Speedball gray lino block is our lino of choice, stands up well, but lately, noticed that the edges of some cuts stop inking after 20 or 30 impressions (10x15 platen). At first, thought it was because we are giving the lino an over-abundance of pressure, thought perhaps to the point of crushing the thinner detail, but it doesn’t seem to be the reason, since the blind impression is still even, and rollers are touching the lino. Hunch is that the surface of the lino has degraded and is not grabbing the ink (rubber based).
Trying to think of a way to “McGyver” the lino surface to just get a few more prints out of it. Everything from putting a little primer on the linocut surface spot in question, to lightly sanding the surface of the problem area (that seems like it may make it worse). Admittedly, I also thought of brushing the spot with crazy glue & allowing it to dry and then trying again. Or allowing a layer of acrylic to dry on the plate. I’m embarrassed to confess that brushing a small covering of nail polish also occurred to me. Of course, it would come off with the next round of cleaning/solvent, but might work for one run? It’s an area of about 1/8” square (very approximately).
We can re-carve it, but, well, you know *SIGH*.
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p.s. have tried turning the plate, and shimming it slightly with tissue, then thin tape on the back etc to make sure the problem spot was in fact the plate, and not packing, or roller height.
Hey, just a quick thought, not sure it will help- but could eliminate a possibility at least.
What do you use to/how are you cleaning your blocks?
Is it possible solvents or oils are in the ‘cracks’ or negative areas, or left on the edges of the block?
Lino is porous, and I’ve seen it do funny things when it’s soaked up solvents, and then leaked residue..
I work with large format lino blocks and wind up using Kerosene to clean them, as it’s oily and doesn’t attack the boiled down linseed oil/cork that is Lino, so it works well- but sometimes I have to thoroughly wipe the block down and then wait a couple days before I can really print with it again. I’m using oil base inks; however, rubber base can be real finicky when it comes to sticking to anything greasy/oily.
(So if that is a problem, another thing you might consider is actually chalking/talcing the block, and buffing it off; then ink up again.)
This makes sense. Thankfully plate has had some drying days, so may work today. We use cali wash bit will think about kerosine in future. Don’t have any talc or chalk. What would you suggest? Thank you so much.
Can be an idea to degrease lino with meths…..if the lino is not mounted glued on a block yet it may deform as it hardens up….hence people cut it when slightly warmer on a hot plate…if it is to be mounted use a nipping press to ensure it dries flat to the backing mount…..a good block of Ply or MDF should be ok.People have sanded lino as it can be a bit grainy…….a light scrub with pumice powder can be OK too.
Thanks all, it printed just fine today. Suspect solvent was in the lino before.
When I don’t have any talc or chalk, I find baby powder works fine, and its usable for stiffening up ink as well! Smells nice too !!