How long can I leave ink on the press?

I have a huge order to print (1800 pieces) all in black. I’ve successfully left rubber-based ink on the press overnight to continue another big order in the morning, but what is the max amount of time I can leave the press inked up? I think this order should take me around 4 days to complete, and I don’t want to keep inking up and washing down if I don’t have to. Any advice is appreciated - right now I’m thinking I’ll do clean up every other day, but if I could keep ink on the press for the full run that would be ideal. Thanks!

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Sorry, sorry - forgot to add I have an 8x12 C&P NS.

Heh, that’s not a huge order for a platen press.

I mean seriously, I could feed that in what, 3, 4 hours? With washup and inkup?

But really, if you have rubber rollers and you’re not adding drier to your ink, you could leave it on overnight if you get back to printing in the AM.

Usually, if I’m going to leave the ink on the press overnight, I mist the form rollers and fountain with some anti skin spray, move them to the bottom of the press, and then clean the disc off. The reason is that we get dust around here and it’s more likely to end up on the disc than the other stuff.

Good luck with your job!

(Also my comment was towards presses with motors- not treadles ;-) )

I suppose “huge” is subjective. For me it’s enormous.

Thanks for the tip. I don’t have a fountain, but I do have a motor (and dust).

I guess I should’ve also said its not 1800 of the same thing. It’s an invitation on double ply, then response card, reception card, brunch invitation, invitation envelopes, response envelopes, and thank you envelopes. It’s all one color, thank goodness, but all the pieces are different sizes and plates.

So yes, you’re right - 1800 of the same thing would take no time at all (even for me).

Oh boy, yes, that is a lot more work to be certain…..
And yes, your reasoning for leaving the ink on the press is well founded.

Next time at the health food store, pick up a small, one ounce bottle of clove oil; yes, the stuff grandma would put on a bit of cotton and stuff in that nasty painful cavity in that tooth. Impress the clerk and ask for “eugenia caryophyllata.” Guaranteed to kill the toothache and also keep ink open on your press. The warm, soothing, comforting aroma will set you back about six bucks for a one ounce bottle.
Give this some testing with different inks and papers to get the feel of it, and the dosage to use before use on a live job!

The only real thing you need worry about is the night critters , those bug things that can be attracted to the sticky ink and get stuck to it , or dust bits collecting , it was common for the numbering units on GTO offset machines to have the ink in them almost permanently and you can get it off quite easily some weeks later in tough circumstances , a couple of days would be fine but the foreign matter is always trouble if you get it .

Thanks everyone - I really appreciate the tips. And foreign bits in the ink is a concern, as we have two cats and fur is always flying around here.

Night critters can definitely be a problem - I left the ink on my disc overnight, and the following picture shows what I found the next morning. Somewhere in my yard is a squirrel with sticky paws!


image: squirrel1.jpg


Steve, last year i picked up a 12x18 Golding, the old comp rollers were melting in their wooden box, so i set it out in the sun in front of my shop, after a few hours i looked out and there was a little bird with both feet stuck on the roller. While trying to free the little guy i had his mate diving on me and he was pecking the heck out of me, but the rescue went well.

Maybe I should borrow your composition rollers for my mouse problem at home- do you ship?

Paper stone printing , just be pleased that it didnt walk over your car in the night !

Haven, i’m not touching those rollers, but you are welcomed to stop by and grab them, but don’t expect me to get you unstuck from them.

I would suggest washing up and re inking even after a few hours. and wouldn’t leave it overnight - for best printing results-my two cents worth

Dick - happy to hear that the rescue went well!
Peter - Fortunately I didn’t see any footprints on my white truck!
I never leave my ink overnight to print the next day, it tends to get tacky, I was just too lazy to clean the disc after I finished a job at 10 pm!


Steve, if i’m printing the next day i’ll leave the ink on for about a week, rubber base of course, if it sits a day or two then its too tacky, but if you run it every day its usually fine.

I used to sell VanSon rubber based ink and it used to be able to be left for weeks by some of my customers. It’s worth covering the press with a dust sheet when not in use. ps I started out as a comp in May 1960 and I still have an old composing stick. Anyone know of any old Wharfedales still running?

Theres a baby one that will run at amberley in sussex uk and one big one in danger of going scrap in london .