Universal I – Washup Blade orientation

With recent chatter in multiple forums extolling the virtues of a automatic washup, I finally took the opportunity to purchase new washup blade. The original blade in our press is crusted and unrecognizable. The new blade seemed to me to have the bevel upside down, so I checked the patent drawing (patent number conveniently posted on the side of the press). The patent shows the bevel down (i.e. the point on the top side of the washup blade). The washup blade I purchased is bevel up. Can anyone shed light on what’s the right way? Bonus points for the best way to align it.


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Eric Holub
2 years ago

The oldest washup blades I’ve seen are phenolic board with a bevel. I don’t know what the newer plastic blades are, but when in use there must always be solvent present. If they go dry, friction can cause melting.

2 years ago

I’m looking at the image of the patent drawing and it looks to me the point of the bevel is on the bottom side of the wash-up blade, exactly the same as your new blade. I would disregard looking at the old blade as reference because it clearly bent from the upward, counter-clockwise rotation of the ink drum. In other words, your new blade is fine; use it just as you’ve photographed it here.

As far as align goes, attach the blade at the lowest possible setting. Use only three screws: the two outside and the middle. Slide the tray in, turn the press on and engage the blade. As you test the engagement, move the blade up a small amount at a time until you make firm contact. [I agree with Val: “as long as you’re getting good contact with the ink drum” you’ll be fine, just don’t overdo it. The blade needs to be in complete contact when engaged. Too much pressure and the blade will bend becoming less effective.] Once you’ve established the your alignment then add and tighten the remaining six screws
(on a Uni 1’s 9-hole blade).

There is a screw (or screws) to adjust the pressure inside the press, but I personally don’t tinker with mine preferring to rely on the 9 blade screws to dial in pressure.

2 years ago

I just tested my new blade today with the bevel up as supplied and it worked great. I think as long as you’re getting good contact with the ink drum, the ink sludge will drip down either way. My old blade didn’t seem to have a bevel on it at all but maybe it was just worn down.

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