Has anyone tried this with inking press trucks

Before I scrapped my print shop I would have a lot of inking problems with my 8x12 C&P press. The rollers didn’t roll down or top while inking but they would slide down the rails.

I was thinking if the ink trucks had groves rather than being smooth, the trucks might help the rollers turn as the arm moved the roller up and down on the rails.

I found a photo of a truck gear just to show what I am talking about. The picture is just to show the idea.

I bring this up because I would try masking tape and it didn;t help.

image: s-l1600.jpg


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This is a bad idea for many, many reasons.

Literally hundreds of thousands of other people do not have this problem, and their mechanisms function as intended.

This device would never have concentricity, but rather the rollers would ‘hop’ a lot as the teeth meshed; things would get stuck in the ‘teeth’ and make very small, unpredictable ‘hops’ and you’d have to check every tooth of both the gears, AND the rack in order to diagnose.

Your problem was friction; that your springs were not adequately providing tension (which means friction), or your rails were soiled/dirty, or your trucks were soiled/dirty.

to elaborate on why it is such a bad idea, gear racks are not meant to take pressure in the vertical sense- they are meant to provide pressure in a linear sense, to DRIVE something. Not to provide a bearer surface for the trucks to rest against and be a flat plane.

It won’t work.

Why reinvent the wheel just rosin up the rail

works like a charm

image: Rosin_Flux.jpg


Geared distributor rollers are routinely used in cylinder presses to good advantage. Most auto feed cylinder presses use driven distributors. Even the Vandercook uses a driven form roller which drives the distributor and the other form roller during the printing stroke.

I agree that it should not be necessary to reinvent a system which has been on use in later presses so successfully for so long.

Clean rails and trucks will go a long way in getting proper rotation with the system as is. Any oil on either will be a problem.

John Henry
Cedar Creek Press

But even when employed on cylinder presses to great effect, the gear definitely does not REST as the bearer- and that seems to be what the Old Letterpress Man is implying he would like to do, replace the trucks and rails with gears.

I have never, ever seen a press designed to bear weight on gears with form rollers attached. The form rollers are always in a bearing assembly with gears poking out the sides or located away from bearings, with a rack that drives said gears without pressure.

A pitcher’s rosin bag applied to the rails would be a good solution — and a bit of oil in the roller journals after checking to be sure the cores aren’t binding in the hooks.


I’ve thought of it. I have ideas. No idea if they’re any good or not, nor do I really have anyway to implement them.

Thanks for the feedback, this website is a good way to talk about things.

Good or bad, still good way to talk about ways to improve our work.