First press - Kelsey 9x13?

Hi! I reside in Singapore & it’s near impossible to find a letterpress for sale within my country… *near* being the keyword. I recently came across a Kelsey 9x13 - seems to be in good condition even though I’ve not seen it personally. It’s going for a little over 1000 USD which I think is quite reasonable but not too sure… and I don’t need to pay for shipping costs!

I’m a total beginner - toying around with the idea of owning a press but haven’t considered it seriously simply because I’ve thought for waiting a couple more months/years when I’ve done my research and absolutely sure I will put it to good use. I want to use it to letterpress my artwork (I freelance & sell my cards at fairs sometimes.) Volume wise, it wouldn’t be anything humongous - at least not in the next two years.

I’ve read up somewhere on Adana vs Kelsey, and Adana seems to be winning. I’ve read somewhere that Kelsey isn’t as efficient when it comes to making impressions, and I’m looking for that deep impression popular in modern letterpressed goods. Is there any significant difference between the two, and would the Kelsey suffice in what I am using it for? Also, I haven’t seen many 9x13’s around, and I would also be concerned about the availability of parts in the future.

This seems like a good opportunity to miss out on, but I wouldn’t want to buy it for the FOMO and would very much rather wait it out for another opportunity if the Kelsey is not suitable.

Thank you so much. :)

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This is the photo attached with the ad.. Seems to be in great condition compared to many others I saw online, but I’m not sure if any parts are missing & what I should be looking out for to make sure it’s functioning. Any help with this would also be appreciated!

image: kesley_9x13_letterpress_machine_1535940370_d4a70c99.jpg


$1000 seems reasonable, especially when there aren’t many presses available. Hard to tell from just one photo, but it looks like everything is there but I don’t see a chase. Looks like the rollers and trucks are new, which is a plus. I don’t have any experience with Adanas, but Kelsey is a fine press. I started with a 3x5 for fun and could get a very good impression with it, I now have a 5x8 that prints well also. A 9x13 should be a great press, plenty of real estate to print with. Good luck, and let us know how it goes
Whistle Pig Press

The press looks like it lacks the chase. Must have a chase! Also the roller hooks are too “light weight” to carry the ink over the form. My advice is to stay away from this one. I also advise to stay away from the Kelsey 6x10 for the same reasons.