Hole on Ink Disc back.

Hi - We are currently working to restore a new style C and P 10 x 15 press. I believe the mfr year was 1915 or 1916.

I have the ink disc disassembled from the brackets and just scraped about 90 years of ink off the back so that I can see the teeth in the gears again. I scratched away at what I thought was just an indention in the pack of the plate to see it’s actually a machined hole. I scraped and scraped the junk away and can see that it goes through the back plate and can see what I assume is the back of the interior ink disc (it’s a two disc model). My question is what is this hole? It seems way to big to be a grease point as it’s about 3/8” diameter. My first thought is it has something to do with dissassembling the interior disc from th rest but I really have no basis for that. Any thoughts would be well appreicated.


Log in to reply   6 replies so far


Thanks! Which leads me to another question / problem - The inner plate does not rotate at all. Any suggestions on how to free this up?

There should be a large gear under the ink disc that turns the inner disc, a lot of these were taken off and tossed, if you have the gear and the disc don’t turn you should be able to remove the smaller disc, maybe ssoaking it with a press wash to loosen the old ink. Good Luck Dick G.

The first question is do you have all the gears underneath? There’s one built into the ink table’s outer disk and then two more smaller ones. A center one to transfer direction to the bottom one, which is keyed with a post on the shaft of the inner disk. No sense going through the trouble of loosening the two disks if you haven’t got all the parts to make it work.

If everything is there and the two disks are not obviously welded together, then I have successfully separated stuck disks that are glued together with old ink and solvents by using a rubber hammer and firmly tapping around the edge of the inner disk. Also take off the bottom gear and tap on the shaft of the inner disk. If necessary take off the entire ink table assembly and set it upside down supported only on the outer disk and again firmly hit the inner disk shaft with a rubber hammer. You don’t want to hit it with anything hard or even too hard with the rubber hammer; the ink tables are cast iron and fairly brittle.

Once you have the disks separated, use a knife and scrape away the dried ink from the edges of the disks and finally hit the remainder with type wash and get things nice and clean. You’ll need to clean this out regularly to prevent a recurrence. Usually there is enough slop in the gears to allow the inner disk to be raised slightly and wiped with a rag to clean it somewhat. Eventually you’ll have to disassemble and clean again thoroughly. If you’re not thorough, you’ll get a lot of unexpected ink colors as the old color bleeds into the new, especially when going from a dark color to a lighter one.

Most split ink tables are disabled because of the extra work involved in cleaning up the gap between the disks. This set up is cool to watch operate, but it really doesn’t distribute the ink any better than a solid disk.

Thanks for the help! I wasn’t sure if that hole was something I should be shooting cleaner into or not. I”ve got the whole face of the plate sitting on paper towels soaked in evapo-rust now so i can see what I’m working with. There’s a real think layer of what I think is very surface rust over the whole thing. Hopefully not enough to worry about! (hopefully!)

Rust on the ink table is not much of a problem. Even if the surface is a bit pitted after cleanup that shouldn’t affect the inking.

I wouldn’t put any cleaner into the hole on the underside. It won’t clean anything and will make the ink contamination problem worse when changing colors. Just take it apart every so often to clean it thoroughly. If I’m printing a lot then maybe every three months. In between raid the inner disk a bit and clean with a clean cloth as best you can. if necessary put on the new color and run the press for a bit without making an impression and if the color is off, then clean the press again and ink up again with the new color. The first go around should clear up any contamination from the split.