ink skin

A quick search didn’t yield the answer, so I’m asking it here…please pardon if it’s a no-brainer as I am of little brain in the letterpress world. ;)
Just from the experience of preventing skin forming on pudding and ice cream by placing a piece of plastic or parchment paper directly in contact with the top of the liquid prior to storing it, I’m wondering if this might translate to ink in a can.
Might the skin that usually forms cause less waste than that which would stick to the plastic and not be recoverable?

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Hi, yes exactly right. First never “dig” the ink with the ink knife, scrape it from the surface of the ink with circular motions. That keeps the ink surface flat with the least exposure to air. We used tympan paper to cover the surface if the original paper was gone. We used the sharp edge of the lid to cut the paper to size. Dick

Some ink companies will sell oiled paper to lay upon the ink surface after use to prevent skinning with little “ears” to make it easier to pick the paper off the surface. As Dick mentioned, oiled tympan paper is a good substitute, and readily available in most shops. Before you throw away that old tympan sheet, cut off some for use in this way.

I bought a box of the pre-cut papers from Daniel Smith a number of years ago, and they still carry them on their website:
J Henry

Well in my case I have always stored my regular ink in my meat locker and my good ink in a my walk-in humidor. In high altitudes I use a root cellar in the winter through fall and in the cusp of those season I bring my all my ink out to breathe.

I must mention that all my ink does have a thick coating of mutton tallow that fills to the brim to seal air out of the container.

If I have problems with skinning even after all that, but is most not likely. I will take the container and turn it upside down and let it slide out like a tin of cranberry sauce. This is most easily done in tropical climes because of the relative humidity. Just keep an eye on your barometer.

thanks so much! the oiled tympan paper sounds like a good thing to do. of course, now i’m wondering what kind of oil…does it matter?

and, though i have neither a meat locker nor a humidor (nor any high altitudes, root cellars, or mutton tallow, come to think of it) ;) i do think the can tipping idea has just entered stage right into this discussion…
after all, i keep my peanut and almond butters upside down to keep the oil-buildup on the non-business end of the jar, would the concept translate to ink cans’ skin-prevention as well?

I just bought a spray from Xpedx to deter the skinning. Will let you know how it works.

Hi, tympan is oiled. It is a bit redundant to say oiled tympan, although it is frequently referred to as such.. Ink is relatively stiff and shouldn’t be so fluid that it would run if the can was inverted. D

printmaster45, gosh who in there right mind would take you seriously? Meat lockers are 40 degrees F
I print everyday at 7000 ft should I get a root cellar? I have been printing for 30 plus years and have never seen ink slide out of a can like cranberry sauce. Letting ink breathe? Per chance
do a spool for your yarn? james

Not all tympan is oiled. The oiled sheets were made for the top sheet or draw sheet, and the non-oiled was for packing and underlay, but still called tympans. I use linson paper, which is a bookbinding cover paper, for the tympans on my hand press and they are not oiled, nor would oiled sheets work in that instance. So as not to stray too far off topic, I knew a printer who would pour water on top or his ink to keep it from hardening and pour it off to get to the ink.

I was taught to take tissue paper, coat it with oil and place it on top of the ink. Then use your finger to work the air bubbles out. We used to do this on our Meihle V-50 ink fountain.

Next morning remove the sheet and press was ready to go.