Marvel Tabletop Press

I just acquired a Marvel Tabletop press and am now wondering what exactly do I need to do to get it up and running. It is of course designed to print calling cards and other smallish things.

It did come with some type and furniture and I know I will need to acquire an inking roller or bray, but beyond that I don’t have a clue.

I’m hoping that someone out there will have experience with something like this to point me in the right direction.



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Well that is just TOO CUTE!!!!!!!! Don’t know that I have ever seen one of them. Is the type itself normal height or is it around a half-inch high? Lots of these little rail presses used type that was way shorter than normal.

I am fascinated by the fact that you can turn the handle and pump the press, BUT how in the heck do you ink the form and insert the stock fast enough to keep up with any consistant motion????????

I think the novelty is simply that you turn the wheel one cycle to make an impression. I don’t see any advantage at all other than the delightful “monkey motion” and visual interest it provides.

What a cool little press to have for demos.


I think the idea behind the design is to reduce arm strain?

You roll out ink on the tap flat section, then ink the type with a brayer.

From just those photos it looks pretty well all set to go. The chase has chase screws in it so it may need chase irons to make a lock up. Not sure if the platen has the bails to hold tympan and packing either. Aside form that, as long as it moves it should be good. Just don’t force anything.

Is it just possible that the *BED* swings through 90 degrees, from the pictured, near vertical, to the horizontal for installing the forme/chase and to Hand Ink… Also highly unlikely, but just possible that with the >ram< action, the final approach ends as, Parallel Approach, based on Authors own, on sight!
AJAX model, i. e. the Platen Proper although lever/impression handle operates exactly as normal, drives a mechanical Piston to push the platen proper *Up* the final approach, but, terminates as PARALLEL.!
The *Ajax* was basically a failure, (The Mainframe was Cast Alloy) and tended to Crack with even moderate pressure, but still good for demonstrating alongside our U.K. Adana 8 x 5,s and H.S.3,s … Vast improvement on Showing Pictures of Colt,s Armouery, Vickobold, Autovic, etc.etc.

Yes, the press did come with a set of the 1/2 inch type. I don’t know how complete it is yet. And it does have chase irons to lock the type up with. How do I go about rigging up some bails to hold the tympan and packing?

The set also came with a sort of stamper that can be used to print a line of type. Will send a picture if anyone is interested.


Packing and Tympan, (with nothing to start with!)

Based on English Adana,s, there is no bottom Bale Arm The Head Lay and the bottom securing for the Packing are one and the same, i. e. a simple cross bar, secured to the platen bed with 2 tiny, sprung steel cramps, adjustable up and down to suit the *head* Lay and grip the packing at the same time, strip of material 1” wider than the Platen, 1/2” wide from Brass, Mild steel, Perspex, Plastic, . . even sacrifice a plastic ruler, with one tiny modification, (to whatever material?) just a 1/16” bevel to act as the *Lead In*/register for the Head Lay position, even a little sophistication, (and we have many times when pressed) put 2 different bevels, used the cross bar as reversible, i.e, 1/16” bevel for *THROWING* IN, coasters, beer mats, and thick card with a substantial edge, AND a 1/8” bevel to accept Finnicky THIN stock, in essence to perform the same operation as Your hair spring guides… Crude Simple Effective, v

Plus (and we have) under the same principle as above, i.e. nothing to start with,! constructed Cross Bar, combined Packing securing, and adjustable Head Lay incorporating
2 or 3 tiny acrylic fingers, stuck to the Cross Bar as auxiliary guides.
Secured with D.S.A. as in P.P. method, >It aint Rocket Science< and for a FEW cents and a little practice, Finger Nail size Tounges/Fingers can be perfected to accept VIRTUALLY any stock.

On our three smaller Adana,s there is no Top Bale arm either, the packing and tympan are just creased by hand over the top/leading edge of the platen proper, and held in place by 2 - 3 Sprung Steel Clips, (C) shaped, just clipped on and over the Draw sheet/Tympan ONLY, generally all the under packing is cut/fitted to reach the top edge of the platen, ONLY. ?
Your *Stamper* could possibly be, a minature >Stick< to accomodate one line of type, with *Lead* or *Brass* type for Gold Leafing, spines and covers of books. Just Possibly.? . Which may possibly be connected with Your 1/2” Type, more than a coincidence perhaps.

Good luck Mick

It may be as Mick suggests. Spring steel tabs that hold bars in place. My Hohner is this way. It may be that the bales have been removed. Look for screw holes along the edges of the platen. That should give you an idea.