Bates Numbering Machine question

Many years ago I bought a “Bates Standard Numbering Machine” from Kelsey. I used it to number tickets. Recently I had need to number again and, of course, the device’s ink pad (which is a piece of spongy material approx 1.5 x 0.75-inches was dry, dry, dry. It used stamp pad ink. Does anyone have any suggestions to try to “reconstitute” this ink pad to accept ink again? Obviously my preference would be replacement but (a-hem) I suspect this Bates is out of warranty. :) Thanks to any and all for help.

image: bates.jpg


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you can buy replacement pads from most stamp companies. If you are as cheap as me you can remove the pad and turn it over, the bottom will be brand new, just reink with stamp ink.

If flipping the pad doesn’t work, just buy some craft felt and cut it to size. If you need more thickness, add a layer. Once it fits properly, apply rubber stamp ink liberally. Done.

As long as you still have the carrier you just buy any make of insert that has similar dimensions and drop it into the carrier. Messy but it works.

Please let me correct from my own experience several previous mentions of stamp ink or rubber stamp ink to be used in a Bates or similar hand numbering machine.
—Stamp ink or rubber stamp ink is water-base, which will rust the steel parts in a numbering machine and freeze them up PERMANENTLY.
—Numbering machine ink in a bottle with a small brush in the lid for a clean application, or check writer ink in a small tube, are both oil-base and are made for this use.
Pads and ink are available in most office supply stores or they will order and get them for you in a day or two.
I’ve one of these Bates machines that was at one time LIBERALLY inked with rubber stamp ink. A stick of dynamite won’t undo the wheels now, but it makes a nice vintage paperweight!

Freshen up the ink pad and this machine should serve you well. I have had one of these for about 35 years. Mine was found in a “junk shop” and what attracted me to it was the original wooden box and the graphics on that box. The bonus was that the machine was still inside! In perfect working order, mine is so old that it recommends lubricating it with Sperm Whale Oil and has a warning to not let the srtock boy in the back room use it as a hammer!!! Mine will do consecutive numbering, double numbering and triple numbering. It is a beautiful object just as a stand-alone piece.