Thursday, March 5, 2015

Letterpress - Adjusting the Roller Height

In my last post I talked about how to install the rollers onto a C&P letterpress.

Once the rollers are installed, it is important to set the correct distance between the chase plate and the rollers so as to not damage the rollers or the plate.

I don't use letterpress type to imprint the images onto the paper for a couple of reasons. I don't own any type and to be honest, our house barely has room for the letterpress let alone a lot of type.

We use polymer plates that are made using a process that converts a digital image into a negative, then uses a UV light to burn it onto a polymer plate. The plate looks very similar to a stamp you buy at at the store, only it is made with our design. I'll share more about this in in another blog article.

Roller Setting Gage

To measure the distance between the chase and rollers we took a Roller Setting Gage and slipped it between the rollers and the plate that holds the chase.

Based on the type of Boxcar base we use on our press we needed the distance to be 3/32.

To say the least, we were way north of 3/32. So we had to adjust the roller height.

Measuring the distance 

I discovered that the way to adjust the height of the rollers is to apply packing tape to the the rails.

For our letterpress, we applied 13 layers of tape on the two rails - and the rollers were still too close.

Taping the rails

So, after a little more research I found a comment from someone in a forum somewhere (sorry, I can't remember where) that said to use electrical tape on the trucks to adjust the height.

We then applied five layers of electrical tape on the trucks on one side of the press and based on the measurements seven on the other side.

I'm not going to fudge the truth.... it took a while to get everything just right. Patience came in handy.

Taping the Trucks

The video below is from Boxcar Press and gives a great demo and explanation on how to adjust the roller height. Enjoy!

Thanks for visiting.

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