Inking up my windmill

Hey guy,

I have a 13 x 18 windmill (1953), ive just started out with letterpress and have been doing a few test runs before our first order which is due end of this month. I just wanted to ask, we will be doing short runs i.e. 70 - 150 invitations so ive been testing it out with just inking using the form rollers and ink drum. Is this okay for the short runs or should i still be lowering the other rollers.


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For short runs I use the form rollers and the rubber distributer roller. I put ink on the steel dist. roller and ink the drum without engaging the form rollers. I engage the form rollers when the ink looks good on the drum. When the form rollers are inked good test print. If more ink is needed add to steel dist.roller when press is not running.
Best to add ink away from the image and let it slowly move to the image.

Okay thanks, i havnt been wanting to use the distributor rollers as when it comes to clean up i have to take out and clean each roller individually because i cant for the life of me get the washup to work nicely.

Even with washup, I still have to clean the distributor rollers a bit. For a short run of 75-150, you can probably get away with just the form and main ink drum. Watch your coverage though. You’ll probably have to add little dabs of ink during the run to keep the coverage somewhat even.

Be very careful running that press. They can be dangerous to the inexperienced operator. The grippers can slice you, getting to close. (Wear a Baseball cap, if the gripper hits the bill your too close.)

thanks for the replies, jonsel, okay im going to give it a go using the distributor rollers and again without just to see what works best for me. Theo, yes they can be very dangerous, im just starting with letterpress but have done multiple jobs with die cutting so im starting to get my bearings with the machine and knowing where and where not to be!

oh 1 last thing, how accurate is the ink estimator on Vanson’s site? i put in what my average job would most likely be and it gave 10grams. Is this realistic ? it was for a 8” x 8” 50% coverage (maximum) single sided.