Wednesday, 9 October 2013

Press Refurbishment

Steve, Dave and I recently spent a day in Stoke, looking at and testing out one of Burleigh’s old printing presses. As part of the project, Burleigh are having their presses restored by a local engineering firm V J Goodall. The aim is to have all three presses back into the transfer room and in good working order, making them both easier to operate and more reliable.
Press after refurbishment @ V J Goodalls

After a meeting at Burleigh we spent the afternoon at Goodalls, running some tests on a restored press and printing from a new laser engraved roller which we’ve had made. The tests went surprisingly well, with ink printing and transferring without too much difficulty.
Burleigh currently use a steel doctor blade but we tried replacing this with a softer urethane, which should increase the life of the chrome faced copper plates or the lasered rubber.

Replacement doctor blade - urethane triple shore

This switch was beneficial yet we’ve seen room for further improvement, particularly with the doctor blade. I now have the original housing from the press and I’m sourcing a supplier for thinner urethane blades which will fit within it. The correct shore hardness and angle of the blade edge are fundamental in giving the right ink distribution and surface wipe so I anticipate a good number of tests and trials until we find the correct combination. The next scheduled visit is for the 17th of October by which point I’ll have new doctor blades and also another laser engraved rubber roller.

Test tiles printed from refurbished press, rubber sleeve & urethane blade. (fired and glazed)

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