platen hits roller rails

I think I know the answer to this question (“no!”) but want to find out from the experts. I have a 10 x 15 C&P old style that I’ve set up and adjusted (came from and went into basements) and was ready to print when I noticed, while hand spinning the flywheel, that the platen is hitting the roller rails. Is this right?

If not, what is the suggested (?) gap between these and the best way to adjust. Seems like the throw out lever might get me there but I’m not sure where to make those adjustments.

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The critical adjustment is the gap between the platen and the bed. I would suggest getting one of John Falstrom’s platen leveling gauges to make the adjustment more precise. You need to set the distance at the four corners with the press closed and on impression. You will need a big wrench for the platen leveling bolts and their lock nuts. Be sure to remove all packing from the platen and take out the chase first.


is your gripper rail functioning properly? IE; the spring is not broken, and it is opening and closing properly? The cam is operating?

Never heard of a platen setting gauge, no need for such a thing, only a roller setting gauge.
The platen has been set too far forward. Slacken off all of the bolts on the rear of the platen and then the platen can move back. Lock up four pieces of type/blocks etc. in the corners of the chase. With the impression ON and packing on the platen turn the fly wheel to the point where the platen closes. Tighten the bolts until there is no slack and this is your starting point. Put some ink on the four pieces of type high material to take a print and from then on adjust the bolts to give an even impression in all four corners.

Platenprinter - You can learn something new every day. The platen setting gauge that John Falstrom came up with is an elegant and precise way to take the guess work out of setting a platen level and at a fairly precise gap. It really does work well and I suggest that you could consider other people’s ‘suggestions’ as just that- suggestions- before you prescribe what other people might “need”, and then make your own suggestions without stating that there are better or worse ways to do things?

Someone who has done this both ways

tthis is Kluge’s version of a “Platen guage”. If you know how to set a platen to your own specific needs, these aren’t really needed. close the press on impression and slide this around to all 4 corners, adjusting for even drag. It is kinda tough to do on older machines, especially those with hot plates built in. The hot plates swell in certain areas after years of heat cycles, throwing off your readings. Gouges in the platen plate will cause sticky spots.

image: Platen guage.jpg

Platen guage.jpg