Reliance Midget info…

I’m looking for photos & info on Reliance Midget’s.

Any help is appreciated!


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The North American Hand Press Database records nine Midget Reliance hand presses in the US and Canada, and among the probably 100 or so other Reliance presses there may be others not yet identified. What sort of information are you seeking? I have a few photos, platen and bed dimensions, and possibly a few serial numbers as well.


I have a Midget Reliance, but it’s disassembled as I work to restore it. So, while I have no pictures of the complete press, I can get pictures of parts, or some assemblies, or measurements, or try to answer questions.


I have someone who has a Midget in their garage (left over from a ex) The only photos I have seen are poor quality but it shows it has been cracked/re-welded (isn’t it cast?)

I’d like to see photos of one that is used today. A video would be great.

I’d like to go get it but I’m unsure of the weight (700lbs?)
Is it east to somewhat disassemble and put in my truck?

I am assuming that the midget is the tabletop model???? If so, it should be highly desireable and expensive. The rule of thumb for the past several decades has been the smaller the handpress the more expensive they are. This basically stems from the fact that they are not as heavy/cumbersome as the bigger ones are and are therefore easier move and find a spot for (without bracing and floor jacks under the floor (been there and done that).


All the Reliance presses look about the same, so find one and you’ll see what they all look like. Indeed, most Washington-style handpresses look alike.

(Well, a Baby Reliance, the tabletop model, looks different)

Here’s a little description of an effort to restore one in Seattle:
For my press, much less effort was required.

3 people can disassemble a Midget and put it in the back of a small pickup (in my case, a Toyota Tacoma). It’s supposed to weigh about 700 pounds. 4 people might be better. Don’t try to move it without disassembling it. Be deliberate, be careful! If you drop a part, it will break.

I would find a real Reliance (of any size) to study before tackling the job. And buy a copy of Rummonds’ book:

In my case, I took off the tympan and frisket. Then removed the bed. Then lowered the platen and removed the toggle joint and bar. Then removed the platen. Then the foreleg and the rails, and finally the feet.

It looks like the staple (frame) will come apart, but that may be an illusion. In any case, I didn’t take it apart.

A weld can be bad news, depending on where it is. You’d certainly prefer the frame be solid; the foreleg is much less important. I’d look at it live, very closely, before buying it. Rummonds’ book will help you with what to examine.


The Midget is not a tabletop. Here’s a picture:
It’s just over 5-feet tall.

Here’s a Baby Reliance:[email protected]/3612659095/


Thanks, the Baby Reliance is what I was talking about. None the less the midget reliance is still very desirable because it is much easier to move and set up.


[…] the midget reliance is still very desirable […]

I agree, naturally.


Here are 2 photos of the press…

They want $600


image: m3.JPG


image: m2.jpg


Wow! That is really quite the cobbled repair job, but $600 would probably be a steal for this, since it might be worth ten times that if it had not been damaged.


If you buy it I would not count on being able to max out the impression on big blocks. For moderate size work it should be fine, but if you really work it to the max it may break again. Welding cast iron is risky because it can set up internal stresses. But $600 is a good price for such a press.

Please let me know direct if you get it so I can add it to the North American Hand Press Database.



I expect Bob’s right that it will work, but you’ll need to be careful.

I look hard at the picture but can’t convince myself that there are corner irons on the bed. I’m pretty sure there’s not a tympan & frisket assembly. Perhaps they’re store elsewhere; otherwise, you’ll have to make them. Very plausible, though extra work of course.


Here is an image of a Reliance Midget. It is the press used by the extraordinary printmaker, Gustave Baumann, in Sante Fe, NM. I was just there and saw his workshop with this press. I have additional images of this press and others, if anyone wants to see them.
Also, I would like to find a Reliance Midget to purchase that is in working order (more or less). If anyone has any suggestions, I would greatly appreciate it.

Here is the image.

Secondbob: Did you wind up buying the Midget Reliance? In looking at the photo of the repair again, I am guessing it was brazed rather than welded — not the prettiest job but probably stronger than welding. You could scratch the surface of one of the repairs (it looks like it’s been painted over) to see what color is underneath.

If you decided against it can you send me the contact info for the owner so I can add the press to the North American Hand Press Database?