Roller Pitting

My composition rollers are developing little pits in them, a few are not so small. Why? They are kept in a box with a light coating of oil on them. Should I use rubber rollers? What is Vinylith that NA sells? I am looking for a roller that does not self-destruct as they are expensive.

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This is what composition rollers do. Get yourself a set of good rubber rollers and you’ll never look back.

Daniel Morris
The Arm Letterpress
Brooklyn, NY

Composition pitting is normal. No need for concern unless the pits are unduly large and deep. The pits will retain ink though, so better clean them well when switching from a dark to a light hue. Better yet, get two sets of rollers - one for darks and one for lights. Same thought behind winter/summer tires: different tires (rollers) for different conditions.Avoid using any cleaning solution having even the slightest trace of water in it. Despite the ‘correctness’ approach to almost everything nowadays, just use good old kerosene on them when cleaning. I don’t care if it has an odour - so does the ink. It’s all part of the Black Art experience. And avoid the Vinylith roller as you would the plague!. I’ve a set, two years old, that could easily be used as typewriter platen replacement. Vinyl either turns (unpredictably) hard as a carp or melts like a popsicle. Rubber is the most trouble-free (and you pay dear for that), but composition will give the best ink lay. In my opinion.