Rubber base or oil base??

I have recently obtained a box of inks from a small print shop. It is a mixture of rubber base, oil base and some cans only have the PMS numbers on them. My husband and i are beginners and we own Kelsey 5x8. Can someone please give us an advice on which inks would be better for us to use and how would I know what kind of ink some of the cans are? Can we use rubber base one time and oil base the next time? If so, what is the best way to clean each of them?

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Everyone has a different view on which is better, i use both, mostly rubber base. Rubber base can be left on the press over night, oil base will dry if left for a few hours and is very hard to get off your rollers if allowed to dry. Oil ink will from a hard skin on top of the ink in a can, if rubber base starts to go bad it will harden with a rubbery skin on top, digging under this will usually find some good ink underneath. Everyone has different opinions on cleaners for your press, it will depend on what kind of rollers you have, keroscene is usually good but can leave an oily film and you won’t be able to ink up right away, mineral spirits work well, coleman fuel is good, a blanket wash used in offset printing is about the best, i mix mine half and half with gasoline, in the old days most shops always used gasoline, the fumes can be dangerous, i only just recently started using coleman fuel (thanks to The Devils Tail Press) its about as close to gasoline as you can get without the fear of blowing yourself up, i also use odorless mineral spirits.Hope this helps. Dick G.

I’ve used both types for thirty years or so. You need both. Rubber based inks are fantastic for most work but cant be used on coated stocks. When it does dry it chalks. Rubber based is intense and I feel more archival - but have a few cans of oil based for the jobs that need it. Given a choice I love rubber based. I always use gloves for wash up and I fins Kerosene the best in letterpress printing. I have often wondered about water based inks offered by Graphic Chemical Companys but of course on type only. It wouldn’t work for Photopolymer. Anyone have any ideas?
Dennis Wild

If you do use the oil based inks, have someone show you the correct way to “skin” the ink. If you just gouge in it (like digging peanut butter from a jar), you will force dryed ink particles into fresh ink and end up with hickies and “A—holes” in your ink coverage.