The Etsy Labs have an Adana H.S. 2 and a little Boxcar deep-relief base. I have been trying to print business cards and have been having trouble because ink has been getting on the bottom of the base and the bottom of the chase. I realize this means trouble!
I tried the trick of using a whole lot of tape on the roller trucks. That helped some, but some ink is still getting on those places. Are there other things I could try, such as adjusting the platen or something? I am not totally sure how to do that, as I am still pretty new to platen press printing. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
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Just to make sure we’re talking about the same things:
The platen is the surface where you put the paper to be printed.
The bed is the surface where the chase & type are placed.
The trucks are the wheels at the ends of the rollers.
The trucks run on the rails.
Having said all that, I wonder if you really did wrap tape around the trucks! More often people build up the rails with tape.
In any case, you shouldn’t have to adjust the platen; that has nothing to do with the inking.
I’m not very familiar with the Adana, but I have a vague recollection that the bed and rails are adjustable. That might be where your problem—and solution—lie.
Make sure to add tape only to the rails, as rectorypress has mentioned. Although I’m not familiar with this press in particular, I’d be surprised if the bed or rails were adjustable—that’s where the tape comes in handy. The trucks should be the same diameter as the rollers themselves, so adding tape to the trucks can cause more harm than good. Some presses need as much as an 1/8” thick in layers of tape on their rails! Keep adding until nothing prints, then remove a layer so that the rollers are just barely touching the surface of your plate. Another method to set the rollers: you can buy a roller setting gauge which helps to quickly determine if your roller height is correct or not. We sell those at Boxcar Press for $23. These aren’t online in our (old) web store, but we can sell these over the phone or via fax. Good luck and keep us posted!!
I hope this helps,
Adjusting the platen shouldn’t have any effect on the problem you are describing. Are your trucks the right size for your rollers? If you are having to build up a whole lot of tape on the bearers you may want to think about getting some larger trucks.
If it is just a few layers of tape on the bearers that is a perfectly acceptable fix. I don’t know how heavy your little Adana is, but if you’d like to bring it by The Arm in Williamsburg I would be happy to help you troubleshoot it.
The Arm Letterpress
A couple of things spring to mind:
1. The ‘trucks’ should be reversible, giving you two different diameters. You could try using the larger diameter end and see if that helps.
2. A common way to bring rollers to type height on Adana machines is to place a piece of wood or metal rule at either side of the outside of the forme forcing the rollers to raise to the correct height.
I can’t really see how you can ink the chase as well though. Make sure that it is sitting on the type bed of the machine, and has not somehow managed to raise itself while you have locked it in.
Good luck, and hope this helps. Adanas are great little machines, especially for business cards etc.