Form not inking at all

Perhaps this post should also go to “beginners” , since I am one.

Am using an Adana and trying to relearn how to print, (been 20 years, only used a flat bed)

With a boxcar base and polymer plates I can get nice impression by both adjusting the screws and building up the base with card stock. But, I cant get the rollers to contact the plate. I have looked many places online and cant find information. I suspect there is a simple explanation. I downloaded the manual but wasn’t helped too much by it.

If anyone wants to offer advice I will be ever so grateful.

Many thanks,


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Hi Anna,

never seen an Adana in free wildlife. So, what I say is more or less guessing.

Are you using the right base for your plates? It has to bring the plate to what is called “type height”. Actually I don’t know what your press needs.

Are the rails on which the ink rollers run height adjustable? On a windmill they are, so you would need to lower them to the correct height. There are gauges for that so you can figure out the perfect t height. On a windmill this gauge is part of the tools the belong to the machine…

How about the rollers? Are the of the correct diameter?

As I said - a lot of guessing…

Good luck!


Like mob says the base might not be the right height, but if you’ve had the rollers for over 20 years i’d bet they are all dried up and don’t carry the ink very well. Dick G.

If the rollers are the same diameter as the trucks (not smaller), I would check the height of the rails from the bed with a straightedge across the rails and a piece of type. If that is correct then the plate has to be low. You could be getting good impression if the platen is set too high yet the rollers would not contact the form if it is too low. You could also check with the straightedge across the plate in the bed of the press to see if the plate is the same height as the rails.



I wrote a response this morning but it hasnt shown up. Perhaps its gotten lost.

My rollers are slightly smaller diameter than the wheels. It inked up fine an hour ago. Then I repositioned the plate to the base (from centered to top center. Now it inks only in the middle of my image.
Ive been tweaking the pressure but I cannot do anything about the roller position. Can’t move em. I had tried building up the base with a thin piece of cardboard adhered to the bottom of my boxcar base. Didnt work. (and I think you arent supposed to do that)

Alas. Thanks to those who offered advice!

Be sure you have cleaned the plate with a solvent that evaporates completely without leaving any residue — an oily or other residue can prevent the ink from adhering to the plate. Moisture will do it also.

With the press washed up and the plate installed, close the press until the rollers are on the image, with a strip of a thin sheet of paper, like 20lb bond, between the rollers and the plate. If the paper can be slid out easily without dragging your rollers are not touching the plate. If there is some drag, tending to move the rollers, you evidently have good contact of the rollers to the plate and the problem must be that the surface is not accepting the ink.


Please post a picture

thank you. I;ll do the check with the paper. I;ll also post a picture of both the press (rollers) and of an impression (badly inked)

You folks rock.