Riley Hopkins presses are engineered with printers in mind. These handmade presses are made in the U.S.A. and have a ton of features that make them durable, hard-working manual presses. But even the hardiest equipment needs a bit of TLC over time. Here are three not-so-obvious areas of your Riley Hopkins press to maintain so you can keep printing in the fast lane.
THE DETENT WHEEL
All multi-station presses like the 250 and 300 have a detent wheel under every print station. The detent wheel is what keeps the print stations (the platen arms) stationary while you’re printing. Did you know it’s actually a custom-designed skateboard wheel? While you shred the gnar on your press, this wheel can get pushed down or stuck in place. Don’t worry about it slowing your roll, though. There’s an easy fix.
Grab a wrench and locate the bolt behind the detent wheel. Give the bolt a half-inch turn to loosen it up and allow the wheel to move more freely. Make sure you don’t loosen it all the way, or the wheel can come completely loose, and won’t stop your print station from moving like it’s supposed to.
See that spring underneath the wheel? It’s under a lot of tension and could cause injury if you decide to adjust it. Loosening the bolt behind the wheel is all you’ll need to do to keep your detent wheel assembly in great working condition.
Ever wondered what the little mesh jackets covering the springs on your press are for? The springs on your print head are under a lot of tension, and the jackets are a safety feature. On the rare occasion that the high-tension spring explodes or becomes shrapnel, the mesh jacket will stop the shards from injuring you.
The springs without jackets might be more your aesthetic, but it’s not worth a trip to the hospital. You already put your body through so much being a manual printer; save yourself from some shrapnel. If you notice that a spring jacket is missing or looks worn down, reach out for replacements. Your safety is important.
Note: Springs exploding on presses is a rare occurrence. The safety feature of the spring jacket helps keep printers safe and provides peace of mind.
ADJUSTING PRINT STATION ARMS
Have you ever printed a shirt and tried to send it under the flash, only for the platen not to swing far enough? Or have the platen arm swung way too far? This might seem like a personal problem, but after it gets annoying enough, there’s a way to adjust the swing of the arms.
Remember the detent wheel we talked about? Look for that assembly on your press. When the four bolts holding the detent wheel assembly are loose, you can move the assembly bracket up and down. Want your print stations to rotate easier? Lower the detent wheel bracket. Want less rotation? Raise the detent wheel bracket. You’ll be able to adjust the swing of your print arms just the way you like it.
Take good care of your press and it’ll take care of you. Check out each press’s product page and assembly pages for more press care and assembly information. Quality, handcrafted equipment means that printers can go full throttle longer while maintaining their press with minimal effort.