Frequently asked questions


What do I do if I open my box and have damaged or missing parts?

Email provisionalpress@gmail.com with your name, address, and what parts are missing/damaged. If damaged, please send a picture so we can work on our packaging process.

What if I can’t get the washers and spacers tight enough on the threaded rod to fit inside the head of the press?

Remove one of the steel washers from the assembly. It will still work fine without one or both.

Which side of the calibration block do I use?

When the block is smooth side up it is type high (.918).

How do I avoid splitting the wood in the F and G side pieces?

After you glue the F and G pieces together let them sit for at least an hour. Then use a power drill with a 1/8" bit to drill pilot holes. Any wood splitting does not affect the use of the press but you may want to do this to make it look prettier.

How do I remove the circle left by the sticker?

If you are like me (Liz speaking) this will bother you A LOT. Lightly sand that circle with some sandpaper and it will come right off.

Can I stain/paint my press or seal the wood?

Yes you can. I would recommend finishing the handle to avoid any fingerprints. Wait until after the press is assembled to do any kind of finishing to the bottom box or glued pieces so that the wood glue can develop a strong bond. Use thin even coats to avoid adding a lot of thickness to the wood. Avoid getting any finish on the bearings. Don't worry about finishing the oak side rails because it will wear off after printing for a while.

Press Specs

What is the size of the press bed and how large can it print?

The size of the bed is 9.25"x18". The maximum size of paper I would recommend is 9"x12".

How big is the press overall?

Width: 12 3/4" Length: 19 1/2" Height: 5 3/4"

Is the press type high?

The press comes galley high - .968". With the steel bed plate that comes included with the kit, you can print type high - .918"

What kinds of prints can I make with this press?

This is primarily a relief press and prints very well with wood type, wooden type forms, and wood blocks. Lino cuts and other relief printing methods have been extensively tested and also work very well. We do not recommend this press for etching and intaglio printing or any similar method that requires press blankets.

How do I raise my matrix (linocut, wood block, etc) to the correct printing height?

The goal is to raise the printing matrix to type high - .918". The calibration blocks that are included in your press kit can help you with that. Lay your matrix on top of a thicker material on a flat surface and compare with a calibration block until it is the same height. If the printing seems weak, keep adding sheets of paper (or tape for wood type) under your matrix until it is printing well. We recommend the following materials to bump up your matrix: -MDF - comes in 3/4" and 1/2" thickness -Chipboard (cereal box cardboard) -Thick sheets of paper


My press handle wanders from side to side when I try to print.  How do I fix it?

This can be adjusted in two ways: 1. Add a layer of tape underneath the rails to ensure it is getting good contact. 2. Attach a thin wooden shim to the sides of the rails with wood glue. As always, email us at provisionalpress@gmail.com with any additional questions.

My press is too hard to pull and the lower bolts are rubbing against the side of the press.

This usually happens because the nuts are not tight enough on the bottom of the press head. Tighten the nuts as far as they can go. Lock nuts can take more force to fully tighten so use a screwdriver and wrench/pliers. Another thing to try is to rub some bar soap on the side rails of the press. This will help eliminate some wood-on-wood friction to make it run smoother.

How can I keep my press from sliding around when I print?

We recommend adding rubber nonstick pads to the bottom of the press. One of our customers found these Scotch Heavy Duty Gripping pads that work really well: