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Showing posts from March, 2012

How To Make Printing Ink

  Introduction Printing ink is so much more than just the black stuff that you put on a page. It has been around for thousands of years, and it's been used in everything from newspaper presses to digital printers. As you can see, we're not talking about offset printing ink which is oil based. I want to have a little fun and talk about how you can make your own ink for your printer.  At home! Ready? Ingredients You will need the following ingredients: Soot (5 tbsp) : This is as purest as it gest. You can make the soot yourself by holding a glass up to a flame. This will allow you to slowly accumulate the soot. Water (2 tbsp): For the base of your ink, use distilled water so that you don't introduce any impurities into the mix. Distilled water is also easier to clean up than tap water because there are no minerals or residue left behind from tap water. Alcohol (2 tbsp) (grain alcohol): This ingredient works as a preservative for your ink and allows it to last for several mo

How To Find Manuals For Your Press

I don't know about others, but I have found it almost impossible to find offset printing equipment manuals online.  Rarely, does a manual come standard with a piece of used offset printing equipment.  Printing equipment is of course highly specialized, but it seems that you can acquire almost any used appliance somewhere online.  Here's just a couple:   None of these have any offset press manuals. Unfortunately it is usually up to the pressman through trial and error to "discover" how equipment works.  We have gone through great pains to acquire some press manuals in the past year - some were free and some cost dearly.  However now that we have them all, I want to share with you the methods we went through to get them.   1. Contact the original equipment manufacturer.   Of all the options, this should be the easiest, albeit most expensive.  Anything is available for a price, right?  If

Hickeys - How To Remove Them

Obviously, the safest way to remove a hickey from an offset printing press is to shut down, scrape it off the plate, and start up again.  Some offset presses have the luxury of having an "automatic hickey picker".  However if you are like most pressmen, you do not have that luxury.  And no press operator is keen on the idea of shutting down the press and wasting paper on a new start up for every single hickey that decides to stick to the plate or blanket. Enter the hickey picker.  There are a lot of varieties out there.  Most consist of a simple plastic design and will not damage the plate if scraping on the run.  By the way, just for the record, I do not endorse removing hickies while the press is running. Truth be said though, most pressmen do it.   I would be interested in knowing any lawsuits resulting from this procedure.   Here are a few that I know of in the offset printing industry. Here's the way I have done it in the past. 1.  Determine where th

How We Greatly Reduced Blanket Piling

I've written about how to reducing blanket piling and what causes it .  But this time I wanted to share how we have recently greatly reduced piling on our blankets.  It is something that I rarely see published in other research, so I want to share with fellow pressmen out there who might benefit from this tip. What We Print Our factory produces most of it's work on a light weight coated 40 pound stock.  We find that we have to wash blankets every 80,000 revolutions.  I'm not sure what other printers out there get, but with a good ink and water balance, we can sometimes push this to 120,000 impressions.  Above is a picture of what we get after that amount.  It is in our black unit, so it shows some paper dust too.  We've also found that blanket piling is greatly influenced by the paper we use and the ink and water balance.   What We Tried However we tried something different recently that involves our water system.  We have a system that uses what we call