Inking issues in a particular area

Hi everyone,

I hope you have all been well. I am having some inking issues in a particular area on my press. It’s about ~0.5”x1” that seems to not be picking up any ink.

Because the area is so small, adding a small section to the rails isn’t helpful since inconsistent inking then occurs across the span of the plate base.

Does anyone have any ideas on how to alleviate this issue? Thanks and much appreciation in advance!

image: IMG_2580.JPG


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Don’t add to the rails , makeready is the solution

Could be a low spot on the plate or contamination on the rollers . Try rotating the plate and see if the problem follows.

Hmm, makeready won’t work on my tympan since it seems like the ink isn’t even getting picked up from the roller. I’m pretty sure, at this point, it’s my roller(s). I’m gonna flip the roller in the opposite direction to see if it’s still occurring. Merrr.

Lay the edge of a straight edge (like your line gauge) across the plate in that area to see if the plate is low. If you’re not sure, cut a thin strip of tissue paper and put it under the line gauge in that spot and see if the strip is loose there.

Also lay your straight edge across your rollers in that spot and see if the rollers are low there. Assuming you have two or three rollers on the press, it seems unlikely that all of the rollers would have the same problem and none of them would ink the plate there, especially if you haven’t had this problem before.

It may be the plate. If the plate isn’t low, it may be that something is on the plate which is preventing the ink from adhering there, like silicone or oil or ??? If necessary try cleaning the plate with different types of solutions. Some things may come off with solvents but if that doesn’t work try something aqueous like dish detergent and water, or maybe even vinegar.

Something might be on the rollers too, I guess, but to have the same spot on more than one roller seems rather unlikely.

If it is a photopolymer plate, are you sure the plate is completely cured? I don’t know if that would affect ink adhesion or not but I’m just throwing out some ideas.

I think if you’re in printing long enough you will eventually have a problem like this. I know I have. Just hang in there and try to think “outside the box,” and you will conquer it. Good Luck!

I’d say Geoffrey is right. If you are getting good impression in that area (contact with the paper), but no ink, the plate may well be contaminated. Wash the plate with a fast-drying solvent (I’d suggest not water based), and let it dry completely before re-inking.

John Henry
Cedar Creek Press

Do you have a hand brayer that you could ink the plate with?