Baltimore Tabletop Press Jammed

About seven years ago I purchased a lovely little tabletop press, a Baltimore No. 9. It was fully functional when I bought it. I never used it at the time because I had back-to-back pregnancies and didn’t want to handle the lead type and solvents …

Anyway, I am excited to FINALLY start using the press and set up a work area. However, the press is jammed (see photo for position it’s stuck in). The handle and rollers do not want to move up or down across the plate. I can’t think of why, as it’s been safely stored this whole time. Any advice for troubleshooting this? Thanks in advance!

image: Letterpress.JPG


Log in to reply   6 replies so far

Have you tried removing the rollers from the press? They may be causing the press to bind when actuating the lever.


you might want to try and close the press on its side or backside to see if you can see what is binding, same on the rollers if you can get them off. Good luck!

I had a similar problem at the weekend with a table-top that had not been used for a while.
I found that the roller arms were stuck so I applied some 3in1 oil and then holding both roller saddles I pulled them forward and up. Having pulled the rollers over the tightest point the press could then be closed pushing down the handle.

Thank you for the replies. I will try what each of you suggested!

It looks like the roller spring arm is inside the guide arm.

Try and remove the rollers, see if it actuates ok. Reinstall the rollers with the roller springs outside the guide arm.

Delay my last………..I guess the arm is suppose to sit that way.

Try moving press with out the rollers, start there.

Contact T&T Restoration, Tom can help.