Kelsey 6 x 10 Model X questions

Hello. I recently acquired a Kelsey 6 x 10 Model X. I have been reading through the discussion boards here and have found them extremely helpful! My plan is to clean the press up with the vinegar and lemon juice mixture that many have suggested and oil it up afterwards. I don’t plan on completely dismantling the press. I just want to get it working well, so I am okay with it not looking fresh and new.

Since I am new to the world of letterpress, I do have some questions about my press…

1. What is this rectangular piece? Does it even go with the press? On the front, I think it has “BSI” (with S underlined) and underneath “PP,” but it is hard to tell with all the rust. (01front.jpg, 01back.jpg)

2. This piece looks added on later. Does anyone have a guess what it was used for? (02mod.jpg)

3. The gripper bar spring is curved down and goes to the right under the body. Is that okay? If not, what is the best way to fix it? (marked in red in 03gripperbar_back.jpg, 03gripperbar_top.jpg)

4. The two bails that hold the press packing to the platen are stuck. If they don’t loosen up during cleaning, does anyone have suggestions on how to get them functioning again? Or do I need a new platen?

5. There is a pin inserted in this thing. Is that okay? The handle seems to move fine right now, but I don’t have rollers yet. (05pin.jpg)

6. From what I can tell, I need 2 gripper fingers, 2 rollers and 4 trucks. Is there anything else missing or needs to be replaced? (see all remaining photos)

7. I have two chases and both have chase screws. Should I use those or purchase two quoins instead? If quoins is the way to go, does it matter what kind of quoins I get? If the chase screws would be better, does anyone know where I can get two chase irons? (I am waiting on one more package for the press, so they might be in there, but they may not.)

8. I am going to be using a water miscible solvent. What is a good mix of water to solvent ratio for clean up? Or should I use it straight?

9. When I was reading the Kelsey manual (downloaded from Boxcar), it said for adjusting roller pressure to try adjusting the saddle spring nuts (page 17). Where are those?

Thank you for any help you can provide!

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image: 02mod.jpg


image: 03gripperbar_back.jpg


image: 03gripperbar_top.jpg


image: 05pin.jpg


image: misc01.jpg


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Log in to reply   6 replies so far

I don’t know all the answers, but here’s a start… I’m sure more people will chime in later.

1) I don’t know what that plate is or what it may have been used for, but it’s not a necessary part of the press

2) It looks like this was a mount for a counter (there’s a lever on the counter that counts each rotation of the arm, so you know how many prints you’ve done)

3) I don’t know if it will affect anything. You may want to straighten it out (just by bending), but the best way to tell would be to use your grippers, once you get them, and see if they function ok.

4) try a little bit of oil on the screws? they should loosen up once you get it clean.

5) yes, that’s ok. On my kelsey, the lock washers will shift a little over a few thousand prints. That pin is probably just a fix to be sure nothing comes loose. It doesn’t affect print quality when it shifts, but you want to be sure that dowel doesn’t come out or the handle will come off. It’d be fixable, but your platen adjustments will be gone and there’s potential to damage other things in the process.

6) I don’t see anything else missing, but I can’t see all the washers, pins, springs and things like that in the photos

7) Quoins aren’t necessary on a Kelsey because of the set screws on the chase. You can use them instead of the set screws if you’d like, it’s just a matter of preference. I will say that if you have a tight work area, the quoins may be more useful only because you don’t need the extra space to be able to get a screwdriver on 2 sides of the chase to tighten the set screws.

8) I’ll leave this one to people who have done it before….

9) the saddle spring nuts are at the end of the long springs behind the roller hooks. They add/relieve pressure on the hooks that hold the rollers tight to the bed rails. Another useful tip for roller adjustment on a kelsey is to add tape to the rails (a layer at a time, a little makes a big difference) so that the trucks ride higher and the roller doesn’t over-ink the type or plates.

Have fun with your new press and good luck!

jamie is right on except the chase screws are ok if you don’t have the room for quoins, but on a 6x10 i would rather use quoins, i think they hold better than the screws, you can get away with wickersham quoins, the high speed quoins are expensive and are not necessary on a hand press. good luck dick g.

It’s just a guess, but the plate may have been used as a home-made imposing stone. While the Kelsey’s bed can be used as a stone, it’s obviously more convenient to have a separate one.

Front Room Press
Milford, NJ

The press you have uses saddles to hold the rollers in place rather than the hook/spring method, so you have no nuts to adjust. The springs appear to be fine, you should have no problem in that corner.

I would see no need to add water to your cleanup solvent. That is generally used to remove gums from rollers in litho work. The solvent should work fine right out of the can.

Thank you all for these answers. Very helpful!

I too am curious about that rectangular plate. The two exposed holes next to the plate are intended for a bracket that held a counter that we offered, typically one made by Veeder Root. As JamieK_77 mentioned, the connector attached to the handle would move the arm on the counter at each stroke.