Rare chase for FM Weiler / Liberty Machine Works wanted

Hello print masters!

I’m a total printing newbie. I aquired an old lever platen press which I identified as “F.M. Weiler Amateur No 8”, and I also found out that this press was also sold (with minor modifications) as “Liberty Machine Works American No 8”.

My press is in a good condition, however, it came without a chase. The chase for this press needs to be rounded at the top, I guess, otherwise the rollers would hit it and the closure is also rounded.

Does anybody know where I could buy a chase like this? I realized some C&P presses also have rounded chases. Do you think the chases would fit my press?

The inner dimensions of the press bed are 13,3” x 9,4”, the old catalogue says the inner dimensions of the chase must be 11,8” x 7,8” or 20x30 centimetres.

I’m grateful for any help, thank you and best regards,
Newbie from Germany

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If you cannot find a original chase for your press, some people have machined replacement chases from high-grade plywood. Certainly cheaper than having a metal chase made.

Good idea, thank you kimaboe.

Will the plywood stand the pressure or does it have to be special hard wood?

Check with Don Black Linecasting. They have a lot of chases.

If you use good quality plywood (i.e. many hardwood plys) and don’t make the frame too narrow, it should handle the pressure no problem.

The same principles apply, i.e. place your quoins so you are putting pressure in the middle of the sides, so that one corner doesn’t receive all the force and cracks.

Two points: first, if you use plywood and have a choice of pieces, look carefully at the edges for voids in the plies and choose a cabinet-grade plywood without voids; second, use Challenge high speed quoins for your lockups, which will spread the stress over a larger area of the chase sides; (and third, don’t over-tighten the quoins!).


As implied above, genuine original = best option, but if all else fails D.I.Y. from Plywood, but you will not better *MARINE PLY* possibly try Your Ships Chandlers, etc. For >SWEDISH< origin, Marine Ply.

At that/Your size chase, it is pushing the capabilities in PLY? but if you have to resort to that method, and in D.I.Y. manner, think in terms of 19 m/m. thick to start with, same height (approximately) as standard furniture/spacing/ quoins, but certainly low enough to NOT be Inked.??

As a starting point wall thickness for the Ply chase (horizontal & vertical) at least 32 m/m. even 35 m/m. ***

***It is well documented many times, on B.P. that Platens table top and floor standing, were never designed or intended, to achieve more than 60-70% (at best) overall impression area, consequently D.I.Y. chases from PLY can have wall thickness more than above, if needs be.

Under similar circumstances, i.e. no original chase, have used marine ply, as above BUT have sourced 4 small steel 90 degree shelf brackets at 7 centimeters x 7 centimeters, the height of the Ply chase and strengthened the corners, from the inside, quoins never need to be (as above) right into the corners, off the shelf, brackets, are usually in the order of 6 Point thick, hence a 6 point lead naturally sits against the chase wall,s opposite the lock up sides.????

You may find on close inspection, (check with a straight edge, original roller, piece of broom handle or whatever),
roll your test item up the rails, over the apex of the track,s and up the ramp(s) leading to the ink disk, you will probably find that the Test Item has cleared the upper limit of the chase, even it was square.

Generally the contour,s top and bottom were factored in, in the casting process to incorporate the (normally) 2 lugs at the bottom, for the chase to locate and sit on, and at the Top as seen on your machine, the thumb screw lug, and tiny arm, to accept the curvature of the chase, sometimes with small machined angled step incorporated, to match the tongue of the Lug, also normally with spring, to allow clipping the chase in, which in PLY format, would probably require a tiny metal slipper!!!

My best shot, apologies for rubbish if it be so.? Good Luck.

Thank you all for your very helpful answers. I think making a chase with very hard wood from scratch would be my best bet. Next thing on my to-do list.

Thanks again and wishing everybody a nice weekend.

“making a chase with very hard wood” will not be as satisfactory as making a chase from plywood. The plywood will be superior because of the layers of wood with the grain running in different directions. The slightest flaw or weakness in the grain of a single piece of wood will fracture when the pressure needed to lock-in the form is applied.

Plywood may not be as aesthetically pleasing as hardwood, but it will make your better chase.You can buy plywood with a decent looking surface, I think its called sanding plywood or something like that. And….the thicker the frame the stronger the chase.


Thanks Rick. I think I know which type of wood you are talking about. Have a wood working guy down the road, will ask him what he can offer :-)

Kind regards,

this chase is for a 14 x 22 kluge. it works very well, and is Light! i gave my local die cutting die maker dimensions and they laser cut it. i then beveled and rounded to my needs. not pretty, but Very usable. they made this out of regular die board, which is about the best plywood around.

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