Uneven inking/Ghosting on 7x11 Pearl

I have a 7x11 Golding Pearl. I’ve had it for over a year. In the beginning I taped my rails to set proper roller height, but then realized that because my trucks aren’t attached to my roller cores, the rollers would slide over certain parts of the form and create uneven inking.

Then I tried using roller bearers and that worked great for a few months until recently: My form appears to be inking properly, but when I pull an impression I get really sloppy inking in different areas of the form. At first I thought it was because my wooden roller bearers warped, so I had new ones made. Still the same problem. I also thought it could be from over inking the rollers, but in the attached pictures, there’s barely ink on the rollers and it’s still producing the same result.

I also changed my packing which had become very old and uneven. Still same problem. The only thing I can think of that’s left are warped rollers? But I believe they’re not even 3 years old. They’re rubber. I’m running out of ideas and really need help. Please see attached images and advise. Thanks in advance!

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When you say you get “really sloppy inking” what is it that you visually see in those areas? Knowing this will make it easier to help.

That being said, it looks like the ink is extending out beyond the image areas in some places. Since you say there’s barely ink on the rollers, it can’t be too much ink. So, it is probably that the rollers are hitting the image too hard, which inks the shoulders (edges) of the images as well as the top surfaces of the images. Then, when a deep impression is made and the paper touches the shoulders of the images on the plate, since there is ink on the shoulders, the ink transfers to the paper.

If this is what you are concerned about, then you need to raise the rollers somewhat, so they don’t ink the shoulders as much. If the inking of the shoulders happens in patches, maybe your rollers, or the rails, are uneven, causing the rollers to contact the plate too hard only in certain areas.

Try putting a straight edge (like a metal ruler) on each rail to see if it is straight and even, and build up any low areas (at least temporarily) with tape to see if that helps. There are other more permanent solutions to fix the rails as well, which have been discussed on this site.

You can also put a straight edge across the rollers in different places to see if you can detect any unevenness.

In the long term, it would also be good to modify the rollers and trucks so that the trucks cannot turn on the roller cores (shafts). I did this with my Pearl by drilling the roller cores and putting pins in them, and then milling slots in the trucks which the pins fit into.

Hope this helps. Regards, Geoff

Since my last post, I had my rollers grounded down to be closer to the size of my trucks. Turns out they were also a little warped, with the ends swelling, so that partially solved the problem, and I’m getting a little bit better of results.

New issue: the ascenders and descenders still are inking more heavily than the middle of the text. The color in the attached image has a lot of transparent white in it - not sure if that has anything to do with it. I currently have just a few pieces of tape on the rails to adjust the roller height, but if I add one more piece of tape to take off more of the pressure, then the bottom of the form (for example the tail on the capital E in the attached image) wont ink at all. Thoughts?

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My guess would be that you are running the text perpandicular to the rollers and not parallel. A very narrow section of the rollers runs across the x-height of the text and gets starved, but there is plenty of ink on the sections of the rollers adjascent to that section, which ink the ascenders and descenders.

If you are already running the text parallel to the rollers, dunno what would cause that….

In the above image, the text is running perpendicular to the rollers, and what you said is true: the x-height of the text isn’t being inked while the ascenders and descenders are. The question is why, and how do I fix it?

I also flipped the text 90 degrees to see if there’s a difference - and there really wasn’t. In any case, that really wouldn’t help anyway because most of my projects won’t fit on the platen in that orientation.

Any other suggestions?

Do you have an old style Pearl #3 with 2 rollers or an improved #11 with 3 rollers? I have a #3 with 2 rollers and usually double roll the form (where the rollers actually go over the form 4 times betwen impressions). This is my preference, because I feel that two rollers going over the form twice (down and back between impressions) don’t provide adequate inking. Try rolling the form by hand the usual twice, then before it makes the impression run the flywheel backwards to go over the form again, then roll the flywheel frontwards again to go over the form a 4th time and run through the impression cycle.

If you have a Pearl #11 with 3 rollers, then you should be getting adequate inking without extra roller passes and something else must still be wrong. For one thing (and I know you mentioned it), you definitely need to have either roller bearers, or trucks which cannot rotate on the cores, so that the rollers turn correctly.

Did you check each roller separately, with a roller height gauge, for adequate adjustment as you roll it down the bed? You should probably do that to be sure you are getting the best inking out of all rollers.

Hi Geoffrey,

I have an old style with 2 rollers. Great suggestion - it’s probably going to take me forever to get through this job, but I don’t always have this problem, so this is a nice solution. It’s just happened with this font (with exaggerated ascenders and descenders) and this ink.

It’ll do. If anyone has a more permanent solution, I’m open to suggestions. Thanks!

What kind of base are you using?
I have set up alot of these presses and inking problems are usually due to the base.
Photopolymer and the kind of impression popular today does not like .918 high.

When just kissing a sheet we did not care about ink on the Beard of the type but now we are hitting things so hard we don’t want that, we want to just kiss the plate.

We regularly grind bases to fit the press.

I have never seen a press who needs the rails taped for wear. Yes we do tape the rails for the amount of ink we want to carry, or a strange form but not for wear.

If you are using a commercial base give us a call and we will help you have it corrected in your location.