Ink transferring to tympan even when impression lever disengaged.

Hi there,

I have a 10”x15” C&P and I keep having this problem where even when the impression lever is disengaged, the inked up polymer plate still touches the typman enough to transfer some ink to the tympan, which of course ends up on the back of each printed sheet. Since I’m not yet fast enough to be able to feed a new sheet every time the platten opens up to me (I’m using a motor), this mean that ink keeps getting on the tympan and therefore the back of my prints.

One issue is that I have to have a lot of packing. I know I need to raise and re-level the platten, but haven’t done it yet. I have plans to do that this Wednesday. Does it make sense that this could be causing my problem, or does anyone else have any ideas? It’d be nice to have some other things to try in case raising the platten (thereby needing less packing) doesn’t solve the issue.

Many thanks!

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Be very careful.
The old saying was that there were two kinds of people who mess with platen screws.
Ones who really knew what they were doing, and fools.
I suppose one could add another catagory of the adventurous.
Something is quite wrong or way out of adjustment if your inked form is touching the tympan sheet with the throw off lever off impression.
With the motor off, close the press by hand. When closed, operate the throw off lever to see that you are really getting motion as viewd at the top of the rails. I haven’t measured it, but I would estimate that there should be at least 1/8” difference between open and closed. If not, your linkage is out of adjustment. It could be a whole lot more simple to correct than to mess with the platen screws.
You should not need the great amount of packing, nor need to raise the platen unless the last owner was printing very heavy stock and lowered the platen.
I am just over the hill from you and can be available after Christmas if you need more help.
Please don’t just start twisting things out of frustration.


Thanks Inky.
I’ll definitely take a look at the throw off lever. That makes a lot of sense to me. I’ve already had to remove my platten once to replace a bolt for the bail, so I’ve lost some of my intimidation about that because nothing changed in the way it printed afterwards.

I certainly have enough respect for the fussiness of the beast though to just start twisting things out of frustration, but I can appreciate the warning.

I’ll let you know if I figure it out Wednesday. If not, I won’t be back in town for another week to explore the problem.

Thanks so much for your advise.


Rebecca, re-levelling the platen should have been done right after replacing the platen assembly, and done properly, to a normal amount of packing. Don’t skip steps. It’s all covered in the standard texts.
Having looked at your press myself, I don’t recall any “adjustment to the throw-off linkage”, just fixed links, though I do have a vague memory of something odd about the mounting bolts. Do check that every piece is in place firmly and that each link moves the next without any lost motion.

The platen is level as it was before I removed the platen assembly and it requires tons of packing as it did before the platen was removed. I was afraid to fuss with it since it was level. Now that I have the time, I just need to deal with it.

I’ll level the platen first, and if that doesn’t work I’ll check the throw-off lever. The lever is the one part of the press that doesn’t move as easily as I think it should. It was super loose when I got it and now it’s workable, but not ideal.

If I can’t solve the problem myself, I’ll see when Eric might be free for another visit.


An update: I raised my platen so that it would require less packing and adjusted the throw-off lever. It’s printing very well now and not inking the tympan anymore when the lever is thrown off. What a relief!