Any familiar with the Master 6x9 letterpress?

I am considering purchasing this letterpress and can’t find any information about it online - anyone familiar with this make or model? Is it a worthwhile investment? Looking to expand my business into letterpress and trying to decide if this is the right machine to start with..

Thanks in advance for your assistance!

image: master 6x9 letterpress.jpg

master 6x9 letterpress.jpg

image: master 6x9 letterpress b.jpg

master 6x9 letterpress b.jpg

image: master 6x9 letterpress c.jpg

master 6x9 letterpress c.jpg

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try searching for printing press and not letterpress. I just did and found several references. I don’t know if they help but it’s a start

will do right now! thanks Paul!

One has appeared on Briar Press previously

Ah, someone else has spotted that little beauty. I’ve been lusting after it for a while now. Well, it was too expensive and too far away for me to feasibly get, anyway. If you do get it, I’d love to see more detailed photos. It appears to have a front toggle mechanism of some kind, but I can’t tell for sure. It also appears to have Cook’s Victor-style roller arms which is another interesting oddity.

As to whether it’s suitable to your needs, that’s harder to say. It seems to be a fairly rare press. I’ve only found reference to one other survivor and I don’t think this model is even mentioned in Elizabeth Harris’ catalogue of tabletop presses “Personal Impressions”, which is quite exhaustive.

This press does appear to be largely complete and has a chase (which is definitely good) but finding chases will be difficult if not impossible. Multiple chases aren’t necessary but they are nice to have. It does appear to be missing it’s grippers, but that’s not a showstopper. Another tick in in the pro column would be that I’ve talked to the seller and they say the press operates normally when you pull the handle. The platen closes, the rollers move up and the ink disk rotates as expected. They aren’t printers, though, so take it with a grain of salt.

An important question is going to be whether the press has a good impressional strength and durability. With the fashion for deep impression, you need good strength in the press and table-top presses are already at a disadvantage there due to their much lighter construction. The heavier the press, the stronger it’s likely to be.

Something else would be how adjustable the platen is. Since all their pictures show the press open, it’s impossible to see whether the platen is adjustable or how. This will be important for making sure impression is even and accurate.

Finally, a question that can only be answered up-close and personal by someone who knows what they’re looking at is how worn the press is. Do parts shift unexpectedly when the press is operated? Is there slop in any of the joints? Does the mechanism feel too tight or too loose?

Do you have any experience with letterpress printing? If you do, this press may be fine as you’ll be starting from a position of knowledge. If you don’t, it may be better to find something more common like a Craftsmen, C&P, Golding, Sigwalt or similar. It will be easier to find help (or parts!) when learning.

Michael Hurley
Titivilus Press
Memphis, TN

Platenprinter, thanks for the link. I knew I’d seen a photo of one other of these presses somewhere, but I couldn’t remember where. So it is a front-toggle mechanism.

Also, I’ve just had a look and the Master is briefly mentioned in “Personal Impressions”. Ms. Harris says it was introduced in around 1934 by the Brooklyn Printers Exchange company of Brooklyn, NY. She also mentions that the impression is adjustable by way of bolts at the back of the bed, rather than on the platen as is more usual.

So this is probably a useable machine, though it may be harder for a first-timer to get started on than something more well-known.

Michael Hurley
Titivilus Press
Memphis, TN