I apologize if this seems like an elementary question— I have just acquired a C&P 8x12 old style. I’m wondering how I can tell if I need new rollers or not? Thanks.
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If you are not printing acceptably, then rollers are one of the main culprits. Assuming you’ve inked properly, done a proper make-ready, and checked the roller height.
If you’re happy with the printing, no need to replace the rollers.
I have the same press. I changed the rollers because I only had the old cores. Mice and/or bugs had completely consumed the composition rollers that had been on the press. The prior press ( a Kelsey 5x8 ) had significant pits on the composition rollers, but still inked type fairly well. I kept these and used them for years.
If the rollers you have show significant hardening, excess buildup of crud you can’t easily remove, or are cut up, say by brass rule, AND you are unhappy with the inking, consider buying new rollers.
The only rollers I’d replace without regard to inking quality are the urethane ones that are subject to spontaneous reversion to runny goop and then harden on all available surfaces. Only had one close call on that. Never wish to repeat that.
If you can afford them, buy new rollers. You will never regret it and once set at the proper setting they will last for years.
While you’re at it buy new ink. You’ll love your press and your printing.