|Amanda came to the shop
with her soon-to-be husband Jeff and two presses she recently purchased
on eBay. They want to print their wedding invitations themselves on a
letterpress and will be using the Adana (or the Kelsey) to print their
One press was the Kelsey 3x5 shown in the photo here, and that was no problem; we have the parts in stock to restore this one.
But the Adana was another story. First of all, this is the first Adana we have worked on, so we needed to learn about this press - how it was put together and how it worked. - And, believe me - the engineering of this press is like nothing we have seen from Kelsey or Golding or Sigwalt or Chandler & Price or any of the other press manufacturers we are familiar with. The Adana is certainly of unique design... As part of our study, we took a LOT of photos of this press - from all angles - so that when we begin putting it back together again, any questions about what goes where can be answered by our photo.
We also discovered that apart from having been painted - with the paint flaking off, the ink table had also been bent somewhere along the way. We'd never seen a bent ink table before, and thought we might have to track down a replacement, so we contacted Roy Cason of the Caslon Company in England. Caslon now owns Adana and sells parts and supplies - and even some rebuilt presses - to customers throughout the world. In our case, we had a bent ink table, and needed a chase, some rollers and some hardware - and custom packing for the platen. And, happy surprise, Roy did have an ink table and chases in stock - for a press built in 1935!
But, as it turns out, we were actually able to accurately straighten the bent ink table that we had here. I was also surprised not only to find that it had been bent, but even more so to discover that I was able to straighten it. It took some time, and a custom jig and quite a bit of rotating and gentle tapping, but I found that the metal was sufficiently pliable that I was able to level the table and then finish the cleanup by polishing the face in my lathe. I am very pleased with the result. At first, I had assumed that it was made of aluminum, however a visiting welder/metalurgist referred to it as a high tin content "pot metal". In any case, it is malleable and is now straight across and level and it polished up nicely. Looks like new...
Now let's see how this shiny metal it handles ink...
The press is apart now, with all but the platen removed for cleaning.
After we remove the shaft that holds the platen in place, we'll clean up and prepare the base and handle for repainting in Adana-red. Then, after the paint is dry and the metal parts are cleaned and shiny, we'll reassemble the press, adjust the chase bed, and install the new rollers. Then it will be just like new - as it was when it came off the assembly line in 1932...
Those photos will be posted next....
Please contact Alan Runfeldt with questions.