Cleaning Press Body & Ink Disk Rust

I am pretty OCD when it comes to cleaning. I just got my Golding Pearl No. 8 this weekend, and I want to clean her up. I scoured the posts and saw endless advice on cleaning rollers, boxcar bases, and type. All very helpful, but I’m looking for specific advice on my ink disk and press body.

I attached a photo of the ink disk below. It has several light rust spots on the disk as well as what appears to be roller marks. These roller marks are not rust (looks like staining) so I’m not sure I can do anything about that. I tried a few (non-evasive) cleaning techniques on my ink disk to try to buff off the rust. Nothing worked. Any tips/tricks to get the rust off there? When I run my finger across the disk, you can’t feel the rust. I’ve been told to try fine grit sandpaper—but I am deathly afraid of scratching the ink disk.

The body of my press (including the wooden door) has a nice coating of black dust all over it. What would work best for removing this thick coat, without removing the paint?

Do any of you wear a mask (with ventilation apparatus) when cleaning? (Saw some of these for roughly $12 at Home Depot.)


image: Ink Disk Rust Spots

Ink Disk Rust Spots

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yOUR DISC LOOKS PRETTY GOOD TO ME, WHAT I DO IS USE FINE STEEL WOOL, my daughter was working in the shop with me and wanted to help me clean, I gave her a rag and said to wipe down ther press, she was about 6 years old, she came to me and said all done, she grabbed the windex and sprayed the whole press with it, still have a spot on my disc that I can’t get the rust off.i never use masks but anytime you use cleaner you should wear rubber gloves. I wipe down my presses with a rag with just a little oil on it, sometimes I use coleman fuel on a rag to wipe the press. When feeding your new press remember to stand straight, don’t slouch, and never reach for a misfed sheet!!!!, you can get more paper but fingers are hard to grow. Good Luck Dick G.

Unfortunately, cast iron is porous, and the stain can penetrate to some depth. In order to eliminate the stain, which has no effect on the operation of the disc as a distributor of ink, you will have to remove an unknown amount of cast iron by machining. Another characteristic of cast iron is that as it cools internal stresses are created, and removing any significant part of the surface of the piece relieves the stresses unevenly, which can result in warping or cracking. Unless you are being inspected by a cranky Ink Disc Inspector, I would say give it a going over with steel wool to remove all surface rust and live with the discolorations.


As Bob mentioned, cast is porous. I have a C & P that has similar stains on the disk, remnants from the previous owner or someone who left the rollers on the disk, creating the three stripes. Over the years I have used many (albeit light-duty) attempts to make the streaks and spots go away, all to no avail. However, the moment you start inking up, they magically go away!


use turtle wax and steelwool should remove it

and for the pressbody kerosene

To handle the Rust on the ink disc you could possibly use an orbital sander with 1000 grit paper.or you could wet sand with 1500 grit paper.they also make DA paper For the orbital sander up to 3000 grit.then you could buffet with a orbital buffer and mild rubbing compound

Any machine that is working against the disc (sander) could accidentally remove enough metal to make the inking uneven — it doesn’t take much. Better to do it with steel wool by hand — the steel wool won’t remove much if any metal. I’d be a bit cautious about applying Turtle Wax to the ink disc, as the residue of the wax may affect how the disc accepts ink. Try plain kerosene and fine steel wool for the stains. However, if you can’t feel the rust spots it’s unlikely they’ll affect inking. It’s almost 100% an aesthetic issue. As Jim said, once you have ink on the disc you can’t see the stains anyway!


Put some ink on the press; put some type in the chase; and put some paper through the press. Clean ink table and rollers when done. Repeat as necessary.

It won’t make the spots and stripes go away, but you’ll get a bunch of printing done.

Arie, pretty sure Renee has been printing for a while, at least I hope so… since this thread is 16 months old. ;)