Water based inks on a Vandercook?

Anyone have experience using water based inks on a vandercook? I’ve used oil based for my prints for over 20 years now but am curious about water based mainly to speed up my dry times between colors. Ive ordered some sample sizes of Graphic Chemicals water soluble relief ink line to experiment with myself but if anyone has any info or recommendations Id love to hear them. Thanks

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Paul Moxon, Moderator
7 years ago

In my limited experience, I found water-based inks to be too thin and did not lay a good film on the plate. Others may speak to their light-fastness.

These are my cleaning recommendations:
Do not clean printing forms, no matter the material, but especially wood type or photopolymer plates, with water or a diluted, water-miscible wash. Blot excess ink by print waste sheets with the rollers disengaged. Then wipe wood type and polymer, plates with a clean clean rag. Use mineral spirits or non-diluted roller wash to clean lead type, and copper and magnesium plates.

If you clean the rubber form rollers with water or a diluted, water-miscible wash remove the rollers from the press to prevent splashing that will cause rust on the oscillator, rider, indrum and press bed. Use mineral spirits or non-diluted roller wash to clean these parts surfaces.

Some printers run waste paper through the inking assembly to remove ink. Your mileage may vary.

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