By Fred Williams
Editor & Publisher
Published Fall 1983
What can be more frustrating to a pressman than to find after a job has been run off, dirty black ink smudges appearing between some letters while others are missing! It's not the work of gremlins but a case of that dread malady, Workup and Pullout's.
Works-ups are caused when one or more of the non-printing elements of the form – spaces, quads, leads, slugs, reglets, furniture, etc., work up to the printing plane. In this position they receive a film of ink and in turn transfer it to the paper. If not detected and corrected, the offending letters may be pulled completely out of the form by the tacky ink. Hence the term, Pullouts.
The constant back and forth "hinging" motion of the form and the impression shock may cause any loose components of the form to pull away from the bed of the press.
Diligence on the part of the press feeder will detect these blemishes as soon as they appear and remedies instituted.
There are many causes for the Work-up and Pull-out – but the most frequent reason is faulty justification of type forms and/or poor lock-up.
Other causes may be warped chases, quoins turned the wrong way, out-of-square furniture, the form locked too tight and cuts mounted on base too high or unsquare.
Electrically welded chases are more accurate than the old cast iron ones and consequently will help prevent spacing material or type from working loose during a press run.
A form which contains Workups or Pull-outs should be removed from the press and placed on the stone. With the quoin key under one corner of the chase, the entire form should be tested to detect any loose sections. This can be done by pushing down with the thumb on each section of the type form very gently. Any loose areas can be "flagged" by placing a bit of card on any weak parts. The key is then removed, the chase unlocked and all unfirm areas re-justified. Form should then be rechecked until all areas remain tight on testing.
Cuts mounted on warped base, may under impression, work up and lift adjacent parts of the form. These offending cuts should be re-mounted on type-high bases that are square.
Strips of dampened cardboard 14" wide placed along the inside of the upper edge of the chase or the lower edge of the form may prevent upward movement of the components within the form.
Poorly justified blocks of type that are under-set and over-set can be prevented from working up by placing strips of wet blotter along the ends of the lines. The blotting paper, by applying varied amounts of pressure to each line, will act as a shim, and will do much to prevent movements in each line.
The use of slug-high sinkers often will eliminate Work-ups. They are thin strips of cardboard about 4 1/2 picas wide and up to 24" long. They have a thread imbeded in them a pica from one edge and can be trimmed to any required length. Sinkers can be placed along the sides or within the type form itself.
Sinkers can be made by pasting two thin strips of card, about 7/s" wide, with a piece of thread between them. Position thread about one pica from one edge.
Over the years pressmen have concocted a hat full of tricks in an effort to defeat this scourge–roughening and gouging the sides of leads & slugs, inserting strips of fine sandpaper between spacing material, driving Dutchmen (sharpened wooden matches or toothpicks) into poorly justified lines, burring quads and spaces with a sharp bodkin or placing strips of double-sided sticky tape against parts of the form that that have a tendency to move.
But there will be little need to experiment with these makeshift remedies if each type line is carefully justified as it is set. If each part of the form is accurately made up and locked-up, Work-ups and Pull-outs will not spoil the printed work.