Plate inking on Kelsey 5x8

I’ve got a Kelsey model U 5x8 with a boxcar base. So far I’ve only had a little success getting a solid print, and that is with small graphics, which is fine for now.

Getting started, however, I am getting a decent impression on, say, a 1x2-inch graphic, but I am getting more ink on the top and bottom of the image than in the center (this is true if I lay the graphic horizontally or vertically on the base). I’m not getting ink on the base, and my inking plate seems to be fine, without divets, etc.

Rollers are new, but I am wondering if it could be the springs for the roller hooks? They’re not in the best shape… Anyway, the problem is I am getting slightly darker ink at the top and bottom edge of a graphic vs. in the center.
I have tried increasing packing in just the center of the image, but that doesn’t work. The packing is even and soft.

At first I thought I had too much ink so I lifted a bunch, but then just got really salty impressions (more than they should be).

Any suggestions?

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Have you tried double or even triple - inking between impressions?

Are your rollers set to the correct height, with the trucks the same diameter as the rollers? If you’re operating the press kind of fast and the rollers are larger than the trucks, or the rails are low, they could be bouncing when they climb up onto the graphic and inking only the first contact area correctly. If you have a type-high gauge or a roller-setting gauge check the rollers with the plate and base removed to see how high they are set.


Will try the inking and check the height, I don’t have a roller gauge, but I can just screw on the roller springs tighter.

If the double inking works, does that mean I will have to do that for everything?

Also, there is a slight catch sometimes on when I push the lever down (and move the rollers up) when the rollers get to the inking plate. Like you have to do it in one, fast motion or they won’t go over easily … is that something I can adjust?