How to allow a safe hands on demonstration?

I will be demonstrating my Kelsey 5x8 printing press at an event and I would really like to allow guests to print a small card as a souvenir. I know it is a small press, but there will be children so I am slightly worried about crushed/pinched fingers.

Any suggestions on how to safely allow people to print at my booth?

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Make certain the press is firmly attached to whatever table you are using. I have done this by attaching the press to a piece of plywood and then clamping the board to the table where used. You don’t want it falling on someone;s foot.

As to piching. etc., I would make certain no one else is within arms distance of the press (except the operator). If you are there to observe while operating, I think it will be quite safe.

I have done this several times wioth no il effects.

John Henry Cedar Creek Press

I do the same thing at art fairs with a Craftsmen 5x8. Lots of pinch points, but no injuries yet. I have more problems with ink where it isn’t wanted, and letting go of the handle and the platen slamming open.

It’s a lot of work dragging this thing to shows and keeping an eye on it, but all of the excited faces seeing something as primitive as a tabletop press outputting sharp prints, that “looks like it came off a computer” is worth the risk. For me anyway.

Bring a crate or step for the shorter children. Make sure it’s sturdy, or someone will want you to have a handrail.

I do hands-on demos all the time with an old Excelsior 3 X 5. John’s comment about having it solid is a good one. I also tell the kids to use both hands on the lever. That way you can see where all the appendages are!