Uneven ink coverage on my 9x13 Kelsey Press


I got my 9x13 Kelsey press a few months ago and I have been having trouble with the ink coverage. Each print I print is a little different in the ink coverage. I feel like the rollers are sliding on the plates but I am not too sure. I have tried to tighten the rollers a bit and I think that helped but I would love if some of you can give me some tips for troubleshooting this problem.

*I tightened the top rollers only at the moment because the bottom screws are too tight to move and need to get help from someone else.

I have attached some photos of my set up and press.

I also have been having to ink the plate several times to get “better” coverage although the image is not crisp.

Thank you all!


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If your Rollers slide, the Trucks might be binding, pull of the rollers, pull of the Trucks and clean the shaft on the ends of the rollers with a fine emery cloth or such, make sure the Trucks spin freely before re assembly. Tightening things is not always the answer.

Jenna, follows a few wrinkles that May or May not help:-
As You say You have tightened the rollers, the first elimination step could be, remove the Roller Arms in their entirety, lay the springs flat side by side, and You will possibly see a wide variation in the *FREE* spring lengths, as suggested by the 2 upper (pictured) adjuster nuts, being vastly in excess of the 2 lower.?

Are the Hooks/Arms all identical length Possibly 2 wrong >fonts< ! with finger tip touch (no springs) do they all retract and advance properly, if not a little lubrication may help, if oil is a problem a minute speck of Graphite powder X 4, or X 8,! is not unusual, even a minute amount of normal pencil lead scraped with an exacto etc.

!!! In Your middle of the 3 published, the spring pictured looks very much like it could be what is often called *Coil Bound* possibly synonymous with & responsible for Your Intermittent results?

Perhaps cycle the machine slowly and pause it where the Rollers reach the highest point and compression of the springs, i.e. just where the rollers leave the Rails and begin to traverse the Ink Disc, You should be able to detect a little free play, if it (the spring) x 4, feel(s) like a rod rather than a spring, that constitutes - Coil Bound.

Close inspection of the Hooks, where the roller stock extensions run, - any *Tram Lines* wear marks etc., again minute lubrication? perhaps after every wash up.
In Your last published shot, the Hooks look very close to the Trucks, and considerably too far away from the Roller Compound, even to the extent of (almost) missing the right hand Rail, prompting the grub screw comment.!!

Generally here U.K. the Trucks have grub screws, to positively anchor the trucks to the steel stock(s), eliminating any potential *SLIP*
As a further Anti-Slip with the Rollers & trucks on the Rails, a minute dust of rosin, on the tracks, is virtually foolproof.

Apologies, if the above be absolute rubbish.

But Good Luck. Mick