Heidelberg platen

Has anyone ran their platen with just one form roller? I tried with one roller and turned by hand and it seems do able. I need to cut away sections of a roller for a numbering job and don’t want to cut up more rollers than I have to. Any comments/advice?

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I have indeed seen video of it being done, even though I have no experience with it myself- I actually have also seen them before on Ebay as well…

One thing I would recommend- leaving a couple of solid pieces at the ends of the roller so that the roller doesn’t tilt off balance when it is being agitated by the ink drum?

So I take it no one has tried running with only one form roller

For numbering I did use one form roller with one bare roller core with trucks. I would not use only one roller on the Heidelberg. Does not give enough tension against the centrifugal force. This core is the leftover from the “environmentally friendly roller meltdown”. The trucks don’t have to fit the diameter, he-he, they are not even the same size.
I think that the Chinese made form rollers, with the rubber removed from them would be an excellent choice for this application!!! Otherwise they are no good for anything.

image: roller_core.jpg


Original Heidelberg form rollers. No one makes them like they used to make. Last time I have checked ( 10 years ago ), they were $400 from Heidelberg. Notice the outer layer of 2mm harder rubber, black in colour. It is more noticeable in the picture on the brayer roller I made from it. The inner layer is a spongey soft rubber, dark brown in colour. It is a “composite” roller all right, as in; it is composed of two different natural rubber layers!!! A wear resistant outer layer and a soft pliable inner layer.


image: original_Heidelberg_form_roller.jpg


Mike, if any of these would “fit the bill”, you are welcome to borrow them.

image: available_rollers.jpg


Thanks Louie. I have quite a few rollers that will fit the bill.

I spent years on these machines numbering using cornerstone numbering boxes. I don’t understand why you are thinking of cutting the rollers. They should be perfectly OK if the roller height is set correctly. Make sure the rollers don’t skid and they should roll over the numbering box without doing any damage to them. I have never seen anyone cut the rollers as these photos show.
If you are cutting them then you are doing it wrong.

Caxton I think he wants to do something like number and score in the same run, or some other operation that doesn’t involve ink, to be efficient

caxton rollers have been getting cut for years especially for the higher end jobs. However the question was about using one roller. I recently used some Chinese/india rollers that were too hard and the digit closest to the plunger was not getting ink the solution was to use an old beat up roller to get ink on the digits. All settings are correct so skidding and roller stripe is not an issue. In my situation a new aftermarket offshore roller is about $85 but it is $110 to recover an original Heidelberg roller. So to cut away some junk roller to get ink on all the digits is an effective solution.

parallel_imp you made reference to this last November. Too bad I didn’t read it then.

Caxton, I think most operators on windmills do this to thier rollers. I believe if you haven’t had to do as Mike, myself and others, 1. Your rollers are perfect duramater and never get hard. 2. you haven’t run the press long enough to run into every scenario and nightmare job out there. So lets not throw shade on us that cut rolls. Have a nice day!


regular runs of 85-140k Thanks but I am not concerned with damaging a roller at all the question was about just using one roller and that has been answered by Louie and Bernie
A press is just a tool carrier when it comes down to it.
Now for the shrapnel