Can a press be too old for use?

I know very little about letterpress and have yet to receive the press I recently bought. But I just found a small Craftsmen tabletop press for sale. I don’t know the size of the platen, model or age but after reaching out to the seller for questions he said that is too old to work. That it is a decoration piece.

Is there such thing if the press doesn’t have any evident flaws, welding and only is in need of new rollers, rust removal and a little oil?

It seems to be a Craftsmen Victory press in need of TLC like this post:

Thanks everyone for your time and feedback.

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Your seller has a “Cheeky” attitude.

No press is too old to use. If, as you say, there are no breaks or other signs of excessive wear, there should be no reason such a press would not be useable.

Of course, it may need adjustment and new rollers, etc. in order to do a good job of printing.

John Henry
Cedar Creek Press

Some presses ARE too old to use, but I’m talking about wooden Common presses. We have one at St. Bride Library in London. She’s an arthritic old lady with loose, creaky joints and we have stopped using her as she’s now rather frail. Made c.1790, she’s now “retired” and presented purely as a display piece.

hehehe Thanks John! That’s what I was thinking.

Now I just have to figure out to sneak this press in my house without being noticed :)


Thanks Ink Sprite. Seems like she earned her retirement.

Cheeky Press,

Visit our website to view the same model press restored and ready to roll. This press is small enough to ship via UPS.


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Thanks Tom! I’ve been drolling over your restorations. Impeccable work! I will surely consider them.

Such presses are out there, I have one. Of course, it’s also the last Kluge to roll off the ways at Brandtjen Kluge, and has been babied by a single owner since 1966, until I got her when her first owner (John Moran) passed.. Her bare metal parts still glisten, her paint is like new. Not a repaint, it’s original, but just in case, Brandtjen also included a quart of Kluge paint, which is sealed. Seems they didn’t want their presses to look too old too soon. Now, mine is an “open” Kluge, 10x15, designed by the factory to be hand fed with a custom bull cam for longer dwell, and she’s got about 90% of her moveable parts covered with sheet metal (boxed base, some call it.)… but just to say, such presses are, indeed, out there. Not cheap, but they exist, and come up for sale from time to time.