Hello all! I have been printing for a couple of years on our C&P 12 x 18 with good results. However, now this is happening and I can’t figure out if it is a problem with the ink (rubber based), the polymer plate (boxcar 152), or the press. Any ideas or thoughts are very welcome. Thank you in advance-much appreciated.

image: Inking 1.jpg

Inking 1.jpg

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As You are implying, (over the time span) presumably, same Ink, same Plate, same Press, what might be the variable? *possibly* the Stock, maybe try One or Two pulls on quality stock, if only to disprove. !!! Apologies in advance. IF.

Thanks Mick but it is the same stock I often use which is Crane’s Lettra #110. Will give a different stock a try and see if that helps. Thanks again!

Can you send a higher resolution image via email?


Hopefully this image is better.

image: IMG_6428.jpg


Evidently you like thumping your plate into the paper, not my idea of letterpress printing. It appears that ink is forced on the edge of lines in places and in part I can see impression but no ink.

My first thought is rollers, check the height. If low the ink could be squeezed off the surface and scraped on the edges.

I presume you are using a Boxcar base with the 152 plate which is fine if roller height is perfect. I prefer to put 152 plate on 20mm Perspex/Delrin and then underlay up to printing height. None of this mucking around with taping tracks and trucks then.

I would start with a print on photo copier paper to check if all of the plate touches. Slowly turn the flywheel over and look at the impression on the rollers under a light, see if ink is squeezed on the print areas.

There are several variables so approach each job as a new challenge and not ‘I’ve always done it this way”

Are your rollers in Good shape and set properly? Rollers can become glazed over time and not do a good job of laying down the ink. I’ve also noticed problems with seasonal changes in ink distribution. Do you use a good solvent in cleaning the rollers and plates?

John Henry
Cedar Creek Press

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Andrea, Thank You for the *nod* to My ramble.

Another try that may prompt proper info,!

As You depict Your image printed in landscape form, rather than portrait (horizontal rather than vertical) having bumped the image up to 150%, ?? is it possible that You have reverted to Crane`s Lettra from (previous) different weight stock, without Re-packing the Platen to suit, fairly important with Clam-shell.

Unless Your image has been processed that way, the lower *twigs* look quite light.

Appreciate that You are trying for deep impression on Crane`s etc., even so, possibly to help the learning curve, hold one Pull/Impression up to the light and (from an angle) inspect the back for consistent overall impression, our well versed Minders/Pressmen (and Ladies) perform this operation, as a matter of course, especially if backing up is required.

Again and as usual, apologies, but may prompt the Real Deal.

Good Luck. Mick.

Possibly too much ink, or too fluid

Thank you all for the feedback.

John, I will deglaze the rollers and see if that is the culprit. They are in good shape but may need a deep clean. Mick, I checked the back and the overall impression looks consistent so I am hoping it is the rollers. Scott, I wondered about too much ink so pulled several prints, removed some ink, pulled some more, and still had the same result.

Fingers crossed the rollers need a good deep clean. Thanks everyone.

Is there a possibility the rollers are slipping on the tracks? If this was a windmill, that’s the first thing I would check. Also make sure the roller trucks are exactly the same size as the rollers. Lay a straight edge across the roller and check each side. Hope this helps.

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wondering what you’re referring to when you say:

“I prefer to put 152 plate on 20mm Perspex/Delrin and then underlay up to printing height. None of this mucking around with taping tracks and trucks then.”

I have similar issues on my C&P, and use k152 on Boxcar base…and I can’t begin to tell you the nightmares about taping the rails. If I could avoid have to do such tweaking on my rails I’d be happy to try anything!!

Any advice?