What’s the Status of the “New Excelsior Tabletop Platen Press”?

Perusing the internet today, I noticed that the page for the “New Excelsior Tabletop Platen Press” is still up and running on the Excelsiorpress.org website


After reading about the various controversies surrounding this particular press and the parties involved with it, I was wondering what it’s current status might be. Have any presses or working prototypes ever been built? Have any of the folks who posted here ever recieved their presses? (or their money back?)

It’s been quite a while since the project’s first announcement, and it seems to me like it should be in production by now, if it was a serious effort.

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I believe a few photos of presses in progress were posted in September. But that was quite some time ago with no updates since. There was a storm of bad publicity on Briar Press and I too am curious what might have come of this whole thing.


Inquiring minds want to know what happened to this new press that Lou was/is making!? Many members thought it was a great idea and some poo-pooed it.
is where you can find more information.

Maybe a threatened patent infringement has shut him down, someone owns the rights to the pilot…doubtful that Lou does.

Patents only last 17 years. Shouldn’t be a problem here.


The website page (dated September 2011) states that “PAYPAL IS NOT ACCEPTED ON PRESSES!”

I find this discomforting. PayPal is the most effective and traceable method of payment on the Internet today. Its as good as a bank check. Plus the buyer can opt for “insurance”.

The site also says:

“Last year we sold over 140 letterpresses, and dozens of other items. We received a 2” stack of thank you notes, and only one complaint. True it was a very vocal one but still only one. I think that’s impressive in anyone’s book.”



Has anyone on Briar Press bought one? (Care to share some photos perhaps).

Paypal isn’t perfect. They have some issues with buyers claiming product isn’t shipped and getting their money back, while the seller has no recourse to argue.

However last I noticed, Lou has been looking for buyers for his business(es) on Craigslist.

I can vouch for Paypal not begin perfect. I got scammed on $5400 from a forged return freight bill. Buyer got there money back and kept my equipment. Was a very hard lesson. It took two years for me to finally get enough evidence to prove the fraud but Paypal wasn’t interested in reopening the case by then. They can’t fix the problem of criminals. They are just the middle guys.

Once again, I see that the Excellsior Press website is still up and running, and has not been updated in a year..

Even though his website says that he’s sold over 140 presses….. and that production on a press is 4-6 weeks…. he doesn’t actually say he’s SHIPPED any presses. Nor have I met or heard of anyone who actually recieved one.

So…. has ANYBODY out there actually bought and recieved shipment on one of these presses? If you DID, was it a good machine?

OR Has anyone bought one of these presses, and is still awaiting shipment?

Since we’ve been asking this question for quite some time now, and nobody has ever said “Yes I bought one and it’s in my shop”….. I’m inclined to think that the whole thing might not be on the up-and-up.

I am quite certain the reference to the 140 presses sold is not about the new press. Lou has been restoring and selling presses (Kelsey’s mostly) for years. He has a Golding Official on Ebay right now.

June 8

A New Press & “A New Generation of Letterpress Printers”

Rogena purchased the first new true 7x11” Excelsior Pilot Press from Louis at Excelsior Company in Rhode Island. She’s an experienced printer - with a background including floor-standing C&Ps and even a Heidelberg Windmill. But now it’s time for something smaller. The Excelsior Pilot was just the press to suit her new shop layout (at home)

This from Alan Runfeldt’s blog dated June 8, 2012

Purchased it maybe, ever receive it ?
I told him there was no way to make that press, we no longer cast steel in small runs in this country. We CNC machine and water jet are steel. A new press with a new design could be accomplished. But the hole idea of taking someone’s money up front, then trying to make it is a big risk for the customers.

> we no longer cast steel in small runs in this country.

I think you exaggerate. I’ve bought and received various cast-iron goodies cast in the US (Pennsylvania). Nice castings too.


It would appear that the company and the Plastic only prototype is for sale.