Today was my first attempt at getting my C&P 8 x 12 New Style up and running. To refresh your memory, here’s a video of it running with the motor from a few weeks ago. So obviously it goes, now I’ve just got to get it printing well. The newly re-ground rollers looked beautiful when I first put them on:
1. Problem: Too much ink on the plates.
Solution: You guessed it…taping the rails. I started with many, MANY layers of Scotch before I found some of that nifty strapping tape like the guy uses in the Boxcar video. I was being super anal about making sure I had the same number of layers on each side, until I realized it was OK that the right rail was more worn down than the left one. Must…learn…to be OK with unevenness. It’s not like I give away my last one in a handful of M&Ms if it turns out to be an odd number. What??
2. Problem: Rollers popping out due to the grabber shaft sticking.
Solution: OK, “grabber shaft” isn’t really the technical term…but I’ve searched the C&P parts diagram and can’t find the piece I’m talking about. It may be the roller frame or roller arm. Here’s the wonkiness that was occurring:
Basically, the sliding shaft that allows the roller frame to go up and down as the rollers make their way across the ink disc and down over the plate was getting stuck in the up position. This led to rollers flying everywhere and totally bizarre ink patterns. I oiled every conceivable hole to no avail…then finally realized that the large spring under the shaft had a piece of metal sticking out of the end that was getting caught. A little twist, and all was well again.
3. Problem: Throw-off arm stops the machine dead in its tracks, instead of switching from “trip” to “print.”
Solution: This one stumped me. Once again, this probably shows my lack of experience with platen presses…but I was pretty sure that pulling the throw-off arm towards me was what was supposed to make it print instead of just inking the plates with no platen contact. Instead, pulling the arm towards me caused the press to stop being able to move all together. Since it’s a little noisy in the warehouse with the heater going, please enjoy my Marcel Marceau demonstration of the problem:
It doesn’t seem like a part is sticky or not sliding properly – it really seems like pulling the throw-off lever is supposed to put the brakes on the machine instead of allow it to print. Do I have the wrong idea here? What am I doing wrong? How do I switch from “trip” to “print”?
In better news, a friend commented that I looked like a mechanic with shop rags and WD-40 in my hands. Hot.
Pulp & Press Soundtrack 4/3/09: Sadly, Jizz In My Pants (The Lonely Island) was the only thing trapped in my head all day. Next time I’m bringing my Tivoli and iPod.