Boston Tiegel rollers and disc ratchet

Hello all,
I’ve recently acquired my first heavy press which is Boston Tiegel from Germany. I’m new to this press. I hope any boston tiegel users here can give me some advice.

First is the position of the rollers. When the rollers reach to the ink disc, the disc touches the roller at 1/4 to 1/3 of it’s width, so it takes some effort to climb up to the ink disc. Do you know if this is normal? I just worry if this set too much pressure and they don’t take the ink evenly.
I attach a few photos here. When the rollers climb up on the ink disc, the distance between the roller-runner and the roller-bearer is about 1 - 1.5cm, so when the rollers roll down they hit at the bearer with strong “clak clak clak” sound. I don’t know if this is normal, because I previously only have a small Adana press and it didn’t show similar “problem”. Hope i’m just worrying too much.

*** Disc Ratchet ***
Second problem is that the disc ratchet doesn’t strike the ink disc to turn around. The ratchet seems broken. I can stick something at the rear end of the ratchet to fix it. But I would like to know how it looks originially when complete.
Hope any one here can help.

Thank you so much!!

image: bostonroller1.jpg


image: bostonroller2.jpg


image: bostonroller3.jpg


image: discratchet1.JPG


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I do not own a Boston Tiegel so I hope someone who does can confirm. Your worries are well founded. I do not think it normal or proper for any press to have the rollers needing to climb onto the ink disk as shown. It appears that the bed of this model is held on with four bolts? Is it possible it is mounted upside down? I believe there should be a smooth easy transition for the rollers from the rails to the disk. The curve of the rails shown look like they may belong at the bottom, not the top near the disk. Usually, the edge of the ink disk is below the rollers at this transition.
Hopefully someone with this press will jump in and help.


Thank you so much John!
Yes, the rail is mounted with 4 bolts, and I tried to turn them upside down and now it runs smooth! Big thanks!!

Hope someone can show me the complete ratchet too. :)

image: bostonrail.JPG


Looks like the ratchet is about to split. Getting that repaired (and rail reconfiguration per John Falstrom) may help the ratchet function properly.

Your press looks like a Hohner or a Heidsieck. The dish ratchet need a little spring, and then it will work prober :-) It may be a good idea to get the ratchet repaired before you mount the spring to it.
Here a detial photo from my Heidsieck
Gott grüß die Kunst

I didn’t catch it at first but it does look very much like a Hohner now that you mention it.

The disc ratchet just needs a spring (or elastic bands) on that end to keep it so the tang points upward. I can take a photo of mine later if you like.

Oh, I didn’t know the model of my press, as the seller just told me it’s “Boston Tiegel”. I searched around and it looks like Hohner but i’m not sure, as the body is not as thick as I saw on some photos of Hohner.
So I attach here some photos of the press, see if you can help identify it.
There is not any brand name shown on the press but a number of “99/300” above the type bed and chase, and a number “BD 68” at the inside of the cover of ink supplier.

And thank you Bogtrykkeren and Lammy, i’ll try with a spring or elastic band. Now i’ve found a hook at the lower arm of the disc ratchet that should be used for the spring.

Thank you guys!

image: bostonview3.jpg


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The word Boston doesn’t indicate a brand, like heidelberg does. It indicates the type of press, you’ll find platen presses functioning with the Galley or Boston system. To put it very, very simply, on the Boston presses the platen hinges at the bottom, and on the Galley press rocks and arrives straight opposite the forme.

Thomas…if I understand correctly the windmill would be Boston type press and the Colts Armory would be the galley kind. If I’m correct wouldn’t it have made sense to have made most platens under the galley design? Seems it would have solved some of the packing issues. Ron

Seeing the slot in the side lever, to me, indicates that it’s a Hohner. The slot is for the auto ejection mechanism which I think is unique to Hohners. Seeing more photos of yours there are very many things that are exactly the same as my Hohner B. The base, the ink fountain, roller hooks, tymphan locks (?). I think your is older than mine. I know mine was new about 1972. My serial number is in the same location but is 4\ 1597? I also have name plate on the cover to the ink fountain and another on the side of the press body.

I’ve never found much information about these presses. I have “manual” that’s rather skimpy and I know mine (and most) were bought from American Printing Equipment Co. in Long Island.

Sorry meant o post a link to my photobucket. There some photos in there of the press.!cpZZ11QQtppZZ16

Hi Lammy, I’m happy to know it’s probably Hohner (or Heidsieck) . I was not so sure when mine is black and has seemingly thinner body, not the characteristic greyish thicker body I saw on Hohner photos.

My press lacks the ejector arm though. Now i’ll try to find one.

And thanks for your input Thomas. I learn little by little.
And RREEBB yes I guess Galley may solve some packing issue too, but it seems Galley system may use up more material to build?

At one stage I owned an Arab treadle platen press and it was bliss printing on that machine, Galley system!

I think it’s a Hohner too. But, all the Heidsieck presses I have seen personally and on the web have the special angled lever with the slot to the automatic election mechanism. Here a photo of my assumed Heidsieck and here a link to a photo of a declared Heidsieck
So it’s not the slot and the mechanism there’s the difference between a Heidsieck and a Hohner - if there is a difference?
If you take a look on the two presses, you will see that all Hohners have the same tympan bars as on Heidelbergs and that the Heidsieck presses use the trational tympan bale as the C&P Pilots and other presses. The Hohner seems a little improved regarding to the Heidsieck - but otherwise identical.
The Heidsieck factory Kamenzer Maschinenfabrik- Gebr. Heidsieck, was (is) placed in Kamenz in Sachsen - a part of the former DDR. The Hohner Maschinenbau has since 1930 been active in Tuttlingen in the Southern part of the old West Germany. My undocumented theory is, that Hohner Maschinenbau (as the last manufacture of German table tops) improved and took over the production of the presses from Heidsieck after WW2, when the world became divided into two, and the all still remaining East German factories became nationalised by the regime in DDR.
Just a thought ….
Gott grüß die Kunst

Thomas - the Arab is a Gordon press like C&P treadles.
Gott grüß die Kunst

Bogtrykkeren, very interesting. Thanks for the info, I didn’t know any other press had hat ejector thing.

I have a Hohner “Hobo” A5 Boston-Tiegel and our presses are very similar - almost identical. About the press’s three rollers as shown in your photos: all three rollers have the same diameter, however the top roller, the one that touches the ink fountain steel roller, has trucks that are 4mm wider diameter than the roller. This allows for it to take a charge of ink and spread it onto the disc, but the 2mm offset prevents it from inking the part of the forme underneath it when the platen is open. Only the bottom two rollers are to ink the forme. So, make sure you put that special roller where it belongs, at the top as in this photo.
All the Best.

image: Hohner Hobo Atelier Locomotive_DSCF2074sm.jpg

Hohner Hobo Atelier Locomotive_DSCF2074sm.jpg

image: Hohner Hobo  rollers IMG_4843.jpg

Hohner Hobo rollers IMG_4843.jpg

Oh wow guys, I lost track of the post for some time… thank you so much for putting so much info here.

Bogtrykkeren, thanks so much for the help with identification of my press and info of Heidsieck! I also noticed your photo posts on Flickr. Brilliant!

Pierre Ranger, thanks for your input about the rollers. This is exactly the problem I encountered.
On my press, 2 rollers are identical, and 1 thicker roller of higher diameter. At first, I thought to put the 2 identical rollers on top, because the “double arms” seem to hold identical rollers. But when printing, the thicker roller when placed at the bottom, it smeared ink on the press body under the forme bed when the bottom roller stations. So I tried to adjust the position of the railing, to push the bottom roller away from the press body. But it didn’t help much, especially if I use a thinner zinc printing block.
So then I tried to put the thicker roller on top, and discovered that with its thicker diameter, the roller is kind of lifted up and doesn’t really touch the forme. Only the lower two rollers ink the forme. And the thinner roller at the bottom doesn’t smear ink on the body underneath.