Plasistol ink??

I work at a screen printing shop, so I have access to a lot of plasistol ink, so I was wondering if it would work for letterpress? I’m not sure what it’s base is, I think rubber.

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Plastisol is PVC based and heat cured, keep it away from your letterpress.

I figured the 300 degree cure temp would have an effect haha thanks!

No. It wont. it’ll dry on the press. it’ll be too low tack to work properly and transfer easily to the type. It’ll basically create a situation which is difficult to clean up at best.

So, no.

Plastisol ink won’t dry-on press, it doesn’t dry by oxidization or solvent evaporation. The PVC cross-links under heat and bonds it to the substrate.

Still, never put it on a roller.

Would I be able to use some acrylic paint, or oil paint, or any other substitutes for letterpress ink?

You have a job, so fork over the $25 for a can of real ink and avoid the headaches and bad results…

Haha, alright alright, I just want to know if they’re any cheaper options since i’m just beginning and don’t want to waste a bunch of ink when it’s not cheap

Go rubber-based. There are no real options other than oil, rubber and soy based inks, as well as litho inks for printmaking. Rubber isn’t much more expensive than the others (sometimes cheaper) and will involve the least waste as it guarantees the least skinning in the can and stays open well on-press.

I know that you said you had access to the stuff because you work at a shirt shop, but rubber or oil based inks are much cheaper than anything else you could possibly find. One pound is gonna run about $25 as has been said, which is way less than screen printing ink, oil or acrylic paint.

For certain pigments of ink, I have to pay $300 a gallon for screen ink…



Ordinarily I wouldn’t be so cantankerous about an answer, but I think you’re wrong in this case (or at least incorrect) with regard to one technical issue about most (if not almost all) plastisol ink.

If you’re using rubber rollers and a letterpress, the plastisol will most certainly dry out on press and become unworkable.
It’s made of a pvc based pigmented powder, thus the “plasti” part of things, and a solvent which evaporates at a certain temperature.

yes, the beauty of plastisol is that it is supposed to keep from drying in the screen, and only CURE when it is heated to the appropriate temperature- because the solvent won’t EVAPORATE below a certain temp.

HOWEVER- there is another way it will dry (though not cure). By Absorption. The solvent will absorb into some rubber form rollers and create a part of the ink that is set, but not cured. This creates printing problems.

So, to nerd out a little bit and provide a more detailed answer (which, by the way, stems from experience- I have put this stuff on rubber rollers that are meant for printmaking, though never on a letterpress), I reiterate my previous statement- don’t do it.

Also- the 300 dollar a gallon ink- was that a heat reactive color phase ink? Or the luminescent electrically conducting ink? Or regular glow in the dark?

Rubine red solvent based ink, Nazdar 9700, all purpose. A very common ink, uncommonly expensive. Nothing fancy about it. I am in Canada, so if you live more centrally to manufacture (the US) it may come down $50-100.

Did not know that about plastisol, won’t mix with rubber. I’ve kept it on screens for months without any drying.

The famous Red Nazdar, I have heard stories about that stuff.

That’s funny, rubine red ink is what got me thinking about letterpressing with it. My boss recieved a few samples and they were in a good quantity for my hobbyist use. I found a place that sells cans of offset ink, which i’ve been told is good for letterpress. And I can get red, green, blue, opaque white, and black, for a little over $50. I’m really okay with that price

Look in the May Metal Type Newsletter, in the Classified section. There is a notice about the May issue, and a link to it, posted on Briar Press today. There is a person in Ohio selling offset ink for $5 a pound. (I have to assume they are in Ohio, USA).

I am selling a quantity of 5.25 lb. cans of offset ink @ $2/lb. Contact me from my Briar Press contact info for a list of available colors.

I sent you an email, emthree. I’m very interested in buying some ink for you.