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13601Re: [PPLetterpress] RE: Kelsey 3x5 Mercury Letterpress - Model N - kit for sale

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  • Ken Voigt
    Nov 1, 2013
      I agree Arie. Kelsey table top presses could be considered toys but they are capable of doing decent work in the hands of someone who knows what they're doing.  They are a good way to get ones feet wet in letterpress. I learned on a C&P but I would have killed for a Kelsey as a kid. I gave my grandson a little tabletop press complete with Ramco rollers when he was born. It's been 14 months and he still hasn't used it, but I have high hopes for him. His dad and I have three c&ps and a Vandercook between us. 
      I think the table top presses are good for people who want to get their feet wet and who may not have room for anything else. They hold their value well and can often be sold for enough to buy a full sized press. I think they should be viewed as learning tools.
      I got my son started with a 3x5 Kelsey. After a few months he graduated to a larger table top press that he did some beautiful work on. 

      Sent from my iPhone

      On Nov 1, 2013, at 1:57 PM, Arie Koelewyn <koelewyn@...> wrote:


      Graham is wrong on this one, I think.  A free Kelsey 3x5 is easily converted into some cash so that one can buy  a better press more easily.  Or passed on to someone else who simply has no room (or cash, though floor model presses tend to be less expensive than many tabletops) for a better press.  He's right that a 3x5 Kelsey is a difficult press to get quality results from.  I've owned two (and a 5x8) and passed both along fairly quickly.  The 5x8 lasted longer, but mostly because I couldn't find the 8x12 C&P OS of my dreams.  The 5x8 was also my first press, back when I didn't know better.

      That said, some of the best printing I've seen comes from a Kelsey, so the printer has a lot to do with the outcome.  A Kelsey can do superb work, it is just so much harder than with a better press.  These days, if I want a good small press, I'll turn to my Golding Official #2.  Much easier to work with.
      ---Arie C. Koelewyn
         The Paper Airplane Press
         East Lansing, MI
      On 11/1/2013 1:02 PM, chris@... wrote:

      Graham Moss- what (which) letterpress should a student accept if given free?

      ---In ppletterpress@yahoogroups.com, <david@...> wrote:

      On the other hand, my first press was a Kelsey 5x8, and while that press drove me crazy, it was a good crash course in makeready and troubleshooting and improvisation. So sort of like those awful like experiences that you wouldn’t wish on anyone but are glad you endured? Ha.

      Sent: Thursday, October 31, 2013 1:44 PM
      Subject: Re: [PPLetterpress] Re: Kelsey 3x5 Mercury Letterpress - Model N - kit for sale

      By the term “from a practical point of view”, I should think “about zero” is what these little machines are worth – they aren’t good for practical work in printing, but I reckon they sure do put a lot of people off printing when they see what a lousy job they are capable of doing. In the hands of an experienced printer I daresay that you could get a half decent business card with one impression, but more than that – no, they are toys, and I’d never recommend buying one, and have told students to turn them down if offered one for free.

      Graham Moss
      Incline Press
      36 Bow Street
      Oldham OL1 1SJ  England

      news blog: http://www.inclinepress.wordpress.com

      From a practical point of view, a 3x5 Kelsey is worth about zero. I sold a good one about fifteen years ago for $100.00 with no accessories.

      George Chapman
      Formerly in the heart of the beautiful San Juan Mountains of Colorado at 9,318 feet.
      Now in the flats of southeast Iowa at 715 feet.

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