rollers inking the whole plate

Hi there,

I have a westmann baker platen press (like a C&P in many ways) and I’ve made sure my rollers are a 1/16th of an inch bigger than the trucks - I’m still having the problem where the ink covers the plate, drenches the photopolymer plate and makes a muck of just about everything. What am I doing wrong?



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Have you checked the tracks against a type-high gauge? There is a relationship between form height, track height and difference betweeh roller and truck.
Personally, I would not have trucks smaller than rollers when using photopolymer plates, despite advise often repeated here, or found in Polk, or Cowan instruction sheets. There were other sources that recommended trucks equal or nearly equal to roller diameter, and that was my own experience when I first started using photopolymer plates on a C&P. These plates need a much lighter roller setting than do metal forms. I believe lower roller settings were mainly needed to compensate for inaccuracies often present in metal forms or composition rollers. Photopolymer plates and rubber rollers should be, at least in theory, more consistant than worn handset type, wood-mounted plates, etc.

sounds like your rails need to be built up. we use masking tape on ours, does the trick nicely. should be a cheap & simple fix!

Do you have a roller setting gauge? Removing the chase and adjusting the relationship of the rollers to the bed would be a good place to start.

Daniel Morris
The Arm Letterpress
Brooklyn, NY

I’ve heard much about this ‘adjusting the bed/rollers’ but looking at my own iron beast in my basement I cannot even imagine how one adjusts these things.

I’ve read an article about setting up rollers but to tell you the truth i’m still very confused about the paper test one does to make sure the rollers are type high. I think i’ll have to bring someone in who knows a bit more about these things.

I am going to put my trucks back up to the size of my rollers and see if that helps with the inking of everything - after that its to the rails with masking tape :)

Thanks all for your replies!

If you don’t have a roller setting gauge. Simply take a large piece of metal or wood type and set it against the rail to see if they are significantly higher or lower than type high. You can also make a makeshift roller setting gauge by attaching that large type character to a popsicle stick (or other support) and running it under the rollers to see if they are the proper level.

If the rails are much less than type high, then build them up. If already close to type high, then wrap the trucks until you get the proper height.

I know there may be variation in the height of characters due to wear and casting, but this should get you close without buying another tool and waiting for it to come in the mail.

I feel the gauge is a necessary item for the long haul, but his method will get you printing and enjoying instead of fighting to get a good print.

Thanks :) I did what you said henry and the rails are lower than type high! enough so that I’m using the trucks at 1.625in and my shotty set of 2nd rollers is at 1.556in!

I am going to work on the rails when I have the time - right now i’m just happy to say that I got my first job done and ready for finishing! HURRAY!

thank you alll!