tympan moving on platen

I have a heidelberg t platen and I am finding that the tympan is lifting and moving around a bit. Should this happen? I have it held down with the rods, but it still seems to be lifting and bulging in the centre of the platen - HELP PLEASE - THANK YOU

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Hi Meaghan down under

A little movement is normal especially if the tympan is well used, but make sure it is packed properly and dont be afraid to take the rods out and tighten it. I know people who wet the the tympan before they put it on and it dries tight, but I never really needed to do that.

Maybe your tympan is loose because you are upside-down on the bottom of the world in Australia.

Packing a press is just another skill that you will get better at in time. When I started running windmills, it took years for me to master them, and there are still many days when it masters me.


How funny : ). Thanks for the laugh and the tips! I am just so pleased to read how helpful everyone is. - THANK YOU

Good comment above. Also, only the tympan is held by the tympan bales unless you have a “makeready” sheet. The packing lays flat and doesn’t fold over as the tympan does.

Billy has a good sense of humour :).

I have heard this a few times. A Makeready sheet doesn’t fold over the edges, so what is it and what is it made of? Do you print with it on the platen?


Make-ready was used when an especially long run with cuts, halftones, linotype and foundry cast type in the same form was being printed. Candidly, we usually spit on a piece of paper or tissue and slapped it behind the form to fine adjust impression.
Yes, a make ready base sheet may fold over at the bottom. You are looking to have a way to control the location of the “make-ready” that will remain the same regardless of how many times the tympan is released to add or remove packing. Make ready is prepared by taking an impression on a sheet of sulfite bond or similar. Pieces of bond or tissue are applied to that sheet in those areas that need more impression. (think collage). The make-ready is buried in the packing. We would stab the tympan with a knife to locate the corners of the make-ready location in the packing.
This is all probably more than you need to know at this point.