Thinning old ink?

Hello everyone,

I recently purchased a 8x12 ns C&P I got a lot of ink from the previous owner but most of it seems very thick, I would say slightly less thick then salt water taffy. I had to buy new rollers and trucks with the press and was wondering if there is some way i can save my self some money and thin out the ink? it hasn’t dried up but it seems to thick to spread well.

Thank you.

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If its rubber base you can use tack reducer.

Put some of the stiff ink on whatever you are using for a mixing pallette and add printer’s varnish a few drops at a time. Mix well.

Thank you for your help, I’m not sure if it is rubber or oil yet I will have to check when I’m at home when i’m mixing in the solvents, what texture should I shoot for? I have no fresh ink to compare to so anything as a reference would be nice.


Question # 1 is: have you tried to print from the inks you have as they are? That is where I would start. It is difficult to give you a good reference as to how resistant to flow an ink should be, but roughly it should be much more viscuous than honey, but certainly not as much as taffy. If you are not familiar with working with ink, you maybe are just expecting a ooser consistency. It may work fine as is.

Inky’s suggestion is right on the money, use ink varnish, but in lieu of that, what can you use? Without knowledge of what you have available, or at hand, I would suggest you try a couple small drops of mineral spirits to loosen up about a tablespoonful of ink. As little as that may get the ink flowing better without much effect on the drying characteristics.

Try the ink first and see if will work as is. If rubber base, you may not be able to revive the ink, and might be better to obtain new. In reality, that is the first suggestion anyone should give you, buy new, but I know where you are “coming from” in wanting to reduce your initial expenditures.