Welcome to Excelsior-Press.com, the new online home for Excelsior Printing Presses. Our website, as well as our new facility, are both currently under construction. Please check back regularly for additional information on our line of high-quality custom printing presses. We'll be adding new content and pictures regularly.
Raw castings are finally back from the foundry! New images of the assembly process have been added to the bottom of the page.
The most exciting news to hit the letterpress community in more than 50 years !!!!!!. At last, just what the market has been screaming for. A new, manually operated press, with the capacity of a free-standing unit, and the same printing potential, in a compact, portable bench top unit.
THIS IS NOT A USED, RESTORED OR REPAIRED PRESS. IT IS BRAND NEW. PLEASE CONTACT US FOR AN ESTIMATED DELIVERY DATE.
UPDATE! Excelsior Co. now has enough Pilots to start our own airline !!
Now that the castings are back from the foundry, we've added some new images at the end of the page detailing the assembly process of the Excelsior 7x11 Pilot press!
Please Note: The presses depicted in these photos are sample models. They resemble the finished metal press almost exactly with the exception of the steel rods, most of which are one half inch or more in diameter. The rods used here are substantially smaller since we did not want to weaken the plastic model by drilling too large a hole in the plastic.
We fashioned our press after the Chandler & Price New Model Pilot, size 6 x 10. Although we believe the Chandler press to be the finest example of a portable 6 x 10, it is, nonetheless, not without its flaws. The most obvious of these became evident on the very first one we restored/repaired
We observed that the wood paper feeder trays were present in less than half the presses we were about to restore. However, even though the paper feeder was not present, the bracket was. The reason for this was simple. The paper grippers would not function unless the paper feeder brackets were present. C & P has designed the complicated gripper system to depend on the paper feeder brackets to be installed, whether they had any trays present or not. We set out to redesign and simplify the system to closely relate one we observed years earlier on another manufacturers press. The result is a very simple, clean system, which is both easy to fabricate and manufacture, while being much more dependable and accurate than C & P’s approach. Observe the photos.
Because Excelsior Co. has been repairing, restoring and refinishing all makes and models of these lovely old presses for several years, finding a press’ flaws was very easy and we realized that any press, no matter who made it, had both good points and weak points that could be improved to affect the entire press. With over 40 years as a master model/mold maker, as well as having been in the manufacturing industry for decades, a decision was reached to manufacture our own press.
From start to finish, it would incorporate the best features of each model and eliminate the undesirable. It would be the finest bench top letterpress the world has ever seen. With lots of skill, enthusiasm, experience and determination tempered with almost no money. This was to be no easy task!! But, here it is one and a half years later, and we have a press. It is, without a doubt, the best letterpress ever produced. Simply because it incorporates many of the old, tried and true principles from the days when these presses were so popular, to today’s advanced production methods, which allow for more accurate manufacturing techniques.
The following is just a quick summary of the differences between our press and the one it was fashioned after, the Chandler & Price, New Model Pilot, size 6 x 10.
- Increased chase capacity from 6” x 10” to 7” x 11”.
- Re-enforced entire press and those parts determined to be problematic on C & P presses.
- Re-design , simplify and improve paper gripper system.
- Longer, much stronger operating handle, and redesigned , thicker, ergonomically designed hand grip, to make this press easier to operate.
- Thicker platen and back plate, precision ground to present a smooth, even surface for the press bed and platen, providing a perfectly even impression pressure throughout the chase area.
- Re-designed and strengthened ink disc holder.
- Ability to operate the press from either the left or right side.
- Simplified and improved system to adjust the platen to press back, guaranteeing faster, more accurate set-up times and the highest print quality ever.
Our stock finish will consist of a high quality smoke gray gloss for most of the press, with some parts accented in gloss black. Presses made to order can be finished in any color desired. Lettering will be finished in gold leaf.
Our goal in introducing this new letterpress was to provide the serious purchaser a choice of a new, manually operated bench top letterpress, that is in all ways superior to anything that has ever been manufactured - and at a price competitive with those used presses on the market now.
WE STRONGLY BELIEVE WE HAVE ACHIEVED THAT GOAL.
JUST ONE GLANCE AND YOU TOO WILL BE A BELIEVER!!!
PAYPAL IS NOT ACCEPTED ON PRESSES!
The press shown in these photos was completely fabricated by hand and in plastic. With the exception of the primer finish, it is an exact representation of the press being sold. This plastic press will be completely dismantled and the parts are the models used by the foundry to make the molds into which the cast iron is poured.
Remember, you are purchasing a brand new, not restored or rebuilt press, with a 7 x 11 inch capacity for about the same price as a 50 year old machine with 6 x 10 inch capacity. This new press is a much improved press, stronger, smoother, easier to operate, more comfortable, and above all, more powerful. Much more powerful than the C & P , 6 x 10 inch it was fashioned after. If you are serious about making money in the printing business, then you need this piece of equipment. Its portability, small footprint, light weight (relative to a stand alone model), and power to create the deepest impression of almost any press, manual or power, freestanding or bench top, make it an absolute must have press for any serious printer!!
And, we are always looking for distributors in all areas of the country and abroad. So if you have any desire to earn some extra money in commissions, please write. We are eager to reward anyone who purchases one of these presses and refers a customer to us. Write us with your ideas/proposals. This is a perfect opportunity to enter one of the fastest growing industries in U.S. history: the letterpress printing business. This is the ground floor. Take advantage of the hottest new product to be introduced to this business in decades. THIS IS THE FINEST PRESS EVER TO BE OFFERED THE PRINTING INDUSTRY. IT PUTS EVERYTHING ELSE TO SHAME. MADE IN THE U.S.A
Shown here are the basic large parts for the new Excelsior Pilot 7” x 11” letterpress cast in iron. This photo was taken in front of the foundry right here in R.I. This is the “Mysterious Existent Only in Plastic Press” that has been the subject of so much controversy lately. I intend to make this entire process a very transparent one, in that I will take great pleasure and pride in introducing a new letterpress to an industry, that for all practical purposes, has been dead or dormant for decades. I will take the interested person for a journey through the years back to a time when America was a major supplier to the world of durable goods. In 1952 the population of the U.S. was 6 % of the world’s population, yet accounted for 50% of the worlds production. What a change from then to now. As an old time manufacturer I sometimes wonder how a country that literally doesn’t make anything can survive.
The first step was to design and fabricate the “model press” all by hand, which is shown at the top of this page. This was accomplished by using epoxy resins, rubber molds, hand and power tools, and, mostly great skill and patience. A year and a half later, there existed a complete press, functional and looking eerily similar to a production C & P which was the inspiration for this press. The exceptions are some modifications: such as using thicker castings; other improvements like making a simpler paper gripper mechanism; making the press a larger capacity, from 6 x 10 to 7 x 11..( the actual dimensions are slightly higher to allow for lock down bars or quoins). The handle has also been increased in length for added power. The result is a press that is a substantially improved, up-to-date C & P.
Last year we sold over 140 letterpresses, and dozens of other items. We received a 2” stack of thank you notes, and only one complaint. True it was a very vocal one but still only one. I think that’s impressive in anyone’s book.
Some areas of the original C & P gave owners problems, such as the shaft in the back swing arm. It was prone to snapping if the user extended the handle’s length by adding a piece of 2 x 3 or 2 x 4. This part has been dealt with by substantially strengthening them - by making them thicker and larger in general - and also by casting them in DUCTILE STEEL, which is far stronger than C & P’s cast iron. These are all improvements which aren't easily seen, but nevertheless important.
The next step from here is to grind the raw castings to a nicer finish than the sand made. So the next steps are to complete the secondary operations on the cast iron parts and finish them according to the desired look. We will bring these photos to the website so you can all see how this is accomplished .
Visit our website frequently. We promise you we will introduce several new innovations in the coming months. In fact, we are just finishing the engineering phase of our next “bomb-shell introduction”. “At excelsior-press.com, you will never be bored, I guarantee it!!
P.S. To all our friends, customers and supporters who e-mailed and sent cards of thanks, support and appreciation for our past services, thank you for your support, we will never forget you. A sincere thank you.