i am still working on getting my new-to-me universal I refined and printing perfectly, and i’m having a hard time getting the ink roller height correct. i have a gauge to test, and if the vibrator is up / NOT in contact with the rollers, i can get the height correct, but the black knob screws are almost all the way down, or as low as the rollers can go. however, when i then put the vibrator to the down position, and pass the gauge underneath to test the height, the rollers are so low the gauge isn’t able to pass back through at all — the rollers are way too low. If I leave the vibrator down and adjust the rollers to be as high as they can physically go, they are still too low for the gauge to pass. And at that point, if I lift the vibrator, they are so high, the gauge can pass easily without getting any ink on it at all.
when i try to print (polymer plate), the negative space of the plate picks up some ink, so i know the rollers are low . . . and the type on the plate doesn’t carry the ink nicely or leave a crisp impression in the paper. kind of fuzzy. the other issue is that the vibrator, when inked up and in contact with the rollers, sometimes seems like it has too much friction and sticks a bit, even while lubricated and with good ink density.
The ink rollers are new, and I can’t vouch that they guys who put them on know exactly how they should be — they told me they just copied the old worn-out ones that were on the press when they found it, and that they used a density of rubber that is standard to use with movable type. They do work on a lot of old machines, but this is the first Vandercook they’ve worked on.
A few possibilities occur to me. Maybe the rubber is a squishier density, so the weight of the vibrator affects the height so much? Maybe the new rollers are not the right diameter? Or maybe I’m missing a screw or something that keeps the vibrator from putting quite SO much weight on the rollers?
Let me know if you have any ideas!