Roller Runners UK - 7x11 Gem by Thomson Treadle Press

Hi everyone,

Does anyone know where I can source some Roller Runners for a Treadle Press (based in the UK) I have just purchased. It has no manufacturers mark but we believe it to be a Gem by Thomson (no.2) Chase size 7x11.


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Hi, Emma, Unsuprisingly. you will not find any stockist of these, so you need to find someone with a lathe, and just a few pound notes. Its a straightforward lathe job. But he / she needs dimensions. So you will need to specify that magical 918 thous figure up from the type bed, to define a spot in space that will be the same dimension of the outer running surface of your wheels. You need four or is it just possibly six? How many hooks are there on the ends of the roller arms? The essence is that the roller runner wheels will normally be the same outer diameter as the cast on rubber or plastic roller coatings. Most older presses had such coverings in inch dimensions, one inch, one and a quarter or so on. And that will be the same as the roller runner outer diameter. Don’t know anyone with a lathe?, try your local Model Railway Society The simple wheel needs an outer shoulder with a small locking screw. Dont want them to skid. PS are your roller runner rails adjustable?
Further info? contact me off-line at

My old Cropper Peerless No. 1 used to run quite happily with four Caslon 8x5 roller runners plus a taped strip on the track. I subsequently got some steel ones made by a local shed-based engineer with a lathe.

As you are looking for runners I presume the press came with rollers, if so could you post a picture of the end of a roller so we can see the stock?

The roller diameter and runner diameter may not be the same,the attached is a spec for an 8 x12 press.
Standard runners for this are 1 7/16” diameter and rollers 1 1/2” diameter.

image: rollers.jpg


Hi everyone,

Apologies for the slow reply!

Thank you for all your help with this! I have asked a couple of printer friends as well and they are looking of for me. Unfortunately I dont know anyone with a lathe @harrildplaten but I will look up a local model railway society thank you!

And thanks you @platenprinter for those measurements, I will attach a picture of the rollers now! Do you think the measurements will be much different from a 8x12 to a 7x11?

Image Attached of roller end

image: roller.png


I think I have the same press, the rollers with cores are 15 inches long the actual roller is 11 and 3/4 inches, I have taken photos to compare.

2 rollers have the same diameter with 1 bigger which I presume is the ink duct roller, I have not used this press yet, I bought it off a retiring printer who was using it daily, a while back now.

Any way have a look at the photos and compare, and I know a chap who may be able to make the four smaller ones you need, I did mention it to him today and gave him one of mine and he is going to see if he has any metal to do the job, as soon as I know anything I will contact you,


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all six of your trucks would be the same size, about the diameter of the larger rollers. the smaller roller still used them because of all the ink on it from inker it is not going to ink type only the disk.
I have no problem making new trucks here in the US. oversea shipping is about 40.00 extra on trucks.
click on my name to message.

4 runners are the same size for the smaller rollers but the bigger roller has larger if you look at the pictures the sizes are there and the previous owner was using all three rollers, I took them out when I picked the machine up and everything looks original.


Hi john,

Wow thank you that is so so helpful! I’ll measure my rollers to compare but that would be fantastic if the man you know might be able to help! I havent made any further progress finding someone so that would be fantastic!

Thank you for taking the trouble! :)


Hi John,

Just measured my rollers, but they are all the same size as your bigger one, 38mm wide. The measurement of the metal bit at the end that the runners sit on seems to match with yours at 9mm but the length of my rollers are 28.3cm (11.2 inches) so a bit shorter than yours. Would be really appreciated if the man you know might be able to help make a copy of your larger runners, thank you again for going to the trouble of helping me!


Are you based in the UK john?


Thank you Toddpresstime for your help as well! Hugely appreciated! Im hoping to source some in the U.K but will definitely be in touch if I struggle to find someone!

Thank you again!