. They make some lighter duty models that can have casters mounted to the metal frame, allowing the press to be moved around the room easily instead of permanently attached to a table. A bit too much wiggle for my taste, but very handy if space is tight. All in all, they print very well.