Kelsey up and running

It would be almost two years ago that a very kind veteran antiques dealer of my acquaintance gifted me with a small, luggable platen press (chase size 5×8 in). When I received it, it was just a tad rusty, needed new rollers and a couple of replacement parts. About a year back I sent it to Craig at Don Black Linecasting, Ontario’s letterpress mecca in Scarborough. He cleaned it up, replaced some bits, gave it a paint job and some new rollers, and voila! Good as new.


It has taken me almost as long to put it to use, but today I did just that. First I have to thank Gina from the Ottawa Press Gang for giving me a set of sheet guides — these are little pins that slide into the tympan paper on the platen (? I’m still a bit weak on platen press terminology. Is the platen the part that folds up to the type, or the part where the chase rests? On the Vandy, I call it the drum). Anyway, here’s a close up:


The press shown here is after clean-up, which was a breeze when compared to cleaning the big press. I’m glad to have this little platen because it makes doing labels, promotion cards and press demostrations very simple. For example, some may recognize this recurring title. I did a book or booklet treatment of this story last year, but used the type already set to print a second edition of 50 on a long sheet sans illustrations for my Ottawa Press Gang collaboration contribution. This little red label is a nod to the blood red endpages in the book version. It seems crazy to ink up the Vandy 219 to do such a tiny job. The whole process, including cutting stock and proofing material, took just over an hour, then maybe fifteen minutes to clean up.


So now my Press Gang contribution is nearly finished, just folding and gluing down 50 of these bloody labels.

To tie up another loose end, I’ll be doing up a special card or something for John Holyer, the dealer who gave me the press. Soon.

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One Comment on “Kelsey up and running”

  1. jeff Says:

    Nice post. Thanks for sharing.

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