How to clean tympan after initial test print

I have a Golding Jobber platen press. It’s much easier to set a job up for printing if I run an initial impression of it onto the tympan: using that impression I can set up my gauge pins much more easily.

What’s the best way to clean the ink from the tympan after that initial impression so that it doesn’t print on the reverse side of my job when I start printing?

I’ve read suggestions to simply wipe the ink off with a clean rag, but all this seems to do for me is smear ink around and not solve the issue.

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Clean it with a little press wash, you can also use baby powder, only problem with baby powder is it seems to create static. I don’t use tympan instead i use a coated sheet in its place, the ink wipes off much easier.

If typewash doesn’t remove it (or other quick-drying solvent such as lighter fluid), and baby powder or cornstarch doesn’t absorb it, I would suggest using a white vinyl eraser. Just don’t let the crumbs get into the form or the inking system.
What works best depends on the specific make of the tympan material. Some is more repellant, some more absorbent.

In the olden days in school, I was taught to make the impression on the tympan sheet to measure for and set the pins. Then clean with type wash and powder with talcom. Emphasis was made to resist blowing the talcom away and on to the form and rollers.
Today I tape a piece of #20 to the tympan sheet and make an impression on that. I make the margin marks on that sheet and extend the lines to the tympan sheet. Then I remove the #20 sheet, complete the margin marks and set the pins.
Voila! Clean tympan sheet.

If you cover your entire tympan sheet with clear mylar sticker paper, before mounting on the platen, the ink wipes RIGHT OFF no problem with nothing but a tissue. A little talc on there eases any possible leftover residue.

Wash the tympan with Denatured Alcohol, it evaporates quickly and keeps the offset sheets down to a minimum. Don’t rub too vigorously, for some reason it penetrates the tympan sheet more than other solvents, and the sheet can peel.


I’ve found acetone takes care of it very quickly.

I use a Water miscible I get from,

if you have to use a solvent, NAPHTA Works the same, less harmfull to your health and it doesn’t dry out your skin.

Printing on the tympan has been problematic for me. Even careful cleaning with type or roller wash followed by talcum, I still get a number of waste copies with slight setoff.

I use a slightly different method than inky. I put a clean scrap sheet of paper on the tympan but lock it under the top tympan bale and print on that; then mark the margins on the scrap. Then I tear off the scrap along the margins with a metal straight edge and set my gauge pins along the edges of the scrap. If it looks like I’ll need a hanger sheet for makeready, I can cut aligning notches in the scrap and tympan otherwise I’ll just remove the scrap. With a little practice, adjustments after this step are minimal.

A few months ago I posted a hint on getting your work imposition.
Aside from the reaction from some “purists” that took exception to my calling it makeready I think you who’ll find the post helpful. It also avoids the need to clean the tympan, unless you mis-feed and hit the tympan by mistake.