inconsistent inking

My Sigwalt Ideal 6x9 has brand new rollers and trucks (rubber and metal trucks) but still doesn’t have consistent inking. It’ll run perfectly for a couple of runs and then all of the sudden, part of the plate won’t ink at all. Then, after a couple of more runs, ANOTHER part of the plate won’t ink and the previous part of the plate will have ink again. This seems to go in a pattern and because I can somewhat predict, I rotate the rollers back to where I got overall coverage.
Does anyone know why my rollers are slowly rotating as I am doing runs on the press? I marked my trucks with a marker at the top and as I pull the lever a couple of times, the mark is no longer at the top…it gradually rotates.

It’s not the aluminum base because I’ve moved the plate around and it’s the same problem everywhere on the base. It’s not the plate because I’ve tried numerous plates (photopolymer) with the same results.
I also have new rubber based ink as well so I don’t think it’s bad ink.

Any insight on why this is happening and possibly how it can fixed would be great!!

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Sounds like either the rollers or the trucks are not perfectly concentric and the rollers may be firmer than they should be (they should be pretty soft). When you run the rollers up onto the ink disc, notice if the entire surface of the disc makes contact — the surface will be slightly “ruffled” by the passage of the rollers and any spots not making contact will still be glossy. Same with the rollers — if they aren’t contacting the ink disc completely there will be shiny areas.

The problem of changing location of the marks on the trucks is probably because when you finish the impression you either release the handle before the press is fully open or the final bit of movement of the mechanism, including rollers, is abruptly stopped at the end, causing the rollers to spin slightly each time. Starting abruptly can cause the same thing to happen. Ordinarily it’s a good thing because it presents a different part of the rollers to the type each time, but in your case it’s causing the variation in inking.

Check also to be sure you have the roller hooks turned up rather than down — this puts the rollers slightly higher on the ink disc thus getting a little more ink.


Thanks Bob!

The rollers are getting fully inked across the ink disc, the entire surface is getting covered.

Not sure what you mean about releasing the handle before the plate is entirely open. After I press, I don’t let go of the handle, I guide it back down so it doesn’t fly down and crash. Even if I go extremely slow and watch the rollers go over the ink, it still produces the same result.

The rollers hooks are up as well but that’s good to know.

could one or both of your rollers be sliding over the type, not turning, are the trucks keyed to the rollers, either one can cause problems, things like this is why printers drink. good luck dick g.

I have a Sigwalt 6 x 9 and I’m curious about what you said about the handle flying down and crashing. My Sigwalt is kind of balanced so it’ll stop along the way and hold the position. I like that about it. I don’t know what it means that yours can “crash” but maybe it’s a clue to the problem??

Picking up a note on the ‘crashing’… is it possible that you’re going to fast? I know that on my tabletop, if I get in a groove and start really speeding up I get problems. When the trucks go over the top corners of the chase, when they first hit the type (even when barely touching the type so that inking levels are proper), or if I’ve taped the rails, going to fast will make the rollers skip a bit. This may be my New England background coming out… but think of skipping a mussel or a rock across the water, it doesn’t take much to make it jump up.
Try slowing down and making sure your rollers are going smoothly and consistently over the forme.
It’s worth a shot, otherwise, I have no idea. :)
Good luck!


I have a 7 x 11 Golding Pearl and have the exact problem. The only difference is I have composition rollers, not rubber. Thus far I have just kind of learned the cycle and try to print fast while impression is good. But it’s interesting to me that with new rollers and trucks you are still having this issue (I haven’t yet invested in new rollers or trucks).

Just the other day I was talking to Fritz at NA Graphics about getting new rollers and he suggested putting my third roller on if I could. I did and it seemed to of helped, but I need to do a bit more testing.

dickg, I am curious what you mean by “are the trucks keyed to the rollers.” Because I’ve noticed my rollers to slip down the rails and maybe this could help me further.

i’ve never done it but on the kelsey presses the trucks just sit on the shaft and the rollers can turn without the trucks turning, some people use a piece of string inside the truck to hold it tight on the roller shaft. dick g.

Thanks, all good stuff.
I don’t allow myself to go fast when I press and whether I go fast or slow, it’s the same results anyway. I also don’t let it “crash” either.

Perhaps it is something to do with how the rollers are not held tightly on the shaft. I’ll check that out.