I have a Vandercook #2 proof press and I would like some information on what is the best brayers to use in inking wood type. Should they be hard rollers or spongy type? And can you get them in different lengths? I purchased one from Dick Blick but it is a hard roller and it doesn’t apply the ink well.


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If you call up your own home grown Company, Imperial Rubber products, out of Chino California,
[email protected]
Absolutely brilliant breakdown of all aspects or Rollers, (printing related) including most compounds used since way back.
Good, not too technical resume, of *Shure* hardness across the range, I.E. Horses for courses, including large format and density, Hand inkers/Brayers.?
Some of their Spiel includes, but does not make clear, the advantage of Rolling Pin style & *TWO* Handers.

From way back, when, trying to hand ink and proof large Posters, with some Big *Screamer* main lines, it was a must to use 2 handers, 2 reasons, (A) to achieve & resolve the problem, as above, (doesent apply the ink very well)
(B) Trying to ink a Big Poster on a Big, Big proof press was very difficult with a smaller, single handle Roller/Brayer.
Trying to get good coverage, on the main lines, with a single hander caused rocking from side to side and left, blank spots on the big letters.?
With a 2 Hander, Although it was B****Y heavy, it sat firmly, at every Hand Pass and the *Feel* with 2 hands meant much better/uniform inking, overall.

1957, Bill Hayley & The Comets, U.K. tour, the firm I did my apprenticeship with, printed, the Tickets, Programmes, & QUAD CROWN, Posters.!!!
Not only proofed, with the 2 Handed Brayer, but then, Hand fed the Wharfedale, *floating* those size sheets down, was not easy. But we did print the tickets, and my lips are sealed.

In response to the original query, just from humble expierences, for larger wood type, inked on a Proof Press, heavier 2 handers, seemed to work well, with softer Shure hardness, probably help or solve, original question.
Company suggested above, seems to be up to speed.
Good luck. M. O. M. Briar press. 02/10/2014.?

The condition and size of the type should be a consideration as to what kind of roller would be appropriate. Type that is worn, with some variety in height would need a softer roller than new type. I have found myself in the same situation recently, having acquired two rolling-pin style rollers made by Takach. I have a lot of old type that needs a softer roller than the Takach ones, so I sold them and rebuilt two old rollers that I have carried around for years. I am investigating having others made, and at what cost. Message me if you are interested.

image: HamiltonRoller.JPG


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we use about 25 shore for our durothene rollers/brayers.

Holding a brayer the right way also make a difference, in a fist with the roller below so you can get some pressure down on the wood type and not in front of you and straining your wrist joint.