Testing paper on the Adana 8x5

Saunders Waterford cotton 300g Rough and 300g NOT, printed with some 60pt Gothic Condensed which measures 78mm x 20mm using hard packing.
I get lots of emails of Adana owners who can't get impression, well you can get a very good impression on a 8x5 press without using extreme force, but bare in mind the size of your text or block. A good way to get a feeling of what your Adana is capable of is to practice locking up different sizes of type and illustration blocks and printing without ink (blind impression).
The A6 card below is printed with wood type on the Adana 8x5 but the only way to get 
an impression was to split into two colours that way pressure is displaced not in one solid area. Also bare in mind this will eventually lead to well worn blocks as you are pushing into the paper, the wood type used here is well worn so the impression is not as crisp.

Printed on 300g Somerset Rough 100% cotton

Lots of water colour paper is good for printing on, the better it is the more expensive! Bockingford is a less expensive range but still good quality, your local art suppliers will stock plenty of ranges to experiment with before trying out more expensive papers like Cranes Lettra.
It's also worth noting that all the lovely letterpress work knocking around on the internet has been done mostly on larger presses that really pack a punch, your Adana hasn't got the same pressure but treat it kindly and don't ask to much at once and you'll get some lovely results ;D


  1. great post Jax! I often get emails from folks who are disappointed with the results of the Adana, but I tell them to hang in there and if they get to know the limitations of their press, then they can work better with it and design around those limitations.

  2. Yes, same here. I also often get emails from beginners trying to get a very deep impression on their Adana. So in the future I'll link to your post Jax, okay? As I use a hard packing and do not print with impression on the 8x5, what did you use for packing?

  3. Thanks a lot for your information. I have a bigger press but I am planning to buy an Adana now. This is very helpful.

  4. Hi Jax,

    YOU gave me some advice on cleaning products for my adana 8x5 a few months ago and all is well. I'm using the Cleanspirit water based which works fine (apart from on the rollers which I usually need to use a bit of white spirit to get them really clean).

    Anyway, I'm having a bit of trouble getting a solid/clean print with the larger text plates (photopolymer). They're about 5cm in height, but keep coming up mottled. Part of the problem is printing on greybeard, which is rather rough, but I would expect to still be able to get a decent black. Any suggestions?

    Many thanks,


    1. Hi Marc
      without actually seeing what it is you are trying to print, difficult to know the exact cause.
      For areas of large solid colour it may just be the case that there's not enough ink or the inking capacity of your rollers just isn't enough. You could try double inking before you take an impression! Basically run the rollers over the plate without the plate meeting the paper, then roll again and print as normal, hope that makes sense? Greyboard won't help as you say it's a rough surface!


Hi and thanks for stopping and i would love to hear your comments

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