Adana 8 x 5 rollers positioning

Having acquired a used 8 x 5 and set up with some new rollers, and printed a reasonably successful small sample fin the middle of the chase after a lot of messing with the four adjustment screws. I now tried some nice 5 inch high wooden type. It fits perfectly in the chase, but I’m finding that the top roller does not fully clear the bottom of the forme at the end of the stroke, so it leaves a nasty horizontal line on the print. Can anyone tell me if the rollers are supposed to completely clear the forme on the inking stroke when the chase is full from top to bottom. If so, how do I make adjustments to achieve this?
The photo shows the rollers at the lowest point on the forme. (disc removed for clarity).

image: Adanarollersproblem.jpg


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Your forme is far too big for this size of press! You will never obtain enough pressure to print this size of type on an Adana. 8 x 5 doesn’t mean that you can print 8 x 5, it will probably print 3 x 2 1/2…

I would respectfully disagree with Thomas Gravemaker. I am using a C+M Caxton 4x6 clamshell, and while I would be dubious of getting 4x6 out of it I have already printed 3x5 fairly respectably. His estimation of 3 x 2 1/2 seems to be very low.

However, You are trying to get 8x5 from an 8x5 and that is not likely to work. Not knowing how the mechanics of the Adana off the top of my head I will make some guesses…

On my Caxton the rest position of the rollers is at the bottom of the chase, it does not roll as far back round as it could (I can push them down a further inch, but they are off the form). When the lever is pulled the rollers roll up, across the chase, onto the ink disk. The Platen is pressed against the chase. When the lever is pushed back up, the Platen comes back, the rollers come down and think disk rotates.

The rollers do not stay on the type at either end of their run, and they don’t touch the paper at any point.

Based on your photo the rollers are not going low enough, based on my experience with incorrect roller sizes I suspect that the rollers are not clearing the bottom of the forme due to the low edge of the type. I would try printing some of the same type sideways, with at least 3 pica of furniture, and preferably more like 6 at the bottom. Try just one or two letters and see how close to the bottom you can get them before you have problems. This will give you a good idea of what sort of printable area you actually have.

Given the very large printing surface of that type and the small size of the press I don’t think that you will get great results with it. You might do better to use a simple proof press or even just a pair of brayers to print with that type.

Of course, I am a rank amateur so feel free to ignore anything I say.

That is much too big to print on an 8x5 and most other table tops such as Model and Kelsey, you need a press with roller impressions such as a proofing press.The letters have a large surface area so there is very little pressure per sq cm.

Also the rollers have a small diameter in comparison to the height of the letters so you won’t be able to ink them properly except by removing the rollers and inking by hand.

On the back of the platen you will find two rubber stops which control how far the rollers go down. If they are removed the rollers drop under the bearer chase and you can’t pull the handle down. By altering the stops there is a small amount of adjustment on where the rollers rest at the bottom.

Thank you very much for your helpful comments.
Clearly I am asking too much from the Adana, but it’s useful to know that I can adjust the bottom limit of travel for the rollers.

Zwack, don’t forget that the Adana presses are not cast-iron presses, but Zamak and that putting too much pressure on them will make them crack…

Ah, thank you for that Thomas, I stand corrected.

But yes, we all agree that you definitely can’t run right to the edge of the forme, and the surface area of that type is too big for the press in more than a single character or two.


Hi Fittz, As they are all saying, miles too large a print area.
Its all a matter of pounds per square inch that an averagely built printer can exert pushing downwards on the handle.
Adana Ltd did try back in the 1930s a sort of stirrup thing attachment whereby you could add some foot pressure but
it never caught on, Now if you wanted to print a business card or a small letterhead .. no problem. And the paper could be carried on a home made card extension downwards from the platen, so the image falls nearer the middle of the sheet. In passing roller bearers outside the paper area make a vast improvement to the roller performance of the 8 x 5 Had my first one 1947 or so.