Tricks to cleaning a double disk ink plate

Hi, I have a C&P 8x12 Old Style that has a double disc ink plate. Every now and then ink gets in between the two discs and dries up. When I go to do the next job some of the dried up ink from my previous job comes out leaving streaks. Any help would be very much appreciated!

LOL Letterpress

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Nice looking press.
Did you do the restoration?


Thanks Paul, I’ll give that a try.

Thanks Jim, The restoration was done by DeFelice Engineering.



I have a bit of slop in the bottom gear of the ink table so I just push up on the bottom gear and the center of the disk lifts up enough to clean the edges a bit. it doesn’t seem to interfere with the operation of the gear mechanism and the two parts of the ink table turn properly in opposite directions.

I still need to periodically disassemble the ink table by removing the bottom gear and lifting the center disk out for a thorough clean. That really only takes a short time once a year; but then I don’t print all that much.

Did I read that right? The inner section moves in the opposite direction from the outer ring on the ink disk? Very interesting. Ron

Yes, the two sections move in different directions. Often, the gear has been removed, because apparently printers thought they were more trouble than they were worth. My press has the two-piece disk, but the gear is gone so it functions as a solid disk.



Yes. The sections rotate in opposite directions. It was thought this would distribute the ink faster around the disk. It doesn’t and in a commercial setting it wouldn’t be worth the extra cleanup effort, especially when moving from a darker color to a lighter one. But I’m a hobby printer and I had all the necessary pieces excepting the pawl (which is on the shaft of the inner disk. I had a machine shop put in a new one for about $10 to restore this function of my ink table. The press had come out of a local middle school and obviously they hadn’t thought it worth the extra effort. But luckily they hadn’t thrown out the gears as so many other had done. It’s fun to see operate, and worth the extra effort in cleanup for me just to watch it run as I’m treadling and feeding.

I agree Arie, it is fun to see operate. It really doesn’t take much to clean it now that I know it raises up slightly. Thanks for the feedback.



Guess it could have a selling point to be able to say look at this brand new idea for distributing ink better and we’re the only ones to have it. Wonder how many actually went for it? Ron

Split ink tables (or at least the remnants of one) are fairly common on C&P presses. I’d say about 1/3 of the presses I’ve seen had one.

Well, we learn something new everyday. Never too old to learn. Ron