Ghosting on C&P

Hi There,

I’m printing stationery on our C&P. Every 25 prints the left side starts ghosting on one letter and then over the next few prints it starts to fade over the entire impression area. Then, slowly, the plate area starts to print fully again.

We adjusted the roller height on the left side by removing some electrical tape and it seemed to help.

Does anyone have additional tips for adjusting roller height on a C&P? Or tips to avoid ghosting?


Log in to reply   6 replies so far

any pics would help, but it sounds like a low spot in the roller causing ink starvation.

Probably two or three low areas on successive rollers; they are falling into register and then moving out. Your ghost may actually be there intermittently and not be noticeable until they line up. Also, out-of-round rollers can do this, too. On the stone, put a couple pieces of 10x50 pica furniture and roll the ends of the rollers along them slowly. Any out-of-round or flat spots ought to be apparent. While you have them out, check them for proper diameter. You might be surprised at what you discover.

There are lots of previous posts on this problem with pictures. I had experience with it. What you will probably find is that it is rotational, in that it starts to disappear in one spot and then gradually works its way up or down the form until it disappears as the rollers get to an optimal position where the low spots are in sync. Then it will begin to appear again, and progress as before.
Frank’s comments are spot on. Either uneven roller heights, (possibly caused by unevenly set Morgan expansion trucks), or as Frank says rollers that are out of round.
Some short-term solutions, flip one or two of the rollers left to right, or flip the form so that the gap is in a non-image area of the form.
If the rollers are not truly round, or the trucks are adjustable and at different diameters, it means that the rollers are running at different speeds. Eventually, the truck/roller needs to catch up and will drag across the type/plate, causing a squeegee-like wiping of the ink.
Another possibility it if the trucks are loose at all on the nibs on the roller cores a momentary slippage occurs when they reverse direction, this can cause a wiping slur as well.
Best solution: treat yourself and your press to a new set of rollers and trucks.
Good luck,
Steve V

PS: Got mine last year from Todds Press Time, oh, my God I should have done that sooner.

That is very interesting. I hadn’t thought much about the rollers being low in some areas. We’ve probably printed 2-3 weeks on average with this press for the last three years since we had them recovered.
How long do people normally go between putting new rubber on the rollers?

If I was doing commercial work, I’d be getting new rollers once a year at least. As a hobbyist, I’ve used my Vandercook rollers for five. I think storage conditions and what you use to maintain it has just as big an impact as age.

I’ve nursed my C&P composition rollers for ~15 years, but they’re starting to fail - divots and low spots are the first sign. I already have replacements in case I need them… (sadly, not composition).