The Printer’s Guide for users of

Kelsey Presses

And Other Similar Machines

When your outfit arrives, open it with great care. Small articles are sometimes overlooked and thrown out in the excelsior or other packing material. Several small articles are often wrapped together in one package. Open all packages and note the contents. Proceed only when all the articles called for by your order have been checked and accounted for.

Go to work carefully and take plenty of time at first. There is nothing difficult to master, and with a little practice you will be able to work rapidly and accurately.

How to Set up an Excelsior or Victor Press:

The Junior, 3x5, 5x8, and 6x10 presses are packed completely assembled with the exception of the ink table, ink rollers and roller wheels. The 9x13 size is packed in the same way, except that the chase and chase bed are also separated for convenience in shipping.

The chase and chase bed you will find packed on the side of the box.

If you will refer to the diagram on page 2, you will have no difficulty in assembling all of these parts. The ink table has a stem on the back which is inserted in a hole on the top of the press. It will be easier to assemble if the press is closed - that is, if the handle is pushed down so that the rollers will be installed across the ink table.

Save the corrugated container that the rollers were in, as it makes a fine box to hold and protect them when not in use.

Fasten the press securely with screws to a solid box, bench, or table. The firmer the press is fastened, the easier it will operate. Have it near a window if possible, where you can get good light. Oil the working parts with machine or motor oil, and keep them lubricated. The ink table should also be cleaned after using - use a little Printoclene, kerosene, benzine, or gasoline on a cloth to soften the ink and enable you to wipe it off easily. If your press is not used every day, it is a good thing to put a thin coating of oil on the rollers, and, on the ink table to prevent rusting, but it must be thoroughly cleaned off before putting on ink.

The Excelsior Press:

In order that you may fully understand all references in the Guide, a diagram is shown giving the names of all parts, and we are appending an illustration, with the most important parts lettered. Junior and Victor press owners will find slight differences.


The chase, B, holds the type, and is arranged on our own patented plan, with removable chase bed, so you can remove both chase and chase bed from the press, and set up your form (of type, etc.) directly on the chase bed, in the chase.

This prevents Pi, or mixing the form of type, if by any chance it is not well locked or tightened up in the chase. The sheet to be printed is placed on the platen, D, which, upon a downward pressure of the handle, or lever, E, gives the printed impression. The leverage is double, having the connections with the platen, which gives great power and prevents all twist and spring. The Excelsior front lever principle allows a sheet of any size to be printed, as the paper may project out on the sides. Chase irons (flat steel bars) are placed inside the chase, and are used to prevent the chase screws from damaging the furniture (wood blocking).

Press parts

Ink is spread on ink table, C, which is removable for cleaning. The roller carriage is connected with the platen, and the rollers pass over the type twice before each impression. The ink table revolves, giving perfect distribution of ink. Gripper fingers, F, work automatically with the swinging platen, and hold the paper for the impression, releasing it for removal of printed sheet. The impression of pressure is regulated by impression screws, which may be adjusted so as to bring the right pressure on all parts. The chase or chase bed, or both may be instantly removed from the press, or replaced by a pressure on the latch which holds them. The Union press has a combined chase and chase-bed which is held in place by a screw.

The rotary jobbers act on exactly the same principle as the hand presses, and good results can easily be obtained by following these directions. If you have any difficulty, write to us explaining the trouble fully and clearly.

To Unpack the Type:

Having one of your type cases at your right hand, open one of the packages or "fonts" of type. If your type is wrapped in a cardboard container lay it on a table or bench label down, tear off the sealing tape, and unhook the tow cardboard ends, leave the package in the same position, unfold cardboard and the type will be face up. If your type is wrapped in paper lay the package on a table or bench so that it will unroll toward you, straighten out the ends of the wrapper and unroll carefully until type is uncovered, standing face up on the wrapper. Do not try to remove it from the paper, but place a small block of wood or something similar on each side, to prevent it falling over. Note the slip in each font regarding a proof. Directions for taking a proof are shown on page 5. Let that be the first thing you do. It will safeguard you against a shortage or putting the wrong letters in the wrong compartment.

Type case

After taking the proof, wipe off the face of the type with a little gasoline, benzine, kerosene, Printoclene, or any similar cleaning liquid and, after placing strips of wood on each side of the font to keep it upright, carefully remove the string. The letters will usually be found in regular, alphabetical order, but sometimes in making up a font it is necessary to change the order somewhat, so notice each letter carefully before placing it in the case, according to the diagram. Beginners sometimes have difficulty to distinguish b, d, p, and q; n and u; , (comma) and ‘ (apostrophe). (See illustration on back of cover.) You will have no trouble with these if you remember that the nick of the body of the type is always at the bottom of the letter (see illustration shown elsewhere.) Your proof of the type will also help you to identify the letters.

Opening a font of type

Two or more fonts may be put in one case if different in size so as to be readily distinguished.

The spaces and quads are put in a separate font, and are opened and laid in the case in the same manner. The em quad is the square one, the en quad or space is the one that is just half the thickness of the em quad, the 3- 4- and 5- em spaces are those that are respectively one-third, one-fourth or one fifth the thickness of the em (See diagram).

Intro  |  Parts & Proofing  |  Setting Type  |  Press Work  |  Oiling  |  Misc. Printing  |  Business   |  Information Request  |  Phone - (416) 751-5944  |  Fax (416) 751-5413
120 Midwest Rd, Unit 5, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, M1P 3B2, Copyright 2009 Don Black Linecasting Ltd.