Advice on old inks stock

Hi there,

Some months ago I purchased a custom made lever press manufactured by the Dutch letterpress society (Drukwerk in de Marge) and now I got some second hand cans of Van Son oil based and Quickson inks. The thing is some of the cans haven’t been opened in years and some are them are thickening and drying up.

Can you advise me on what medium or additive to add to them make them less thick? Would linseed oil work?

Thanks in advance.

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That company makes tack-reducers (Smooth Lith is one of them), and these tend to reduce the tack of the ink/make it a little more workable. I wouldn’t try linseed oil at first, though in a pinch it could work. Un-boiled or raw linseed oil is the wrong stuff, though- It is fugitive and not the correct viscosity for printing inks. It might thin them but the ink will likely fox or yellow the paper around printed areas, especially heavier deposits, s the linseed oil may separate from the rest of the ink body after the thicker oils set.

Try a small drop of boiled linseed oil. A printing ink scientist told me some years ago to add a small drop to litho ink when using it for letterpress printing.

Ramiro, the press wasn’t made by Drukwerk in de Marge, but by some of the members… Instead of fiddling with old inks, buy one can of good quality oil base black ink, this one for instance:
You can also pop in and I’ll fill a can for you!

Hi there,

Thanks to all for the advices.

@Thomas, yes you are right. My ‘budget press’ was an initiative of a few members. About the old inks: they were dirty cheap! Why to discard them? Many of the cans were never opened. And thanks for you generosity.