uneven inking

So I’ve run into this problem over the last few years but for some reason this time it won’t go away. I operate a 10 x 15 C & P and use Van Son rubber base inks. The job I’m currently printing is getting light spots in different places throughout the image ( on the attached image, the address). I still see an impression in these light spots but no ink. I can’t figure it out. Is my ink drying on my rollers in specific places? Please help.
Thank You.

image: Printing-Problem.jpg

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Fellow Printer…

Your problem can be with low spot in roller. Check and see if entire rollers pickup ink from plate.
Turn press by hand, start with clean rollers and note if some spots do not get ink, it means the rollers are not in perfect “round” as they should be.

If the missing ink spots jump around, it could be that the ink is drying on the rollers. If you leave press inked up and not running, the tendency is that the ink will dry. Drying time depends on how much dryer is in the ink. I used much Van Son Holland inks, and never had this problem….
but I have had this problem with inks containing much dryer.

Check these two possible reasons first.


Thanks Sal,

I have fairly new rollers but I will check for low spots. My shop is also freesing cold so I think that might be a huge contributor to the problem.

I ran into that same problem out of nowhere a job or two ago. And it was cold. Really cold. 40º-50º cold in the garage (10º outside). I messed with taping the rails till I got it to work. Who knows if that’ll help ya, but it’s worth a try. I just taped in the spots that weren’t printing (it looked like the ink was squashing off) but the temperature may have had more to do with it than I thought at the time.

A large candle under the ink disk, warming up the ink on the ink knife before applying it to the disk, and keeping my rollers and boxcar base inside seemed to help.

Hoping Colorado gets out of this cold slump. Im freezing! ;)

I thought about the tape issues but Fritz at NA Graphics convinced me that I either had a flat spot in my rollers and that my shop is too cold. So after purchasing a giant kerosine heater, my garage is now a tropical paradise.
I should probably buy new rollers anyway.

I noticed my ink and paper really working together better at a warmer temp.
I would highly recommend it. Thanks Jason

As heating the shop has become a point made on a number of posts lately (here and on some net lists), is anyone worried about all the various flammable cleaners they have around the shop? I’m thinking of trying to get some form of portable heater for my garage (and print shop), but I have this garbage can with old California Wash-soaked rags. I’d hate to blow myself up. Am I just being paranoid?

Once I have an accident I will let you know. I just use Mineral Spirits and keep it on the opposite end of my shop. You’re not paranoid, you’re probably just smarter, but I can’t print in a cold shop anymore.

I have definitely been sketched out by the proximity of my open flame to my “shelf of death” cleaners and such… Im hoping it gets warm soon. I keep my soaked rags in an old protein powder jar and when it gets full, ditch em. Remember the letpress talk about spontaneous combustion and piles of rags? Whoa.

The first thing I did in my garage before the freeze here was put insulation in the roof (took 6 hours on a weekend with help from one person). That worked wonders for holding in the heat from the space heaters. I got an estimate to put an electric heater in there for around $400 which would make it very toasty (and thermostat driven) but the electrician is 2 months out. Doh!

I forgot to credit Fritz on the space heater. After talking to him I ordered a ceiling mounted quartz heater ($50) online somewhere and it works incredibly. His recent PPL post reminded me I should point it at the press more instead of me! My power to the garage went out suddenly last weekend so I had to switch between the second space heater and the motor for the press. In 15 minutes of feeding the press, the temperature would plummet 10º. Now that was cold…

Too much information? My bad. ;)

Actually, the idea of an open flame directly under the ink disk sounds positively frightening. I’d be afraid various bits of grease and oil on the press would catch.

I’m thinking the ceiling heater sounds like a decent way to go. I actually have heating ducts that run through my garage, but I’m afraid I would lose most of the heat that goes to my office upstairs if I cut vents in the garage.

Anyway, sorry for swirling this thread off-topic.

Fritz told me to get an infared heater that I could mount on my ceiling but I can’t find one anywhere. Do you remember the link to where you bought your quartz heater? What is a quartz heater anyway?



Im not completely sure the difference between infrared and quartz… but this is what I got. It uses lightbulbs to heat. I will say the shop.com experience blew, it took over two weeks to get. But I couldnt find it anywhere else. Homedepot had one at my local store, but it was the display model and they don’t sell it anymore. You might try lowes, too.

I googled “quartz ceiling heater” and found it.