stripping rollers

I’m sending off my SP20 form rollers to be re-covered, and want to strip off the old material first to save on shipping (they are quite heavy, and when I compare them to an extra core I have it’s clear that the old rubber compound makes up at least 50% of the weight). I’m apparently inept at doing this as I’ve had no luck and I’ve tried a ridiculous array of hand tools and can barely budge the stuff. Before I resort to messier and more violent means, does anyone have a simple method for this they’d like to share?Thanks,Duncan Dempster

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Fritz Klinke
16 years ago

Well I did ask one of our roller makers how they remove old rubber and very simply they use sharp and large knives and strip the material by hand. One employee at the one company I talked to has been doing it for 20 some odd years and has it down pat. Then they use large bench grinders with wire wheels to take off the residue and rough up the core so that the new material has something to grip. It was traditional on composition rollers to wrap twine or string around the cores to keep the roller material from separating from the core, and that still poses a problem for modern rollers using the various contemporary covering materials. Cores can separate from the rubber, and it usually starts at the roller ends where excessive washup fluid can be left and it works its way along the core.

Fritz Klinke
16 years ago

Good question–I’ll ask our roller makers. They have to remove not only rollers like those used in letterpress, but larger and longer ones used in offset that have much thinner coatings.

Paul Moxon, Moderator
16 years ago

You could use an electric carving knife. Save me a dark piece.

The Arm
16 years ago

Hello Duncan,
Personally I would just ship them as-is and let the roller manufacturer worry about it, but then I don’t live in Hawaii!
How are UPS rates from there?

Daniel Morris
The Arm Letterpress
Brooklyn, NY

Rich Polinski
16 years ago

When I needed to strip a couple worn out vinyl and composition rollers for my platen press off their cores I used an Xacto knife. I cut a slit the full length of the roller right down to the core. Then I pried the material open along the slit and peeled the rollers off. Even though the vinyl rollers were hard and stiff it worked pretty easy. I didn’t think of it at the time but if I would have cut another slit opposite the first it probably would have been even easier.

Rich P.
Front Room Press
Milford, NJ

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