Adana 8x5 Roller Problems


I’m very new to letterpress. I haven’t even printed anything yet! I’ve just acquired everything I need though and have decided to try my letterpress with a blank chase (nothing in it) and the rollers fitted to see what happened.

At their lowest the rollers seem to be getting stuck under the type bed. I realise they need to go this low as otherwise the ink disc ratchet doesn’t connect with the ink disc. But when applying force to the handle to get them unstuck it makes the chase fly out which I’m quite sure isn’t supposed to happen!

I was really hoping someone could suggest ways of making the rollers run more smoothly? Are the roller runners supposed to connect with the roller bearers as this isn’t happening in places?

Is there a way to adjust the type bed or the roller carriage to make the rollers run more smoothly?

Or is there sonething else that I could try?

I hope I have the right names for eveything as I’m working off a labelled diagram!

Any help would be very much appreciated.

Thank you,


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Hi Debbie,

Oh dear - thats not right - a flying chase sounds quite dramatic !

You could try slackening-off all of the four impression screws behind the type bed (if you look behind the type bed, these are the four screws at each corner). Does this make things any better ? If these screws are too stiff to turn, application of some WD40 lubricant should do the trick.

The roller bearers should roll smoothly over the runners throughout the printing operation. Are the roller carriage springs operating freely ?

I hope this helps…



Hi Ian,

Thanks so much for getting back to me. I had a fiddle with the screws but I still couldn’t get it quite right.

Without the chase in position the roller runners run along the bearers and the rollers don’t get stuck in the lowest position. But in this case the rollers hit the ink disc rather than going over it.

With the chase in position the roller runners have no way of touching the bearers as the actually rollers go over the chase (I assume this is right as this is where the ink needs to go when type is in) and the chase is almost level with the bearers. In this case the rollers have no problem going over the ink disc but are still getting stuck in their lowest position.

Also I assume the two rollers are supposed to touch whatever is in the chase evenly along the whole distance of the chase. My rollers seem to be flush against the chase at the top and bottom but in the middle they are coming away from it.

It’s very confusing. I’ve attached some pictures which I hope give a clearer idea:

Image 1 - with the rollers in the lowest position the lower roller is getting caught under the chase and without physically lifting it up onto the chase, it won’t move without forcing the chase out.

Image 2 - shows the rollers touching the chase but the runners aren’t touching the bearers - is this correct?

Image 3, 4 and 5 - show the rollers at the bottom of the chase, the middle of the chase and the top of the chase respectively. In 3 and 4 they are making contact but the seem to swing out in image 4.

If Ian or anybody else has further advice I’d be very grateful. It may be just an obvious fix (hope so!) but as I’m new to all this I’m very stuck.

Thank you,


image: 5.jpg


image: 4.jpg


image: 3.jpg


image: 2.jpg


image: 1.jpg


For some reason the images are in reverse order but they are numbered so should be clear enough :D

You are missing roller bearings…

Hi Debbie,
Having seen the photos, I will join the queue of people waiting to tell you that the roller runners are missing. These are black plastic ‘wheels’ which fit over the ends of the roller spindles and run up and down the roller bearers. They are not of uniform diameter, and it is the part with the greater diameter which goes nearest the roller. You can still get a set of 4 from

This should get you up and running,


Hi Debbie,

Within the time it took me to login and prepare a reply, filigree29 has given you all of the info you need !

I’ve attached a photo of a roller runner from my Adana Five-three, against the roller, in the position recommended by filigree29.

I can guarantee your Adana will work much better with these !



image: roller-runners.jpg


yep….. you need trucks on those rollers. They roll along the bearers, and keep the rollers from doing what they are doing to you. Luckily they are available from several sources.

Since an Adana is similar to a Kelsey Press, you might want to look over the Kelsey Manual which does a great job of walking you through setting up your press. It’s available online at:

By the way…. that’s a nice looking machine you have. It’ll serve you well for a loooong loooong time.

Thanks everyone for the help!

I’m off to buy some roller runners and hopefully that should be an end to my press problems!


Hi, I had the same problem - just spent two weeks waiting for caslon to send me some rollers first class. Does anyone know where I can spend less than £28 for four small pieces of plastic?


Try [email protected]

I just bought a set of new rollers complete with roller runners for my 5x3 for only £35.00 plus £4.00 postage.

Previously I have always found Caslon absolutely excellent, with really caring customer service and very fast postage, but quite expensive, so when I needed some more I shopped around….

I will keep you posted on delivery times and etc…only orderd from [email protected] about 10 minutes ago!!!