Press ID and rust removal

While visiting family out in the sticks I found this gem, apparently my own little gift from the holiday spirits. The chase bed interior dimensions are appx. 5 x 7. An online search has not yielded anything similar to this, or least with a right side lever arm. It is also missing the chase so if anyone has something for sale please contact me.

Most parts are frozen. I have spent some time reviewing previous posts on cleaning but due to volume of opinions and the hostility in some of the threads it has become a little exhausting and difficult to tell who has the technique least likely to damage good iron.

The thread started on June 17th title “Rusty Kelsey 3 x 5” seemed to have a wealth of information, but I am not sure whose camp is offering the best practice. I am going to pass on using orbital sanders, vinegar & lemon, or wd-40. The farmer who sold it is a fan of diesel fuel and blow torches but I did not hear anyone bandying that about.

I have a battery charger for motorcycle batteries and don’t know if that is sufficient for electrolysis method. I was also concerned if that is proper approach when the press is still assembled? Probably better done if disassembled?

I don’t think anyone was opposed to using Evaporust? A friend has suggested Liquid Wrench.

I prefer not to clog the forum or kill the holiday spirit with another hostile debate on this issue so if anyone cares to directly email with their opinion on this, feel free. But, if anybody thinks they can bring some amiable resolution to that thread, post away.

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that is hardly rusted, I have saved a few presses over the last 10 years that were rusted solid, I like to soak them with liquid wrench, some I have took 3 or 4 months before anything moved. I never strip them down, cast iron breaks very easily, so when I get things moving I will use 3 and 1 and liquid wrench and fine steel wool to get rust off the bed, platen and ink disc. Your press looks a lot like a Craftsman, it could be a Pilot. Chases aren’t easy to find but you can easily make one out of wood, I use the plywood that die makers use for cutting dies, they work well, some of my presses had they for many years till I found metal chases. Don’t look like you have too much to do to get it printing, keroscene is a good cleaner, just wipe the press down with it and you’ll be surprised how nice it looks after a wipe down. Good luck.

I agree with Dick’s suggestions, but the press looks to me like the Young America series - maybe a Young America Secretary. On many presses of that type of mechanism the handle can be transferred from one side to the other - the previous user may have been left-handed. Another product, from auto parts stores, is PB Blaster, which I think is more effective than WD40.


Something about this press reminds me a bit of the Curtis & Mitchell Columbian press I sold this summer.

I’m a big fan of Evaporust if you can find it, if you are able to submerge the whole press it’ll yield a rust-free press in a couple of hours.

If you cant submerge the press as is (or disassemble), just soak paper towels, apply them to the press, then cover everything with a plastic bag. Check in an hour or so and repeat if necessary.

If it is stuck, I’d hit it hard with liquid wrench, as Evaporust isn’t going to penetrate like LW.

That is a great looking press!

I’ve become a big fan of using citirc acid as a rust remover. It easily dissolves the rust, but doesn’t seem to harm the metal…… but I must admit that I’ve only used it on steel and semi-steel, not on old cast iron.

However, looking at the pics it doesn’t appear to be terribly rusty. I think I’d first use a penetrating oil of some sort (i use Break Free) to free it up, then carefully disassemble it for de-rusting and painting.

Nice looking press…
Just got a very rusted Sigwalt Ideal No 4 up and running. Locked solid, I used WD 40 with not much effect but then tried Inox mx3 which worked within 10 minutes. Made in Australia and not sure if it is available where you are but highly recommended. Then Evaporust in a bath for the rust removal. I used this because a friend gave it to me, and it worked very well.
Good luck with the press.

After a week or so of PB and removing the rollers and the lever that advances the ink disk I was able to get full motion. The ink disk is still not budging. With the press upside down, I spray PB and have noticed that more liquid seems to disappear in the shaft and sleeve before pooling up, so I figure that is a good sign.

Have you tried just grasping the edges of the ink disc and wiggling it gently back and forth? If you can get it to move even a very little bit, that will work the PB into the joint and loosen it up quickly. Then a thorough cleaning of the bearings and you should be free and clear.