Thank you to everyone who takes a look at this and/or comments. I appreciate your help and, as always, I’m amazed at the breadth and depth of knowledge presented on this site.
I’m in the middle of printing a large order of wedding invites and I finally hit the point where I needed to replace the rollers on my Craftsman 6.5X10” tabletop press. I sent my rollers with trucks off to be refurbished (by SI Industries) and they have returned with a pristine surface, but are now definitely NOT type high.
When I attempt to print, I end up inking the entirety of my printing base (which is then followed by swearing and drinking). This never used to happen with the old and pitted rollers. (well, the swearing and drinking did… but usually in jubilation).
Is it possible that when I had my rollers resurfaced they went crazy and did not return them to the previous diameter?
If so, is there an easy fix to this beyond layers of tape on the rails? (at the moment the rails are heavily taped, but I’m still getting some blobby ink on the sides of my type)
Or do I just need to purchase new trucks?
Thank you again and I appreciate any solutions that might be out there…
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Truck and roller diameters should match, and your rails should be type-high. This way, you only ink the very top of the type (or plate).
If your rollers are too big, they can be re-ground to the correct diameter - send them back to where they were made. You did say you sent the rollers and trucks though - so did you get the same trucks back?
Taping trucks or rails is a band-aid - doesn’t really fix the problem. Measure your rail height - if they are worn down, they can be resurfaced at a good machine shop (the rails are ground down flat, and a new bearing surface is attached and ground to exact height).
Thank you so much Bill. That is exactly what I feared… and that leaves me with at least another 1-2 weeks of downtime as the rollers are ground.
Here’s to hoping my client doesn’t kill me…
It is the rail height that governs type high assuming that the rollers and trucks are the same diameter. In theory it does not matter if the trucks and rollers are pencil thin or huge as long as they are the same diameter and the rails are type high. In actuality the pencil thin rollers would not carry enough ink and the huge rollers would jam.
I think your band-aid, make-do fix to get the job done in the shortest time is more tape.
Then get the rollers right.
Bill is right that the true remedy and repair is to have a machine shop repair the rails to bring them back to type high and true. Not a very difficult job for a good shop, but a bit expensive. Most of us are thrifty or frugal and use tape.
I actually just sent the rollers back to the shop to be resurfaced to match the diameter of the trucks. They are going to grind them down as necessary - no charge.
The rails on the press are in incredibly good shape as it hasn’t seen much action since it was manufactured. And prior to this I never had a problem with ink in non-printing areas - just uneven ink distribution from the pitted surface of the rollers.
Please cross your fingers and hope that I don’t have to have the rails brought back up in the near future… I’m not sure I can take another maintenance issue right now.
I’d be surprised to see enough wear on the rails of a tabletop press to require resurfacing - typically you see that on older presses with heavy use.
Those are my thoughts exactly Bill.
Thank you both for answering my question…
My rollers are packed (on the side tracks) to be ever so slightly off contact. I pack the forme with one or two backing sheet of manilla which means photopolymer inks and prints perfectly (providing the block is not sprung in the chase) and type is crisp and beautiful. So the forme comes out to meet the rollers. Compared to a windmill with adjustable tracks C&Ps are a little primitive and its in this area of rolling that it shows. combine that with modern plates shallow etch etc….