which press to buy?

Hi there

I am wanting to get into letterpress to start a small company printintg wedding invitations, greeting cards etc.
I need help deciding on which machine to get. I am considering an Adana 8 x 5, a Heidelberg (automatic) and a Korrex Proofing press.

Thanks so much

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An Adana was designed for hobbyists who print small quantities; the Heidelberg auto platen, (for which I have 50+yrs on-the-job experience) was designed for the commercial world, and would easily complete a run of 25K impressions in an 8 hour day.

If you are only just starting, learn the basics first.
Estimate what your runs will be, and if the max is less than 1000 forget the Heidelberg. The outlay will not be cost effective.

bern is right, you should learn the basics first, take some lessons, maybe look at different presses then decide which one you will need. the heidleberg is a wonderful machine for commercial work, the proof press is not really for making more than one copy, not a good idea for doing any kind of quality printing, although some people do have good luck with them, the adana and other table tops are capable of producing quality work if the operator knows what they are doing. good luck dick g.

It would seem that the first thing to do would be to make some sort of business plan and determine what market there is in your area foir the services you hope to offer. Then you can detrmine what type of press would suit then needs you have determined exist.

If in the US, there are Small Business Administration offices almost everywhere, and could get you started on the right track. With the equipment you have indicated, you may likely be in Britain or Europe, and would have to use the resources available to you there.

A little bit of advanced planning can save headaches later.

I would avoid the Adana as a long-term machine. You will probably want to satisfy the brides who want a “deep” impression and honestly, such a small press isn’t going to give them what they want even though it is a nice little press. However, an Adana is a great place to start and will be easiest to learn on. I would follow the advice of the previous posters and get some experience before investing in a Heidelberg.

Other considerations: what real estate do you have – serious letterpress is heavy, a heidelberg is 1.5 tons for example – are you likely to be moving house in the foreseeable future? Or do you have access to workshop space at a reasonable rate and does it have 3 phase electricity (for the heidelberg)?

that is something that almost nobody ever talks about, people get all excited about getting these monster presses but don’t think to check on the motors. john christopher reminds me of the man i knew that bought a pretty large print shop, he built a 4 car garage at his house, had the equipment rigged into it, then he found out that all the motors were dc, the ones that weren’t were 3 phase, he never got everything running. i’m guilty too, my kluge is dc, the converter cost more than the press. dick g.

I have had the same little Chandler & Price 8 X 12 since 1975. It was manufactured in 1906 and is extremely versatile. I agree that you need to learn the basics, try various presses and see which one will match your needs.