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Splotchy ink

Hello everyone.. Can anyone please tell me what could be causing this problem?

Here are my specs:

C&P Craftsman 10x15
Aluminum base + photopolymer
Crane’s Lettra 220lb
Black oil-based ink
Temperature outdors 60˚F / indoors like 65˚F

What do you think?

PS: The photo was taken looking through a thread counter in order to show better the splotchy texture.

Thanks in advance.

image: splotchy-ink.jpg

splotchy-ink.jpg

Log in to reply   17 replies so far

Looks like you have ink on the shoulder, so add like a 0.002” UMHW tape to your rails.

Then add a little more ink and try inking the plate twice, then print.

See if that helps.

I don’t have access to that kind of tape. I’m using masking tape, but then if I add it I lose contact.
And I think there’s enough ink because the rollers make the ink sing.

Could it be that it needs deglazing?

Thanks!

Ok, I adjusted the rollers and added more ink. It sure helped.

My press is a C&P Craftsman, and the roller rails are adjustable, but the problem is I cannot adjust the bottom rails very well, the are too high, and do not go down even when I turn the adjusting screw, they will go up more, but turning them to lower, doesn’t because the screw is already not touching the metal underneath it. Does it make sense?

i don’t like lettra, just for fun try printing on another kind of stock and see if it prints better. you could try removing a piece of tape and let the rollers hit the type a little harder. How old are your rollers, old rollers could give you trouble. If your rollers need deglazing they would be a little shiney when washed up, try one thing at a time till this gets figured out. maybe you didn’t get all the cleaner off the rollers before you inked up. so many things can go wrong, but that what makes it fun.

:(

it’s not been fun for a long time… like you said so many things can go wrong.
So many factors:
-truck diameter
-roller diameter
-roller life
-glazing
-temperature
-rail height
-impression unevenness (craftsman, thanks)
-paper

and the list goes on and on…

I would just for once like to have someone help me out sorting out these things.

my rollers are one year old, but I have used them very few times.

I myself don’t like lettra either, not one bit.
There’s nothing more awesome for me than smooth paper.
Posters just pop in color in that paper. I love it.

Thanks for chiming in, Dick.

I’ll try it on a regular paper just to see how it prints.
I haven’t noticed any shine on my rollers yet..

i print every day and my rollers are about 10 years old and just starting to be a pain. I had a friend of mine bring a job over to run on my windmill that she couldn’t run on hers, i tried everything and couldn’t get it to print any better, the stock was lettra, i tried some card stock i had laying around and it printed just fine. i usually deglaze my rollers every 3 months or so, and thats washing up almost daily, the rollers on my 10x15 c&p are at least 15 years old and still working fine, rubber rollers seem to last a long time, i’ve recently lost some old composition rollers to mice, they ate them right down to the cores. Sometimes if its a little cold in my shop i’ll run a small electric heater on the floor next to the press and that helps. I think you need to figure out why the rails are not resting on all the screws, maybe by loosening the top ones the bottom would touch, don’t know cause i never ran a craftsman.

Thanks, Dick.
What I’ll do, is when I get back from the holidays, I’ll take off the rails, and clean up everything under there, take them to the machinist have them rectified, and make sure I can adjust all four corners to type high, and if for some reason I need them higher, I’ll just use tape.
That sounds like a plan. Also I need to do some printing tests with the impression knobs back to zero and figure out how they work. I’ve read the manual, but I haven’t grasped everything yet.

enriquevw

Well you are pretty good with a photograph. Thread counter?

Can’t help you with the printing, that is really messed up, sorry to say. Way too many variables to diagnose. Some kind of roller or roller height, ink or inking problem.

Gerald

Good photo. It would be better to actually see the print and the inked plate. It very definately looks like the roller pressure is too great and they are inking over the edge of the face and onto the beard of the letters. With some impression into the paper, the paper scrapes the ink from the beard and creates the sloppy outline. To do any impression and have crisp letters, you have to start with kiss inking.
You are struggling and say it hasn’t been fun. Stick with it. You will solve your problems and become a good printer.
Feliz Navidad

We cant get Lettra in Australia . so my immediate feeling is that the stock is picking. you could try thinning the ink a little orb trying another stock - if anything just to eliminate a possibility. i use french and italian papers Canson and Fabriano and I’m never faced with this. Sometimes i have used papers of 70’s - 90’s vintage and I get this sort of result which I overcome by ink thinning. Imagine the ink on the plate having more adhesion than its transfer ability

Bielerpr: Thanks. Well I call it thread counter in spanish (cuenta hilos), it’s the type of loupe that is used to check offset prints for registration and all that. But that’s what it’s called in spanish because it comes from the use of magnifying glasses used in the textile industry to count how many threads a fabric has.

Inky: Thanks! I actually adjusted the rails and added more ink, and it helped, still my rails are totallly messed up, and uneven, but I can’t solve that right now so I’m adding pieces of tape where it needs it and taking away where it doesn’t.
Thanks for your words, and Merry Christmass to you too! :)

@Lasimp, Thinning the ink didn’t work, but it was before I adjusted the rails. The weird thing is that the work I printed before was ok.

Hi Gerald and all,

Here’s what I think Enrique is talking about. It’s a fantastic tool. I use it dozens of times with each print run. Sometimes I have to pretend I didn’t see what I saw.

Barbara

Another name used in the US is a “Linen Tester”, which more than likely accounts for the “Thread Counter” appelation.

John Henry

Barbara, actually, I remembered one of your photos when I took that photo yesterday. I sure bought it because I saw you, so it’s funny you chimed in :)

I would look at the relative height of your bearers (rails) and measure them top of bearer to level of bed at all four corners of the bed with the bearers at the highest point and lowest point , the readings set high should all be the same and the readings set low should all be the same and dependant on the range should all relate too.
If you have adjustable bearers (Rails) on the press then you should not require tape on the rails at all unless the rollers and bearers are not correct dimensions or you are using type that is of some outlandish height to the design of the press . I dont think i would have adjustments made to press parts that should not need adjusting .
Measure the range of adjustmen you have ,find the middle of the adjustment and set all four corners the same , measure this height and measure the type height you have , the difference between the two sets of figures should be the same then as the difference between the diameter of the ink roller and the diameter of your roller bearer (trucks ) divided by two .
You should with the measurements you now have, be able to order a set of rollers that fit the press , you will need to order a given dimension for the rubber , as you cant adjust the height on your existing rollers i would look at reducing your current dimension of rubber 1mm or even two mm larger than your existing set and with the dimension of the current trucks see if the figures work and give you the correct under cut or difference in dimension as your adjustment in the bearers allow .
That ,long winded and confusing though it is would be a sensible route to explore long before you start re jigging the press , if you alter the present set up of the engineering of the press and you need to effect a replacement or repair later on you may have to go through the whole process again and have yet more parts need machining .

Thanks Pete, that is some really really useful information. I will do this. My plan is to clean up well, measure and try, and then have rollers made, but right now I gotta pull two last jobs today, so that’ll have to be in January.
Thanks again, very grateful for your advice.