Inking issue, Vandercook SP-15


I have a hand-cranked SP-15, and I’m currently at a loss for an issue I’m having printing with a photopolymer plate. The ink is blurred and filled in between lines where it shouldn’t be (such as inside the letter u). I’ve triple checked the roller height, the proofs from the plate look good as does the plate itself. I’ve eliminated weird ink/cleaner issues (cleaned my rollers again and re-applied fresh ink). And I’ve eliminated crinkled packing as a factor too. This problem seems to happen when I have heavy packing or not - and even when there isn’t a lot of ink on the press.

The only other factor I can think of is humidity - I don’t have AC and haven’t had the dehumidifier running because it’s been in the 70s and hasn’t felt very humid. However I am using cotton paper.

My rollers are just about 10 years old, but hoping they are not to culprit.

Any other thoughts on what I should check?


image: IMG_0882.JPG


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If the proofs from the plate are acceptable, but the prints from your press are not (you say the lines are filled in), then the rollers on your press are set too low - or the plate is too high.


Too much ink, too thin ink, rollers set too low, plate too high, bad plate-I’ve had some plates that looked good but weren’t. maybe just a bad choice of font. If it were any kind of a roller slur, would be different in the direction across the roller compared to with the roller.

What ink…paper…depth of plate…what font from where did you use fontlab etc…

Thought I’d post an update - it ended up being a problem with the polymer plates, that were not rinsed correctly. Got new plates made (for free, it was their fault not mine) and the problem was solved!