12x18 C&P Craftsman Inking Issue

Hello everyone,
I am hoping you guys might be able to help me. I am having an inking issue, where it is inking heavier at the top of my print then it is on the bottom. I have tried everything I can think of to try to fix this— Adjusting rails(by adjusting bolts), Taping rails, New Delrin trucks, new rollers, adjusting packing, switching ink, relocking up form, different paper. I am printing with a polymer plate on a deep impression box car base. My rails are slightly worn.
ANY help or advice anyone could give would be much appreciated. I am going a bit crazy since I’m not being able to solve the issue.

Also, if any of you are in the atlanta/north georgia area and would be willing to help please let me know (I’d be so grateful and more than happy to pay for gas)

Thanks in advance,

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Let me get this straight - the *inking* is heavier, but not the *impression*?

Do you have a circular-style type-high gauge to measure the distance from rollers to bed? Is it the same distance at the top of the bed as the bottom?

Good printing begins with proper inking. If the inking is not correct, no amount of cursing or messing with the packing will help. You speak of the top of the print as being heavily inked. We do not know which way your plate is in the chase so we do not know if the top of the print is made at the bottom of the platen or at the top. Perhaps what you call top is to the left or right. You know what you mean, but we are not sure yet.
Clean form and put in press. Hand roll the press to bring the inked rollers up over the form, but not all the way up to the ink disk. Roll down and remove the chase. Examine the form carefully. If it is not well and uniformly inked, you know what the problem is. I prefer to solve the problem rather than treat the symptom. However, you may get the job through the press by shimming up the base at the edge or end that is not inking well. This will bring the plate/form closer to the rollers. Unlock the form and put a piece of copy paper under the weak end/edge of the base. Re-lock the form. Hand cycle the press to get new ink on the rollers.
Place chase in press and hand roll an impression as above.
Examine and see if you made progress.
Your real problem which you must solve for good printing very likely lies in uneven roller height resulting from uneven rail height.

If the length of your image is greater than the roll length of your rollers and you have no rider roller up on your ink train you will have to resort to double inking ,however without a rider roller to carry extra ink you are swimming up stream. This assuming you have a level forme that has even roller to plate contact .

Try adjusting the top and bottom setting knobs to level the bed to the platen…. oh yeah, we did that didn’t we??? (inside joke). This machine does not have an adjustable platen. There are two adjusting knobs - one at the left behind the flywheel and one under the ink disc. The one behind the flywheel adjusts the pivot shaft at the bottom of the base. On this press, the shaft is an eccentric. This adjustment controls the relationship between the bottom of the type base and the platen.
The adjuster under the ink disk adjusts the main shaft (that the arms are attached to) which controls the relationship of the top of the type base to the platen.
This is really great for fine tuning your pressures without having to spot pack or mess with leveling screws on the platen.
The biggest “ohya” was figuring out just what these adjusters were for.
Save me some samples of the job please, and thanks for the coffee!!!

Thank you all for your help. It turns out that my c & p has a Knob behind the ink platen. This knob was super stuck and neither I or the guy I bought the press from knew it existed. But once we figured out it adjusted the top half of the platen, it was like cake. This didn’t show up in the metal sorts I had been printing, and then the other plates because I was printing more center-bottom center to the bottom. Before buying this press I had only printed in share spaces, and the c&p was a regular old style, treddle press. Needless to say i now know all of the big differences about my press after that job:) Thank you all again for all of your help!