Composition rollers

I’ve been printing for a couple of years on a Pilot and am self-taught. I only use metal type and a bit of wood type. I’ve used only composition rollers.
Question 1- Who is selling composition rollers as I’d like to try someone new?…..or…..
Question 2- Do I really need to stick with composition since I’m using exclusively metal and wood type? I understand rubber rollers to be more stable.
Question 3- Kerosene or mineral spirits to clean the comp. rollers?
Question 4-How do I get rid of the lint that plagues me no matter which solvent or type of rag I use?

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You don’t say where you are, but if in the US I suggest getting Ramco rubber rollers and don’t look back — you will love them. And they won’t change size on you. (Not a share-holder :-)

When I ran composition rollers I used a mixture of kerosene and white gas/Coleman fuel and never had any trouble — and I used the same mix on rubber rollers as well. Now, due to the difficulty getting white gas in Costa Rica I’ve switched to mineral spirits, and still no problems.

I have not had the lint problem — I use old worn T-shirts for my washup rag, and they’ve been through the wash and dryer many times, so not much lint at all. You also may want to make a folded pad of the rag when wiping your type, as the type will grab any loose fibers and they’ll be there the next time you use that type. I try to use a smooth rag surface well-stuffed with the wadded-up rag remainder.


I am in VA. Thank you for these tips, Bob. If I make the switch to rubber, do I just carry on as normal without making any changes to my setup/cleanup/oil base ink, etc?
Are there any differences that I should expect to experience while printing?

I lived in VA for many years and experienced the humidity and drying, the main factor in the problems with composition rollers. With rubber you will have rollers that stay the same size all year, reducing inking problems. Set up and cleanup should become easier. I use oil base ink now, but I used rubber base earlier, and my cleanup procedures did not have to change. Ramco rollers have a ground surface which is smooth but not shiny like the cast surface of composition rollers, but they seem to me to take the ink the same way. I think you will be fine with your current practices.