Only one roller rising, skidding. Others fine.

Pray forgive the cross-post with Letpress: I need all the suggestions I can get. So thanks for reading! :)
This was a surprise for me.

My 10 x 15 C&P has three rollers, all of which are installed on the press. Yesterday, during a normal press run following a complete oiling, the lower roller in the double saddle began acting oddly. This is the first time I’ve had roller issues on this press.

On the way up the ink disk, the lower roller’s right side chatters, and on the downward trip, that roller raises its right side under the saddle as much as 1/2 inch. It’s not due to binding, ink grab, or lack of oil, all of which I have looked for.

The problem is consistent under inked and non-inked travel. The roller in the top saddle position does not rise with its mate. Nor does the bottom, single roller.

This behavior seems to point to truck issues, which is not a surprise to me. The previous owner, a friend, told me that when his rollers came they were too big for the trucks he had. He taped the trucks and all went well for several years. The press actually printed two runs yesterday and they turned out well— except for the occasional rise of that roller’s right side! Needless to say, I am not going to allow the problem to continue.

So my main issue is whether or not to replace the trucks or replace the rollers. They are composition and I am considering rubber because I have a (fairly) local supplier.

Comments, please? Suggestions?

== Marjorie Wilser

=:=:=:Three Toad Press:=:=:=

“Learn to laugh at yourself and you will never lack for amusement.” —MW

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A quick response. Can you take off the rollers and roll them on a flat surface? Watch the cores and if they stay in the same place, the rollers are in round. Composition does strange things.

Hi Marjorie,

I would try a process of elimination to try to isolate the offending issue. If you exchange the offending roller with its trucks with a roller and its trucks that is functioning correctly it will tell you if the problem is with the saddle/spring or truck/rollers. Once you know for sure where to look it should be easier to diagnose or spot the problem. If it is with the roller/trucks you can exchange trucks to further define the issue.


Marjorie, why would you listen to a “golden guy”, maybe cause he is right, i would guess that a journal is worn, but do as Jonh says and isloate the problem first. Dick G.

John, what baffles me is how suddenly this problem developed. The saddle spring should be OK— it holds the other roller in it down! :)

Ginko, thanks too. I’ll try that first, though I’m fairly sure there is no out-of-round issue. They worked fine, and suddenly didn’t.

Thanks, all for quick responses. Might have to wait til Tuesday for further testing: tomorrow a busy volunteer day.

Turned out the next time I printed with those rollers, they begin losing chunks from their main body! They utterly disintegrated. When I got out their box to ship them for recovering, I found to my surprise they were over 10 years old. Not bad for composition!

And I ordered composition again. I really like it better than rubber. My last comp. rollers lasted about 10 years, too, though they didn’t fail as dramatically as these did.

Thanks for the suggestions!


Late update on this problem! It came back!— but this time a printing friend was here. Between us we determined that worn roller saddles are the cause. They allowed the oversize rollers to bump into each other on the side with the most wear, making the lower right roller jump off its tracks! The saddles are now removed and I will get new ones fabricated.

Marjorie, i’ve seen some saddles that had metal welded inside then redrilled, it might be cheaper than having new ones made.