Problems with roller cores and trucks

I am new to letterpress and just picked up my newly restored 6x9 Victor from Lou in Rhode Island. My press has been set-up on a custom wooden workbench I built, and I have been trying to learn the press. I have read this forum extensively and tried a bunch of troubleshooting techniques that were discussed here, but am still having some trouble.

1) The rollers that were included with the restored press seem too long. I’ve included some photos to help show this. Everytime I pull / release the lever arm, it seems that the roller cores (which protrude beyond the saddle) would hit the platen arm on both sides. This causes slight resistance as the rollers roll down (not TOO bad), but the biggest problem is that it catches the bottom of the platen arm as the rollers roll up the form and actually prevents this motion until I manually push the cores to release where it catches.

2) The rollers and trucks do not roll as one unit. It took a while before I took the rollers off the press and realized that there is no notch on the cores or trucks to keep them rolling together as one unit. I tried the floss technique posted on an earlier discussion (wrap floss around core and push truck over to create more friction, which will keep truck from moving independently), which seems to work well for 3 of the 4 trucks. Is there any other way to fix this?

I will be attempting to pull a blind impression in the next few days (without the rollers on) to test the rest of the press, so I will update again soon. For now, it seems the inking system is my biggest hurdle. Any help is greatly appreciated!


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Log in to reply   4 replies so far

1) I’d just grind or file the ends of the roller cores until there is clearance. What kind of rollers are those?
2) Drill and tap the trucks and insert Allen setscrews to fix the trucks in place. Or perhaps LocTite liquid would work to the same end (though heat would be needed to remove them).

I would not use LocTite — the set screws are the best way. Be sure to drill and tap the trucks so at least half the hole is off the edge of the rails, otherwise you could wind up with the effect of a flat spot on the truck, though the rails look to be wide enough to avoid a problem. I would not use any larger than an #8-32 set screw. You can get an 8-32 tap and the set screws at most any hardware store. You should use a #29 drill bit so the hole is the right size for that size tap. Be very careful to keep the tap straight or it could break off in the hole. Might be best to have a machine shop do this for you. The trucks should be a snug fit on the cores for the set screw idea to work, though — if they’re very loose they’ll get pushed off center when the screw is tightened.

Thanks for the responses!

I will be bringing the rollers to a local machine shop to have them grinded/filed down a bit so they stop hitting the platen arm. As for the trucks, it seems that in the few days that I didn’t use the press, the floss seemed to work its magic. I know floss is not a permanent solution, but when I pulled the press to get oil distributed in the fittings last night the rollers all rolled smoothly! Once I get the cores grinded down, I think I could be ready to print (finally!).

On another note… has anyone else had experience with a 6x9 Victor? Before I bought it, I read from some other members here that it’s one of the best made Kelsey’s with a design similar to the Pilot (with the side arm and full rails to the ink plate). I’d love to hear your stories!


the handle on your press should be almost straight up not that far back, it must have been removed for shipping. thatsure is a good looking press, i heard that lou does nice work you should be happy with that press.