Poco Proof Press cylinder

Hi there,
I have acquired a Poco Proof Press which hasn’t been used in years. I am just beginning to figure it out— I’ve been consulting with some great printers and reading the really helpful book, “General Printing”.

I have a really basic question, though, and I’m wondering if someone can help me out. The press came to me with paper wrapped around the cylinder (I’m guessing that’s the tympan?) and with a thick sheet of plastic wrapped around the paper.

Is this sheet of plastic something useful? Or is it just something that someone wrapped around the cylinder to protect or keep it clean over the years?

Also, can you point me to somewhere where I can read more about preparing the cylinder for printing? What kind of tympan to buy, how much, how to affix it to the cylinder, etc.?

Thanks for any help you can offer!

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my poco has a thin rubber like top sheet, i only use the press for proofing type, this press came from a small linotype shop where i worked in the mid 1960’s, i put the rubber on it back in the 60’s and it still works great. you can use regular tympan on the press. good luck. dick


General Printing is a great book. The plastic could be a layer of mylar for a crisper impression and I started using it on my cylinder presses.


A friend of mine at 9SpotMonk had a Poco years ago and maybe shoot her an email.



There’s a Poco for sale right now on the Classifieds page. Its cylinder has only the tympan paper covering. That was what mine had before I sold it a couple of years ago.

Thanks so much for your responses, everyone! So the sense I’m getting is that I could try printing both with and without the plastic topsheet, and just see which works best. Yes?

Another question I have is- how do I know if/when the packing needs to be changed? The press has been sitting around unused for years (possibly decades), so I have this urge to replace the packing and “start fresh”, but really- is there anything wrong with just dusting it off and starting to print with it the way it is?

Thanks again!


dust it off and try it, unless there are dents in it you should get a decent copy, my rubber top sheet is 50 years old, but i’m not printing with it just proofing type, so it works for me. if yours don’t work, then replace it. good luck dick g.