Question about printable size on 5x8 press

Hi all!

I’ve a question about printable size on a 5x8 press. I’m on the hunt for my own tabletop letterpress (currently I rent press time and print at a nearby studio but would love to save some money and have more flexibility to print my own stuff). 5x8 presses seem to be the most common size I see for sale but I print wedding invitations and anticipate having to print up to 5.5x8.5 size invites. My question is, can I work around the size constraints of the chase by simply printing the top half of the invite and then flipping it around to print the bottom half or when I close the press on the initial print will it create an indent on the paper where it goes beyond the edge of the chase? I already usually run my prints through two to three times even on the large machine so that I get better impression so the extra work doesn’t phase me at all but I don’t want to invest in a press that’s too small to do the jobs I’ll likely be using it for.

Any advice is greatly appreciated! Thanks so much!

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If you are in this for the long haul, save and invest in a Craftsmen or Pilot 6 1/2 X 10. Or even a C & P floor 8 x 12.
Otherwise printing one half and then the other will work with careful register for the second half. Insure that your first half prints are all in perfect register with one another.

Awesome - thanks so much for the advice! Those two presses are definitely my ideal and I’ll continue to be on the lookout but wanted to have a backup plan if possible. Thanks, Inky!

Where are you located? An accomplished printer has recently passed and we are about to liquidate his shop which includes several small presses and a great 8 x 12 C &P with treadle in the Easton, PA area. Contact me off line if you are interested.

Lets say on a 5 x 8 press you have the pressure to print type in an area maybe 6 x 4. Now you can with care turn the paper head to foot, and place another forme (t’other way up) on the press, and adjusting position very carefully print to fill another area 6 x 4, so now you have printed matter area 6 x 8! This can also be extended on Adanas and Kelseys to print all round the edges of a much larger sheet, tho’ such a sheet may need a large temporary card support fixed to the platen, and also maybe need a keep-it- clean frisket made from card.
Just for fun I once printed a press logo onto 2 inch gummed packing tape, sliding it along logo-plus-a-space inches each time, using card controls on the tape. Did many yards, no probs at all.