I want to start printing…

I recently purchaced an Adana 5x3. I also have some type, but nor forme to set the type in. I don’t know if there is a way to set type in the chase without one, but I have been looking online to see if it is possible to purchase one and I can’t find one. I know about purchasing plates but I am facinated with hand setting type and really want to be able to do it. I think I know the basics of using the press, and setting type I just don’t have the stuff and am looking for it, but if anyone has any information that I may be missing I would love to hear!!


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I’m not certain what you mean by “forme”, perhaps composing stick?

Many people have set type directly in the chase, and I would not let a shortage of specialized equipment get in the way of enjoyment of the printing process. Get started and the additional equipemnt will eventually come your way.

Print On

Like jhenry says, not sure about your terminolgy. A form is a chase that is locked-up and ready for printing. You may already have what you need. The attached drawings are for a floor model platen press, but the parts are basically the same.

image: press-parts.png


image: lock-chase.png


Thank you guys so much! I guess I missunderstood what a forme was… This makes much more sence now and is kind of a duh haha.

Again Thank you!!!

On an Adana 5 x 3 you can actually lock up without a chase, part of the base comes off with two screws and you can lock straight away into that base. Carefully read the Adana manuals that you can download here on Briar Press. The 5 x 3 comes with a chase, but offered the possibility to lock up a larger forme.

This might be a stupid question but I was reading a couple of the other questions and I was wondering if it is possible to do any diecutting with this machine? I’m guessing no because of the presure required… Also if I chose the right paper will I get a nice impression from my print?

Thank you for the comments so far this site is very helpful!

From my personal experience with the 5 x 3, I would say: don’t try it. Learn to print properly with type and ink first, before you tackle die-cutting.

Okay thank you. Will the 5 x 3 give me a nice impression on my print?

Yes. But only for a portion of the chase. If you fill up the whole chase you’ll likely not get a good impression no matter what else you do. With a similar sized Kelsey 1/3 to 1/2 of the chase was usually the max. The denser the image, the smaller size you’ll be able to get a good impression.

Jerpchap: The 5 x 3 is an excellent press. Caslon in UK have chases. Go to www.caslon.co.uk. You could also get a local engineering company to make them out of strip steel 3/4” high and squared accurately on the inner corners. Sellers on ebay.uk have wealth of Adana gear on offer. I’ve bought 8 x 5 rollers from seller rexweaver. Cheers from New Zealand