Roller Issue

I’ve noticed lately when I start inking my C&P Pilot that there are patterns on the ink disk and rollers where ink is not spreading. The image I’m attaching was probably after 10 revolutions. I have to manually turn the rollers a bit to get the ink to spread, but I assume that’s just masking the problem.

I mostly print smaller personalized stationery so very little image that’s not affected. But I have noticed on a few larger jobs that inking is inconsistent.

I bought the press a couple years ago and it came with 2 composition rollers that look to be in good shape. Maybe time for new rubber rollers?

Log in to reply   9 replies so far


image: 9507C42D-4B03-4738-8AEB-262D5ABE6A19.jpeg


Assuming and Hoping that You have tried one other Ink, and the problem manifests itself with that also,! contamination may be the problem. - Just once, suggest washing up with a different agent, (and different uncontaminated rag, cloth, etc.) problem still persists, SOUNDS disgusting (YES) but many of the old timers would spit on the whole roller train, ink drum or ink plate included, for the final wipe.
Human saliva is a good decontaminate.

REASON for above, unseen airborne contaminates, even anti set off spray, but especially the propellent from aerosol cans, inc., Silicone polish, frequently used on the Guillotine/Paper cutter to *float* the stack against the backstop/side lay.

Apologies if this entry be a *Red Herring* - Mick.

Afterthought, have You recently used Ink and included/mixed, Gold, Silver, Bronze flakes/flecks.???

Maybe even a few specks of *Rosin* on the trucks and tracks, to eliminate possible roller slip.!!

What did You stick the tape, atop the rails with, self adhesive OR spray agent.???

Hi Mick - thanks for her quick reply. After the gold, I completely wiped down and cleaned everything before printing the second color (black). The metallic is oil based and I’m using Van Son rubber based for the black. Same results.

I use odorless mineral spirits to clean the ink disco and rollers, then come back and hit the rollers with a little Putz Pomade. I normally use white shop towels from Lowe’s and old shirts for cleaning.

My press is in the small office in our house and don’t use aerosols. I haven’t mixed any flakes into the ink and trucks don’t seem to slip but I’ll look into this more. Tape on the rails is self adhesive. Never used spray mount or another agent inside.

Thank You for the *Nod* my efforts were only intended as elimination clues, But based on the slurring on the Top (visible/pictured) roller - the last one to leave the Ink Plate! with just a visible repeat mark on the plate.

One more strange sounding but potentially informative gimmick,(often happens accidently) as the expression goes,
[Put one around the rollers] on purpose,
i.e. on the upstroke of the rollers, let the top roller pick up a sheet of stock, on the down stroke peel the sheet back off, and inspect for absence or presence of blemishes, even (and we have) hold the sheet up to a strong light, or even a light box, and look for transferred marks, according to how much the Disc moves per pass, maybe 2/3 *round the rollers* MAY give clues.

Will give a >Backed Up< facsimile in one hit.

Again apologies, Good Luck. Mick


Do you follow the Putz with another washup with mineral spirits? If not, there could be some wax in the Putz that is interfering with the inking.

You might also have some low spots on the rollers. you might try spreading in on a tabletop or glass plate to see if there are some spots on the rollers that just don’t ink because they are lower than the rest of the roller.

Are to rollers still soft? Composition rollers can harden up with time and air exposure.

John Henry
Cedar Creek Press

After the Putz, I store the rollers vertically and the next time I print (sometimes days later, the rollers look a little glossy so I wipe again with mineral spirits.

I’ll try the ink test on a flat surface. They’re still pretty soft and squishy.

Could the ink disk not be sitting flush or at the right angle? I guess since this just started that wouldn’t be the case?

Thanks again for both suggestion, Mick and John.

I have seen this problem corrected by squaring up disk. I looked for old discussion but could not find. I do not know if you square to roller arms or what. you could try tipping disk see what affect it has.

More likely the disk is not flat.
Run a straight edge such as a steel rule across the disk looking for dips, you should see gaps between disk and rule. The disk will need a skim back to perfectly flat.


I’m flying in the face of everyone else here but how soft are your rollers? The reason I ask is I got a 5x3 hand press which had similar issues and the rollers were pretty hard - almost year-old-car-tyre hard.

If the disk isn’t perfectly flat you might find newer rollers more forgiving as they compress a bit more which covers up imperfections. (But then new rollers can be an expensive guess) I’m not sure what you mean by turning the rollers by hand but maybe I’d check your roller springs are engaged too, and the rollers should just turn happily just from contact with the disk. My used-car-tyre ones didn’t though, they’d just skate across the disk.