Golding Pearl No. 1 v Adana 8x5

Hi all,

I have an Adana 8x5, which I am using to teach myself letterpress printing, including digital designing and the printing via magnesium plates. I have seen a Golding Pearl No. 1 for sale, which is quite an unusual press this side of the pond. Would this be a significant improvement on the Adana?

Many thanks in advance for your advice.


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The Pearl is a better press giving more impression clout to take a full forme or large solid area.

The impression adjustment is from platen bolts at the front and once set you make adjustments in the packing. I know some people tweak the bolts at the back of the 8x5 because it is easier.

The treadle is connected to the press with a hook and not a pinned joint and you don’t get an even pressure as you treadle and the joint slackens as it gets to the highest point in the cycle and feels diferent compared to other treadle platens. If going slowly you can hand turn the press with the flywheel.

There is no throw off so you can’t take off impression if you mis feed your stock. Also there isn’t a brake, it might be a small fly wheel but it has a lot of energy.

The rollers are held by two hooks and you can’t fit a rider roller which is possible with some 8x5s.

Some Pearl 1s don’t have a feed board because they were taken off as the brackets slipped down.

The press breaks into 3 parts, the flywheel, the press and the base. It can be easily moved in an estate car by one person.

I presume you are looking at the one on UK eBay. It looks like the fly wheel has not been taken off for a while, it is held by a single bolt on the shaft. It has a long shaft as the steam fitting, a small pulley wheel, would have been bolted next to the fly wheel. There is only 1 gripper which is not a problem.

There were several versions of the Pearl 1 sold in the UK, the Golding and copies such as the Victor from Forknall of Leicester.

I would use a stronger press

eg something from here

Patrick is offering a paid letterpress apprentice job!

Hi all,

Thanks so much for your responses, really appreciated. It was the one on eBay (didn’t want to alert the world to it for obvious reasons!)

I decided not to bid. I still have a lot to learn on the Adana - for example today I have adjusting the roller height using card and masking tape - and I think when I do move to a treadle machine I would like something with a larger platen.

Thanks again and really pleased to have found the forum, it looks a great place to learn from others.