Back in the days when most people read pulp news, newspaper editors ran a test print on a small proofing press. This allowed them to check for typos before printing thousands of newspapers on the real press.

These presses can be used for more than letterpress proofing, such as [Paul] proves it with this DIY version (YouTube, integrated below). These are simple machines that use a heavy roller on bearings to provide even pressure, so they will also work for lino engraving and aquatint engravings.

The roll is the most important part and is by far the most expensive part of a build like this. [Paul]’s was shaped by a British machinist that he found on ebay. The total cost was £ 220 (around US $ 300), which is well below the thousand pound mark where prices for commercial machines start.

[Paul] made of plywood base and handle and CNC aluminum side panels. These side panels contain bearings that hold the ends of the roller in place. As the roller moves back and forth, it slides over another set of bearings under the press. These bearings sit on thin metal rails under the press so they don’t wear out grooves in the wood over time.

[Paul]The press looks fantastic and it looks like it does a great job with whatever it throws at it. Certain uses require raising the surface to be printed in order to obtain a good transfer, therefore [Paul] might make it adjustable in the z direction at some point in the future. Check out the construction and the presentation video after the break.

Yes [Paul] sounds familiar, that’s because we introduced their equally impressive large format book press last spring.