Impression and Inking ! Windmill

Hey guys,

Okay i posted a few days ago and it was said i must have a look at my makeready, so i have and im able to get a much clearer print now (i realized my impression was too high causing a blurry print) now i cant get a nice clean print but as soon as i increase the impression (not going for DEEP impression) but im using a nice thick soft paper so it should give me some impression. Im using a hard packing and im pretty dam sure my packing rollers and inking is good.

So…the only thing i can think of is that the plate is not hard enough to handle the impression and is “squishing” but its harder than the plates boxcar supplies so i highly doubt thats the issue…the paper im using is Zeta Linen 320gsm (supplied by Antalis in South Africa).

Any help would be much appreciated as ive had to push the deadline of this order already….


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My initial thought is you’re overinking. Photos would really be helpful, though. If you can host them somewhere so we can see larger versions than Briar Press typically allows, that’s even better.

thank for the reply jonsel…sorry im running around here so ive just taken a quick photo you can see the bottom right is good, but the rest alot bolder and blurry(cant really tell from the picture) i dont think this is from uneven impression though because if i lower the impression it all prints perfectly….

image: Invite.jpg


Which is the orientation of the form on press? Is it the left side or bottom of the photo? Because of the way a Windmill inks, you can have uneven inking across the form, so it could be overinked on one side and better on the other. Most of the right side looks ok, at least as far as I can tell from the photo. This could also need more makeready/packing.

Hi Jonsel…the plate is positioned exactly how you see the photo. I feel like an idiot….ive wiped some ink off the press and results are 1000 times better now, small adjustments to my make ready and i should be good to go ! (crossed fingers !!) ive been up since 5:00am this morning trying to resolve this problem…well its taught me a lesson haha, im quite frustrated though as the operator didnt pick this up when he was here to do the order…

anyway, ill play around a little more and post when i come right…or wrong haha

I’ve been working with my Windmill for about 4 years now and I’m still learning. There are innumerable little adjustments you learn to make and watch for as you keep doing projects on it. I was terrified of running the press myself for at least a year! I’m much more comfortable with it now, obviously, but it just takes time and practice to learn all of it’s little intricacies.

ive feel in love with my machine, im still new to it though, got the press last year October and have been die cutting/scoring/perforating nicely, found that quick easy to get used to, much different story with letterpress though haha i came in all confident and it quickly showed me how many little techniques and and skill that is needed…Im going in early again tomorrow early to try get it finished, only a qty of 70 so crossing fingers haha will post a picture of the finished item ! it also had an embossed border and monogram but that i completed successfully, made sure i have 20 spare embossed just in case :P

WOOP ! completed my first letterpress order today ! on cloud nine haha, i just have a couple of questions though, i had to skip feed ( gotta keep concentrated with that ! ) is there any perticular reason i had to skip feed ? and way around this ? Also how long did i need to leave these to dry before i can go and cut them down to size ? Im using Vanson Black Oil Based. Next cans i get will be rubber based though.

See picture :)

image: Letterpress-1.jpg


why change your ink, if the oil base ink works well for you! I only use oil based inks myself, as I find that the rubber based inks take longer to dry…

main reason i want to go to rubber based is i don’t always have time to clean the press right after a job/or the same day, as letterpress is just 1 of the many services we offer and theres only two of us doing the production…that doesnt mean im going to be leaving the ink on the machine for days but at least overnight so i can come in the next morning a bit earlier to clean it.

Looks nice in the photo! Why were you skip feeding? Ink density? Maybe try adding a little more ink at a time to get to the right tone. It’s a fine line, as you have probably figured out, between the right color and overinking.

I use oil-based inks and I tend to allow my projects to dry overnight before cutting. Occasionally I’ll give them two days if there’s a lot of ink coverage, but you should be fine overnight. I’ve used rubber-based once before and the business cards offset onto the backs of the other cards even two weeks later when I had them cut down, so I avoid it all costs!

Picholas, stay with the oilbase ink, rubberbase never dries completely, can not use on coated sheets either. As for leaving on the press overnite or longer, try running oil on the rollers and inkplate let it run a minute or two and away you go. Also depending on your ink you can start-up in the morning running again if you didn’t use too much oil. It is a trial and error thing. It will work I’ve done it for over 35 years, I print for a living

Thanks for the replies, i think its because im not using the fountain and because of the issue with over inking before im nervous to put too much on haha

Thanks for the advice on the inks i think i will stick wkth oil based then :) cheaper aswell, and i have a 5lb (2.5kg) tub lol