C&P table top pilot - rollers not rolling over plate…

I am having problems getting even ink coverage. It’s either too much creating a muddy impression or it’s very little and uneven. I have tape on the rails because the rollers were inking the base, problem solved. But the rollers are dragging across the plate. I don’t remember if they were doing that without tape on the rails. Shouldn’t they be smoothly rolling over the plate for even distrubtion of ink? Another thing the rollers do is every third or fourth time I raise the rollers the left side pops out as it is going up and coming down, not hitting the plate at all.

Anyone have any tips?

Thanks in advance!

image: C&Pbethbirds.jpg

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Your inking problem is due to improper mechanical operation of the inking system, which probably is the inking rollers. If the inking rollers are not functioning right, you will get too little, or too much ink, smudges, etc. because the ink is not distributed properly. I suggest you operate press clean…no ink. Observe the roller action closely. Rollers should turn all the time and not jump up and down. The tape on the rails has nothing to do with the rollers when they are in the up position. Rollers bouncing can be caused by broken or weak roller springs which keep tension on the rollers. It could be other problems, but not seeing with my eyes makes it
difficult. Start with these suggestions and see what happens. Email me again. You may hear from others that know more about your particular press. SAL

I took all the tape off the rails and then put it back piece by piece. I got a much better even impression. I’m sure it could be more crisp on a bigger press but I don’t think I can get it on the pilot.

Thanks for your comment.

I have a 8x12 OS, not a pilot, but I had a similar problem when I first started out. It turned out that the trucks which came with my press did not match - some were slightly smaller then the others. This caused the trucks to pop off the tracks (and occasionally fly across the room, quite scary), in addition to sliding over the plate. If you have older trucks, you may want to check for this.

I got a new set of trucks from NA Graphics, which solved the problem of the trucks popping off. I still had some roller sliding with the new trucks (I got plastic Delrin Trucks). I solved this by changing the type of tape I used on the rails.

Not sure if either of these apply, but I thought I’d add my 2 cents. Good luck!

In order to make roller adjustments and rails a nonissue you can lock up type hight strips of border material at the outside edges of your chase. By rounding the ends, the rollers will ride to the proper height easily and stay the right height when getting to the cut or type. This will eliminate many trys of adjusting roller height and/or wondering if the temperature of the room is causing swollen or shrunken rollers. Any oil or foreign substances on the surface or the trucks and the rails will not be a factor as the rollers are Rolling on the type high surface. Of course the ink on the packing will be a problem, but a little work with an exacto blade will lower the packing where the unwanted ink is appearing. Also I feel it is very important on hand feed presses to always lock the form in the center of the press to lessen the chance of wobble or wear on the roller and pin that operate the platten causing a uneaven or changing impression. Hope this is tried and helps you with your platten press issues. Jim

About halfway through the job the trucks and rollers stopped coming into contact with the rails. They pop off and won’t go back. I had to move the job to a friend’s Vandercook.

I’m attaching pictures of the streaky results and the last one is the birds printed on the Vandercook. Big difference.

Thank you everyone for your comments. I now have the time to get to the bottom of this.

I was going to post the difference between what I was getting on the C&P, above, and what I ended up getting on the Vandercook but I can only post one picture. Anyway, you can see this is unacceptable.