Adana 8×5

So I just bought my first letterpress machine and it’s an Adana 8×5. I’ve read quite a lot about the Adanas and that they are great machines to start practicing letterpress on.

I got a great deal on it as it was from an attic clear out from someone’s old set-up. It came with random wooden furniture, leads, eight different sets of type, little hand tools and other stuff I have to figure out what to do with.

Drawers with typeWooden Furniture

Boxcar base and various chases

LeadsSpacing stuff

Some say that if you want to get into letterpress to take a class BEFORE you buy all the equipment, but I did it the other way around. I’ve been playing around with everything and have learned so much just by trying to make my first ‘print’. I think hands on is the best way to learn, but I still think I need to get some hands on learning from an experienced letterpresser.

Here is a photo of the very first thing I printed. I had no idea how to use spacing (quads and ems) or what leads were and I didn’t have any ink. I will probably look back at this years from now and be embarassed, but we all have to start somewhere! I organized my name in the composing stick (which I also didn’t know how to use). And to get some sort of color, I just grabbed the closest marker–which was a blue highlighter. It may be pretty shabby, but I think it was a great first try:

Phylecia--first print

Close up of first print

Hopefully, I’ll be able to look at these posts and see how much I’ve improved. Watch this space…


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