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
Nancy - If you don't find a buyer for these parts soon, please contact me through my web site; I have inquiries for these parts pretty often - which is why I'm planning on making new ones available to the community as soon as I can.
- Alan Runfeldt - http://ExcelsiorPress.org
UPDATE ON THIS CHASE-BED QUESTION:
Well, it's been a while, but I have *finally* delivered our (first) 5x8 Chase Bed pattern (with matching chase) to the foundry. I'll pick up the raw casting on or about Feb 12, and then will begin dealing with the issues related to machining, then hardening the chase bed. It will still be a while, but at least the project is "in process". Today, I picked up our first castings - a 6x10 Kelsey "gooseneck", a treadle hook for a C&P and some ink disks for the little Sigwalts.
These parts also require some machining to be "finished and usable", but at least, the work is in progress. In four weeks, i expect to have our first casting of THE CHASE BED. Then I'll work on the machining work and then make improvements to the process until we can finally say - with confidence - that we can supply all of those incomplete presses with one of the major parts they will need to be put back into regular operation.
I'll be documenting this process on our blog page at http://excelsiorpress.org/blog/index.html, so watch there for updates... specificaly, http://excelsiorpress.org/blog/blog.2014.html and http://excelsiorpress.org/blog/blog.2015.html - as soon as I begin this year's new blog....
That's so exciting, Alan! I'll keep my eye on the progress.
Yes,. It is very exciting - both for the folks who are looking for these replacement parts - and for me, who *promised* that I'd be making them a few years ago... Getting started on projects like this does take some time, (and a lot has happened in my old life since I began this adventure) but is very exciting once we see some progress..
I will update my blog with progress., Check back in 4 weeks to see what I get back from the foundry when I go to pick up these pieces on Feb 11.
BTW - My first lot of cast pieces included two Sigwalt #10/11 ink disks, a treadle hook for the 8x12 C&P and a (proper) gooseneck for a Kelsey that had been bastardized a bit when it was "refurbished" using the wrong part - which eventually broke, was welded and then broke again. The problem wasn't in the part, it was in the press that should have used the proper gooseneck for this particular model. Luckily, I had the proper part on another press which I was able to duplicate. Soon I'll have another 6x10 ready to move on to its new home...
I haven't had time to begin the 2015 blog - which will start off with some "road trip" reports of my visits to two museums in York, PA, the .918 Club hq in Lancaster, two visits to the iron foundry, and a very enlightening visit with Paul and Austin at Bindery Tools. They also have a surprising collection of old presses and press parts - including some old Pearls, Pearl and C&P treadles & hooks and we even found the C&P drive gear that someone asked me about recently.
At the Industrial Museum in York, I found a shop equipped pretty much like mine (without the clutter) but with an Iron Washington Hand Press and, better yet, a very well done reproduction (made at least 50 years ago) of the old Wooden Common Press. Frankly, that example is better than the one we built here this summer... http://excelsiorpress.org/blog/blog.2014.html#sept and is currently being used as a prop in the musical "Amazing Grace" in Chicago...
Yes, indeed it is. It is very exciting - as well as satisfying to me, personally - to finally be getting these casting projects off the ground. It took a long time to find the right foundry - willing to make one or two individual parts at prices we can afford... But now I need to upgrade my metal working shop and get my Bridgeport Milling Machine all set up so that I can do the finish work these raw iron castings will require to be finished and usable.
Will you also be able to create Chase Beds/ Chases for other models of table top presses? I'm fixing up a Golding Official tabletop No. 3 which is largely intact barring its missing chase - and I'm not having much luck finding a chase.
Yes. I have already made chases for my own Golding Official. I used an extremely hard wood called "Ipe" or "Brazilian Iron Wood." Initially, I'd planned on using it as a pattern for casting, but it works so well, that I'm satisfied to use it as the final chase. I actually made 4, using slightly different designs, but they all work fine - hard as steel, no question - and just about as heavy as steel as well.
See: http://excelsiorpress.org/blog/blog.2011.html#june (scroll down to June 25 - or see the image alone at http://excelsiorpress.org/forsale/photos/GoldingChase.jpg
In fact, I loaned one of these chases to a friend who used my design and made one for himself. Of course, he has his own machinery and equipment, but It's not rocket science. I believe that I can make a chase for your press for about $50 or so. AND, it comes with a full 100% satisfaction, money-back guarantee. - and I might as well throw in "lifetime warranty" as well. I am that confident in both my design as well as the Ipe.
I suppose I could also use one of mine for a pattern for casting in gray iron as well, but frankly, it's possible that the Ipe would outperform the cast iron... It certainly would not be brittle like cast iron. - and could cost more to cast and then finish.
- Alan 908 627-2730
A chase made out of Brazilian Iron Wood sounds (and looks) brilliant! Where do I go on your website to purchase such a chase?