Sticky Ink = Horrible Print

Just got an order of Van Son Quickson Pro ink. Never used oiled based inks before. The ink is thick like taffy, and snaps and crackles when inking up my disk. (Pilot press). I called Van Son, they thought the ink may be too cold, so i brought it up to room temp 71 degrees with no change… As you would assume it made for “clumpy” impressions and filled in counters.

Any thoughts?

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add some canola oil to a tablespoon of ink (about one drop of canola oil) to thin it up, should help out.

It may be too much ink and it may be that you just haven’t worked the ink onto rollers evenly enough. You need to get the ink smooth, even and as little ink as you can to get a good print.

Updated. thanks for your input… still looking for a solution though…

the ink almost has an “orange peel” texture on the disk and rollers… is this a sign of too much ink?


Assuming that your rollers are fully serviceable (no residue of solvent or “tack” to the roller surface ….a good, reciprocal relationship between rollers and ink) try Van Son’s ink extender in small amounts. Are you opposed to the Van Sons rubber based ink? Consider Gans Letterpress formula ink, specify tack, and they will compound for you.
You will become spoiled with this product. More expensive but no grief.

I have new rollers and trucks on the way to eliminate the possibility of that as the issue.

I am not opposed to rubber-based inks… I have just been told that the oil-based ink is better for fine detailed printing. Opinion please…

When you say specify tack, what have you found to be the optimum as I am going to try testing some Gans ink if the rollers and trucks don’t solve the issue…

i fixed it!!! too much ink and or bad trucks… thank you all for your help.

You are using the wrong ink. Van Son Quickson is formulated for use on mid-size to large offset presses—it is not suitable for a pilot press. Van Son CML oil base ink is the suitable oil based ink from this manufacturer for your press.