Too rapid ink drying?

We’re doing hand rolling (Lifestyle through a Sizzix big shot roller, with KF-152 polymer plate, Speedo 4” roller). We’re able to evenly coat the glass inking plate, and then the roller, and get a few passes.. I’m using about 3-4 “pea sized” globs of ink.. However, the roller soon starts to peel like a bad sunburn. The first time, we overinked like crazy to avoid this. The last two times, we just cleaned the roller and plate and started over..

Any suggestions would be very welcome!


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Are you using proper relief printing inks or are you using the crappy lifestyle inks?

Hey Chris”
Head out to your nearest health food store, get a one oz. bottle of Eugenia caryophyllata (clove oil). This is the stuff Grandma would put in the cavity of that awful toothache of yours. Expect to pay about six bucks plus. Use the eyedropper to add some to your ink, mix well and give a trial, test run. Let us know how you’ve done.

Wow.. again - you guys are awesome!

First - iotra91 - yes, Lifestyle.. But also Soy ink from Boxcar ;(

Stan - THANK YOU! I will try it.


There is an awful lot of junk out there these days. Try and buy brands of ink that are know to be successful, whether oil-based or rubber-based. I’d avoid soy-based inks. The clove oil is occasionally useful. A trick from the old days.

Just a note here that contemporary oil-based and rubber-based inks are actually hybrids, have been for a good forty years. Except for god old Van Sons 10850, I don’t think that has ever changed and unbelievably, still available. When I started an old printer gave me a five gallon bucket of the stuff. That was 38 years ago! I rarely use it, still it can be quite useful on occasion.


Thanks, Bielerpr. So - not soy and not Lifestyle? Any good brands?

I like gamblin. Not too expensive

Best thing to do, which folks tend not to do, is judge the ink, the paper, the presswork, etc., actually by work produced. We used to do that a lot in the old days. A novelty, buy printed work of folks you admire. You also end up a pretty good collection of fine work, and it teaches humility.

Sorry to say though, I really have no idea what kind of ink to recommend for your setup.


Clove Oil was the answer!!!

Chris Stratton, ink never dries… unless its tough tex,
and some chemist debate the fact ” tough tex” is ink.
Now, I heard Paul Ritcher has a very special vinaigrette for press’ wash ups esp in CA area …best james

Just listen to the old man here, you won’t go wrong with the clove oil to slow down ink drying on the press!
Soy Bean ink with clove oil, Crisco or California Wash to wash your press with. And now, Ta-Dum! A vinaigrette (I’m sorry: a very special) vinaigrette for a press wash.
Be sure to securely close the lid at night on your dumpster!
I can’t help but think of the millions of Chinese who go to bed hungry every night, and here we throw out a thousand or so calories in our wash-up rags every night!
Maybe we call on Paula Deen to help us in our search for perhaps a few more calories we could use to wash up our presses with!

The fellow who taught me letterpress would put a drop of Kerosine into the ink to retard drying, but I found it too troublesome and difficult to control. I prefer to use a small amount of Ink Corrective made by I. C. Compound Company in Gardenia, California. I have used it for years to help get ink to lay right, and to eliminate picking and excessive drying on the press. While running large areas of ink on posters during the summer premature drying can rip the sheet right out of the grippers; I. C. Compound helps to prevent that problem. An old printer turned me on to it 30+ years ago, and I recommend it highly. And James is confused, I like vinaigrette on salads, although these days the only oil I use goes on my machines.


Paul, when you was young you printed posters, now miniature books, should have been the other way around , when you had young eyes you should have done the mini books and the posters as the eyes got fuzzy.

Yes, I admit it is poor planning, but I’m grateful that I no longer have to lift and carry 100 pound chases.

And the Grabhorns during WWII shortages put motor oil in the ink as an extender, with lasting stains.
I’ve use I.C. Compound, but would add that Van Son’s Ink Conditioner seems to be identical and more readily available.

Are the Van Son’s Ink Conditioner and the I C Compound’s Ink Corrective for oil-based ink or rubber-based ink or both?


I don’t really know because I’ve never used rubber-based inks, but if you directed the question to the company I’m sure they could provide an answer. I. C. Compound is only a UPS shipment away. They are very nice and easy to deal with, and sent a sample of their hand-cleaner to me with my order.


I use Van Son Rubber based inks on the press I use. I can leave it on all day and it never dries up. I’ve even left it on overnight and it didn’t dry.