Heidelberg washup

Lead Graffiti’s recent post (http://www.briarpress.org/39325) along with some comments on washup times got me thinking I’m doing something completely wrong. Someone suggested washup with a good blade should take no more than a couple minutes. It usually takes me at least 30 minutes and it’s incredibly tedious, especially cleaning the form rollers. I’ve seen lots of discussions on different types of solvent, but I’m looking for more detail. Anyone care to share their step-by-step process for Windmill cleanup?

I usually use either Odorless Mineral Spirits or California Wash. I run the press at a low speed, insert the washup blade and then pour solvent over the various parts of the ink train. I then remove the blade, clean it off and repeat the process, usually about 3 times. Then I go about cleaning off each individual roller with solvent and cloths. This is the tedious part.

What do others do?

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I don’t use the washup Blade, I stick a sheet of card board under the ink train, spritz Hydroblend from ICCOMPOUNDCO.com on the ink train and drum and wipe down with same, ditto for the form rollers, 1.5 rags, 15+ minutes and ready to roll.

The washup blade & sludge tray do not usually need to be removed until the end of the day, even with many color changes.

Typically the washup blade is locked into the press, so that the handle with ball cannot be lifted while ink is in use and the tray cannot slide out and collide with the roller arms.

At color change the lock is lifted, after that with the press running slowly, wash is dribbled on the rollers and drum until they start to slip, then the washup handle is lifted so the blade wipes off the drum and the rollers all turn. Repeat as needed to clean the ink train & forme rollers. There is usually a very small amount of thinned ink on the end edges of the forme rollers which can be wiped off with a rag. Rails and index panel are wiped of any splash.

The fountain is usually cleaned separately. The sludge tray and blade should be cleaned daily to keep ink from building up on the blade which will interfere with the blade’s ability to clean.

My washup blade doesn’t lock into place, but it’s also not in the way of the roller arms. I was told not to leave it in place during a run, but I’m hearing from others that it’s fine to do so.

My rollers don’t lock in place at the top (or at least not in a way that I can figure out), so maybe that’s why they take so long to clean.

ScottMc suggested I try a spray bottle instead of the squeeze bottle, so I’m going to give that a shot.

The manual has a thorough description of the process with pictures… “The entire process takes about 60 seconds.”

That’s about right, when things are working properly, plus another minute to wipe the leftover drips, etc.

Spray bottles will work with mineral spirits, but not kerosene.

I’ve found that cleaning the ink train with kerosene first helps cut the ink buildup quickly, so I don’t need to use a lot of mineral spirits for the final cleanup. Also, applying and washing up one side at a time, so the remaining ink provides friction to keep the rollers turning.

If you are washing the fountain, you may find the fountain ball won’t roll over all the way (a heavy spot), so it may need a push to go around.

It is rare for a washup to take more than 5 minutes.