Interesting Machine on E bay

Just for interest and maybe one or two opinions from well versed Stateside Letter Press enthusiasts, hopefully!!!
E bay item number 271833797568 described & pictured as *Kelsey Excelsior* with a starting price of around £300 sterling appears to equate to around $450 U.S.
From the breakdown in the description, appears to be fairly priced.
The sellers *handle* is just a little poetic license, maybe!! but He comes well respected apparently.

I pose the question above for/from Stateside Enthusiasts being the Home and Origin of *Kelsey*

Knowledge of Kelsey,s restricted to experiences in the early 50,s at College learning the rudiments of L/press printing on and with Kelsey, as above, Adana 8 x 5 and an Ajax.or fore-runner.
Just from the physical weight and the power from the Kelsey reproducing quite big Lino cuts chose to use the Kelsey.

Perhaps others would appreciate all or any observations.

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What’s the question?



I think Mick is just giving people in the UK a heads-up on a press and asking Kelsey owners to chime in about how it stacks up against the Adana, since most UK printers haven’t seen in person or used one?

I used an Adana in my university’s print studio five years ago, before I moved stateside and bought my own press. I’ve also done quite a bit of printing on Kelsey 5x8s. I say they are fairly similar machines. About same size, chase is the same size, the Adana is lighter in weight but seems just as sturdy.

If someone was in the market for a 8x5 Adana, the Kelsey would be a solid alternative if the price is right. Based on recent listings, 300 sterling seems about right for this type of tabletop. The press in question isn’t in terrible shape, just a bit of surface rust on the base.


Against the stated details, is the stated price Good, Bad, or
indifferent for ANY potential buyer, Limey, Yankee, or other
A. ??

Was hoping for some potential guide/guesstimate as to wether this was a reasonable price, or put another way, would Stateside L/press devotees, consider it to be a bargain or a rip off.

Kim, Thank you, time difference clouded the issue, and my ramblings as well of course.!!

I posed this item against the offerings seen on E bay here U.K
It makes me (and many others) cringe with embarrassment at a lot of the *Entries* usually about Adana,s, like that is the only small L/press that ever existed, perhaps I should appreciate that I have been able to see the bigger picture.

When I see such entries, stating *Good working order* just needs a chase,or rollers, or ink disk, etc etc. and then add blithely available from *X* *Y* or *Z* suppliers.

Yes possibly all available, at a price!! but surely if the item is described as in Good working order, but with parts missing it is NOT Fit for Purpose

“In good working order”, aught to be accompanied by at least ONE machine proof from the actual M/c on offer, together with the Serial Number, or a disclaimer in the Spiel.

Copyright M.o M. 2015 Good Luck New Ones.

I’ve noticed that these types of machines are starting to sell for silly money, considering that 10 years ago, they would be heading for the nearest skip.

You haven’t posted for ages Mick, I thought you had fallen off the perch. :)

The Kelsey is the same price as Adana 8x5s on eBay UK.

The Kelsey is a lot heavier so if you want something portable then it’s the Adana. I find the Kelsey requires a bit more pressure on the handle and there is the annoying problem of the bed flopping forward when you take the chase out.

As you know you can’t tell how much wear there is at the spindle and joints when bidding on eBay.

For £300 I would expect it to have the grippers so I think it is a bit overpriced.

Platen printer, thank you for little sort of welcome back.
2 reasons for my absence, firstly and self inflicted up to a point!! bit of a major fire in my kitchen which included several re-manufactured M/c parts, consequently no electricity for quite a long time, Lathe standing idle (1) Computer and internet, Out of Action, (2) and as we say, to add insult to injury, E mail, Internet, B.P. and more hacked into, hence pro tem, >Hank< had to be pressed into service, via another route!!
My Dad was Henry Victor H*****, so He probably would not have objected to *Hank* arising from the Ashes, the Pun metaphoric and literal, seems to have a certain ring, maybe.

Re the Kelsey as Opposed to the Adana, yes, thank you for your observations, combined efforts may just stop New Devotee(s) from getting ripped off too badly, some of the Adana,s on offer really are suspect.

At time of posting just offered on E bay *Ajax* with honest description re condition and parts missing.

As per my original rambling post, although the Ajax is of lighter construction, Alloy rather than Die cast Zinc (some say Monkey Metal) as with most Adana,s because of the action of the Platen proper, coupled with eventual Parallel Approach, excellent for Novices for starters prior to the minefield of Clamshell.

Compared to Vickobold, Autovic, Colt Armory and several others, on Parallel Approach, even in miniature form, the Ajax really is a pleasure to operate and see in action.

Generally, Adana,s from the smallest up to the H.S 3 -
(8 1/2 x 5 1/2), were/are Die-cast Zinc, Monkey Metal etc, with the exception that the H.S. 2, which was for a time at least, produced with cast iron body.

Any additional corroboration would probably be appreciated by potential buyers, & Archivists.

On the subject of that Ajax platen Mick it confirms for me that there were two versions of the 8x5 Ajax Master.
The blue one being sold has the roller tracks bolted to the side of the bed and the bearer chase he is selling is from an earlier model of the Master that was green