Restoring your press

I've finally done it! My Kelsey is now restored! With Uni commitments, 3 kids and freelance work it's taken me ages to finally get it done! Below are my restoration techniques if your in the same boat as me. I decided to restore my press to how it would have originally looked which was black and gold detailing. Kelseys of later date where Battleship Grey, more info on the http://excelsiorpress.org/. Mine is an early model N as the ink plate moves anti clockwise, on the later models they move clockwise.


Luckily my press was in fairly good condition by that I mean it was complete but exposed areas where rusty. Good old kitchen cleaner like CIF is great for cleaning but beware left on too long it will remove paint, this is what I wanted so I could get to all the underlying rust. Once you press is removed of all it dirt and grime you can paint it with HAMMERITE Direct to Rust Metal Paint, better not to use a grey primer because as the paint wears off it will come through and look nasty! I actually used Kurust first before painting, you paint the thin white liquid on the rust and after a few minutes it turns the rust black.


A good clean with some mineral spirits will sort out tiny specs of rust and with regular use of ink and white spirit on the ink plate will inhibit the rust. There are plenty of rust removing products on the market if yours are badly rusted but be careful with the ink plates as they shouldn't be sanded as you need a perfectly flat surface for your rollers to move over. I used FIRE BLACK on the back of my ink plate which gave a lovely finish but doesn't interfere with the cog mechanism.


I used a rust removing dip to soak roller hooks, trucks, gripper bars, springs and all little nuts and bolts. You could also try a mixture of white vinegar and lemon juice which is supposed to work just as well. DO NOT PAINT THESE ITEMS especially the roller hooks as these need to be able to move freely a wipe over with white spirit then oil or an undustrial lubricant spray should keep them rust free, but don't put oil on your gripper bars as it will get on your paper!


A really easy way of gilding any raised letters on your press is to use some gilt cream on the end of your finger and just rub over the raised letters! EASY! beats a fiddly paintbrush!

Hammerite Kurust
Hammerite Direct to rust Meatl Paint in SATIN BLACK
Hammerite Rust Removing Dip
Liberon Gilt Cream in Chantilly

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