Heyer Lettergraph Model 60

This postcard stencil duplicator arrived with its original box (showing its age, though I haven’t been able to pinpoint even the decade in which this was manufactured), and with a small envelope of aged stencils and several paper slips that should’ve been discarded once their stencils were used. Although the stencils are unusable, I appreciate having them because they include the guide holes that allow the stencil to be “installed” correctly. I intend to make use of them to jerry-rig a stencil-holder when I start working with thermal stencils.

Additional materials include two instruction sheets (one side with instructions, the other with a price list.

Instructions accompanying Heyer Model 60
Instructions accompanying the Heyer Lettergraph Model 60
Supplies/price list accompanying Heyer Model 60
Supplies/price list

Additionally, an empty bottle of ink and a nearly-empty bottle of correction fluid were included. The ink and correction fluid were intended to accompany a Print-O-Matic postcard duplicator and carry that brand name.

The main attraction is the duplicator itself, and the registration guide that completes the set. This duplicator is essentially a “stamp pad” with a reservoir for the ink. Its curved surface allows for even inking on the postcard, and the registration guide makes alignment easy. This duplicator has a used ink pad still installed. The reservoir cap seems to be stuck. The varnish on the handle is rough and the wood is quite dry. There is old ink on both the duplicator and the guide.

What’s needed to restore it and make it work

Aaaaand she’s functional!

9 replies on “Heyer Lettergraph Model 60”

I truly appreciate your site. I recently purchased a never used Heyer Lettergraph 60 so I am following along here. For a complete newbie to this type of print, it has been difficult to find out how stencil paper works and how to create a stencil by hand. I watched the Tin Can Wonder video and luckily they explained it. Thanks again for all the wonderful information.

I received my Heyer Lettergraph 60 today. I have taken measurements of the unused ink pad in case I need to sew a new one, I thought you might appreciate this information as well. I have put together some photos and a pattern I can email you if that would be helpful.

Hi Laura,

That would be very nice – might I post your pattern on this site for others? You can send email me at my username @ the name of this blog (all one word, lowercase).

Hi Wendy!

I’m so glad I found your Website.
I’m refurbishing and cleaning a few MultiStamp No3 stamps which are very similar to The Heyer Lettergraph 60.

You mentioned making a pattern for making new pads.

I would like to ask you if you can also send me the info.
What materials are the pads made of?
It’s hard to tell with all the caked on ink but, I noticed a very soft cottony part and a thin fine mesh that works over that.

I also found a way to make stencils with a tattoo stencil printer and The KELSOM THERMAL MIMEOGRAPH STENCILS that I discovered on YouTube:

I’m also hoping to find an Ink that’s not oil based and will work with these vintage products. something that would clean easy.
If you have any suggestions I’d love to know.

Thank you for your time,


I’m glad you found MR too! Welcome. Thanks for giving me a prod to go and do what I’ve been meaning to do (make a pattern). Keep an eye out for a blog post in the next few days with my pattern-recreation details.

Re: stencils – yep, Sam’s info is quite helpful. I’ve gotten a thermal printer and am in the process of fine-tuning my graphics so I can start printing some postcards too.

As for ink… a lot of mimeo-users are using Riso ink (you can get older ink for less on ebay – unlike Riso machines, mimeos don’t care if the ink is a bit old. I was cautioned by Riso users to always use fresh ink for the Riso, though). Older Riso ink is soy-based (so it’s oil-based, but not petroleum). They’ve switched, though, to a rice-bran oil as a way to utilize an agricultural waste product. So, it’s still oil-based, but quite sustainable (not talking about the plastic tube or the shipping from Japan aspect, just the ink).

These inks are cleanable with Dawn dish detergent and I know of one mimeo-user who has used olive oil to clean ink off inkpads, etc. One thing about these inks is that they behave differently than water-based in that they dry extremely slowly (I may have read that fundamentally, they technically don’t dry, but don’t quote me on that). This means that you don’t have to be worried about your inkpad caking up if there’s a pause between print jobs. You can remove an inkpad and store it in a plastic bag to keep it functional. And, once you’ve got several inkpads, you can have one for each color you’re using, so you shouldn’t have to wash them.

I don’t intend to fill my Heyer 60’s reservoir with ink and will instead just soak the pad with enough ink to get a good, consistent print-run. I’m guessing from the materials that came with my postcard printer, that the original ink was liquid, while Riso inks are paste. Sam told me, (but I can’t confirm as I’ve not tried it) that you can thin the Riso paste inks with mineral spirits – the consistency of syrup – if you want a liquid ink to add to the reservoir. I just think it’ll be easier (for me) to use the paste ink, as is.

Hope this helps somewhat. I’m off to work on the inkpad pattern!

Hey Wendy,
I’ve had a chance to clean my postcard printer and found your research really helpful. I was wondering how many prints you get in one “inking”? Mine also has the little holes for the ink to flow through, but it seems wasteful and doesn’t really work well with riso ink. My printer is a bit different i think as the stencil is attached to the ink pad, so i do need to ink up from the back.. I also have the problem of the holes showing in my prints due to a lack of pressure, felt would help – but not with inkflow..further research needed but I’m getting somewhere!

Hi Joscha, welcome! I’m glad you’ve found this site helpful.
To be honest, I haven’t done much with the small mimeo since I first ran that test batch of headers. I was a bit disappointed in it mostly because the actual print area is smaller than the ink-pad area and the original that I wanted to make was sized too big. I just haven’t gotten around to tweaking my original, so it’s been on hold. Besides, it’s possible (or so I’ve heard) to print postcards on the bigger machines. As for inking, the approach I’m taking is to pretty much ignore ink reservoirs whenever possible. I’m not likely to need to print so many copies that I need that much ink and in addition, I’ve been using paste ink, which is not intended for a reservoir. Even though your stencil attaches to the ink pad (as does mine for this machine as well as the Model D), you can lift the stencil to re-ink. Obviously just do it carefully so you don’t crumple the stencil or smear ink where you don’t want it, but this has the benefit of putting ink exactly where you need it without wasting ink on the inside of the reservoir or having to wait while it seeps through the felt. In my work with the Model D, I just very carefully lift the stencil and can see where ink is lacking on the ink pad (lack of sheen), apply it, stretch the stencil back over the pad and attach it and keep printing.

I hope this helps – and as you’ve already discovered, the Mimeomania group has folks with lots of experience who can assist with things that I can’t. Welcome to the world of duplicating research and experimentation!

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