Setting Up Your Riley 500 Press
The newest addition to the Riley Hopkins family, the Riley 500, is the perfect step between a manual press and an automatic press. Lighter and faster than other manual presses, without the price and space commitment of an automatic press, combined with some of the best features from both, the Riley 500 was created with the growing printer in mind.
However, even heroes need a little support and TLC, so we just uploaded a new playlist of YouTube videos about setting up your new Riley 500, covering each of the following topics:
The Riley 500 makes the process of changing platens very easy, thanks to the automatic-style clamping mechanism built into the platen arm. To detach a platen, simply release the clamp mechanism and lift off. To add a platen, re-dock the brackets to the platen arm and slowly tighten the clamp. Being gentle with the clamping mechanism will keep your platen brackets in good condition!
You will also notice that there is a tape measure on the platen arm, under the platen itself. This tape measure is a great tool to use if you find yourself using multiple platen sizes, or if you need to adjust the position of your platen. The tape measure allows you to have a reference for each board. Be careful not to move your platen past the tape measure’s end, or you risk damaging your platen with your back clamp!
Sometimes, you may find yourself wanting to change how much resistance there is when you swing your platen arms. Some printers prefer a nice, free swing, while others prefer a slower, harder turn. Either way, it’s very easy to make the adjustment on your press.
Grab a 7/16 inch wrench, and loosen up the four bolts on the detent bracket. From there, you can either raise the bracket for more resistance, or lower the bracket for less resistance. Play around with it until you’re happy, tighten the bolts up, and away you go!
Trying to print with an unlevel press is frustrating at best and disastrous to your job at worst. Luckily, leveling the Riley 500 is a piece of cake, thanks to the adjustable leveling feet on the press base. Using a ⅝ inch wrench, or a crescent wrench, and a level (or smartphone leveling app), you can adjust the level on all of the feet until your press stands straight and true!
Adding side clamps to your press not only allows you to work with different sized screens, but it can also help you during long jobs. A two-point screen-locking system, unique to the Riley 500, helps keep your registration in check through long print runs.
To install the side clamps, start by using a ratcheting 9/16 inch wrench to remove the back clamp from the press. Take the side clamp back bar, and screw in the off-contact tilt knob until it touches the off-contact brackets. Then, you can finish attaching the back bar with a washer and a nut on each side, where the bar connects. Slide your side clamps on either end of the back bar, and move them towards the center. Make sure that you have a clean, level platen that you can then bring the clamps down onto. Sit the side clamps on the platen surface, and make sure they are flat. Once flat, use your ratcheting wrench to lock down the back of the side clamps, and you’re done! This should leave you with an ideal ⅛ inch off-contact.
If you need to adjust your tilt or off-contact later, you can do so very easily with the easy-to-use, tool-free adjustment knobs.
The Riley 500 is equipped to handle two different screen sizes: the automatic printing standard, 23×31, and the manual printing standard, 20×24. To use 20×24 screens, you do need to have side clamps installed on your Riley 500. With different screen sizes comes different print job opportunities and more room to grow!
See It For Yourself
At the end of the day, the Riley 500 is fast, light, and sturdy (as long as you leveled your press base!) Take good care of your press, and it will take good care of you in turn.
Want to get eyes on any of the processes above? Check out this playlist of set-up videos, or click on a title to view that video specifically!