Hi all--I'm very new to this medium, and a friend just gave me (!) a Kelsey 5x8 tabletop press that was sitting in her basement. It doesn't have a chase bed or a chase, and I was wondering if anyone has had any luck tracking down replacement chases. I know I can get a new one fabricated (there's someone over on Briar who makes them from wood), but I'd love to find an original if possible. Any leads would be great. Thanks so much! -Nicole

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Contact Fritz Klinke at NA Graphics.  He sold me a replacement chase for a Kelsey model U


Also try John Barrett at Letterpress Things, Chicopee, MA. He has Kelseys for sale and he has sold me chases for my 5x8.


An additional source that you can try is Alan at Excelsior. It will likely take some time for his reply!  excelsiorpress.org.



Hah! Surprise!

I just happened to stop by the site to get and pass on the url as a link to a friend when I found this post. Generally, Terri is right; I have been backed up quite a bit and even changed my web site's contact form message to recommend other sources and to inform everyone that I would not be back to the shop until October.  Well, it is October and I am back.

But this 5x8 Chase Bed issue is an important one and all I can say is that I am looking for some as well. And, just this morning I had a conversation about making new Chase Beds for 5x8s. There is a need for them and I receive inquiries for these and for chases and ink disks frequently, so I am moving ahead with plans to make new ones to fill the obvious need.

I have also recently acquired my own Bridgport Milling Machine - the same machine that Kelsey used to machine their castings. Next step is to make arrangements with a more local foundry, or have beds cast in Rhode Island. Then I will be able to fill this need for both beds and ink disks for the 5x8 and other Kelsey presses.

And, now that my family and I are finally moved to our new home, I am back to work after a many months' hiatus as I dealt with the entire "find, finance, buy and move to a home of our own." We've done it and we're settled in, so now I am back to work and focusing on printing and other letterpress issues.

But it will still take some time to make this all happen. I cannot promise to have any new parts before the end of the year, but soon after that, it's entirely possible that I will be able to begin to fill this obvious need of the small press community.

When I do have parts ready to ship, I would gladly post an alert here at Ladies of Letterpress. I look forward to helping put more of these old Kelsey presses back to work.

- Alan


Sounds great Alan! Look forward to seeing what you've got going in the new year. 

Hi all: Thank you so much for all the suggestions! These messages all went into my spam folder, so I didn't see them till now. Much appreciated. I'll start making inquiries. And Alan, thanks for your direct reply about fabrication, as well. Cheers!

And, an update:

Although I'm up to my ears with projects, I do plan a trek to Rhode Island later in the week to visit a foundry which may be able to do the casting. As this project develops, I will update my blog - when there's something definite to report. I do intend to make parts and make them available to complete those presses which are missing ink disks, chases & chase beds. This has been a dream for the past few years; now it is getting closer to reality. I am making roller hooks, rollers & locking trucks already. And, my photo-polymer Chase-Bases are back in production.

- Alan

Hi Alan,

Just checking back in on the chase bed situation. Excited to eventually get my Kelsey up and running!

Happy new year!



hi, Nicole -

I never made it to Rhode Island. That trip was planned just before Super Storm Sandy "blew through" and stopped everything in its tracks around here. It was weeks before we had power restored, and after cleaning up and catching up, it was Thanksgiving. Then Christmas. Then New Years.

But I do have someone working on it. If he does not come through within the next week or so, I will be visiting some more local foundries and make arrangements myself. I continue to receive requests for Chase Beds and Ink Disks and am determined to fill the need. Best place to find updates is on my blog pages at http://excelsiorpress.org/blog/blog.2013.html

Thanks, Alan

Thanks for the update, Alan! I'll watch the blog.



Nicole -

Still on the trail, but nothing in hand yet. I did make two phone calls to my friend about chase beds and ink disks this past week, and received promises of "I'll find out and get back to you soon."

I'm sorry - and somewhat frustrated myself - that this is taking so long, but it is something I am determined to do. We are prepared to machine both ink disks and chase beds just as soon as we get some castings to put on our Bridgeport Milling Machine. Kelsey Company used a Bridgeport to make the originals, so I'm confident that ours will be up to the task.

- Alan


I have a few chases and I think an extra chase bed for a Kelsey 5x8 press that I am planning to sell.  I inherited a 5 x 8 press and am now upgrading to a Golding Official 4.  I also have some new rollers that I have never used.  I am not sure about the ink disk- but I can look tonight and see.




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