RE: [PPLetterpress] Building up roller tracks
- Dear Carole,
These occurences of uneven inking may have several different reasons.
Here's a list of what I would check. I don't know the C&P Pilot press,
so some of the suggestions may not apply.
- Check your rollers. Do they show any irregularities on the surface?
- Are the rollers perfectly centred on the cores?
- Are the trucks perfectly centred on the cores?
- Do the trucks have low or high spots, due to rust, spots of old inks
- Do the steel rollers in the inking system have spots of rust or old
ink? If they do, you may get a faint mirror image of these spot through
the whole inking system and on to your printed sheets.
- What base are you using? Check that it is perfectly true. If it was
milled from a block of steel, aluminum, Lexan etc, some machinist tilt
the milling head a few thousands of a millimeter to avoid the second
milling pattern from the milling head and this may be enough to get
uneven inking. I had a machinist make a few bases for me and at least
one is v.difficult to print from with regards to even inking, because of
the tilting of the milling head. However, this is not likely to be a
reason since the bad inking on your sheets is not at the same place on
- How do you mount the plates? Magnetically, by using adhesive film, or
by using spray adhesive? Check that the base and plate are thoroughly
cleaned before mounting them, and, if you use adhesive film, check that
you have no air bubbles. Use painter's rollers with handles, or rubber
rollers with handles when mounting the adhesive film on the plates,
gradually sandwiching the film to the plate. If you are using spray
adhesive, check that the back of the plate was evenly sprayed and has no
high or low spots due to irregularities in the spraying. Again, this is
not likely to be a reason since the bad inking is not at the same place
on each sheet.
- On Heidelberg Windmills there is a famous drop of oil at the same
place of the ink drum every morning and if you don't wipe it off it will
create a ghost spot that wanders back and forth in the inking system.
Does the C&P suffer from the same?
- What paper are you using? If it is handmade, very small differences in
thickness and density would indeed create the problem you are talking
about. I once printed something on a Nepalese paper that differed very
much in thickness from sheet to sheet and it was impossible to get good
& consistent inking.
Just my .02 cents worth.
All the best,
Ars Imprimis Press
SE-123 58 Farsta Sweden
Telephone: +46 8 604 59 81
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Carole Aldrich [mailto:carolealdrich@...]
> Sent: den 10 oktober 2003 18:03
> To: PPLetterpress@yahoogroups.com
> Subject: [PPLetterpress] Building up roller tracks
> I was having some difficulty getting a good impression on my
> C&P Pilot Press. Harold
> Kyle of Boxcar press suggested that I needed to build up the
> roller tracks. This greatly
> improved printing. However, it seems that using tape to do
> this would require
> constant fiddling as the tape compresses over time. Does
> anyone have a more
> permanent solution.
> I also had a problem with uneven inking. I would be printing
> successfully and would
> start to experience lighter areas. Either left, right or
> center of my plate. It was not
> consistent. I took that as I sign that I needed to add more
> ink. In spite of what I
> thought was careful reinking, I would get another light spot
> which would not respond
> to any adjustments. I kept using makeready sheets during
> these adjustments to keep
> from using my "good" paper. If I raised the plate with a tiny
> piece of thin paper, it
> would ink too much. If I took the paper away, too little.
> Ditto for adjustments to my
> tape on the roller tracks. Adding a piece was too much,
> without it, too little. Seems
> like there was constant fiddling throughout the print run.
> Is this usual, or do I need to be doing something differently.
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> hmmm...Stop! the vinegar will eat the polymer right up. That's what one is to use
> may be i'll dunk a piece of polymer into vinegar to see if it does anything...
> report back).
when cleaning platemaking equipment. It just melts the stuff.