The below information is a small snippet out of our Maintenance and Instruction manual.
The full set of instructions explain how to set your press to print every type of plate, as well as put your press and stand together, how to maintain and look after your printing press.
You receive one of these when you purchase a press from us. If you need an updated one please get in touch.
If you would like any further help we run many workshops throughout the year at our beautiful printmaking Gallery in Ironbridge. If you need any help please do not hesitate to give us a call.
If you have a press that you purchased before 2019 your top roller will be mild steel and will be lacquered. This will need re-lacquering every year or so depending on where it is kept and how it is looked after during the year. Your bearings will need greasing every 6 to 8 months, we introduced no maintenance bearings after 2019.
About your new press
Your press is either a direct drive or geared press that is made using fabricated stainless steel, dense walled cylinders and no maintenance oil-light bearings, it is available with either a star or round wheel or both. The Gunning Presses are easily maintained and include safety features such as bed safety stops, press lock down as well as easy removal of star or round wheel and press bed.
We provide runners with your press so that you can easily set your pressure to print Lino or woodblocks or any other thick plates. There is also a printing matt provided with the press so you can get printing straight away, this will last approximately 2 years and is a brilliant blanket and will print any plate.
The stainless steel top roller on your press has been lathed perfectly so you do not have any in-discrepancies. This means that you can print without a blanket if you need to on certain materials like wood blocks or Lino. For any other plates you will need to print using a blanket or blankets. We sell printing matts, 80% wool felt printing blankets and Swanskin 100% wool blankets. For more information follow this link to our Printing Matt, Blankets and Runners Guide.
The maintenance instructions are also included here for you; it is important for you to make sure you maintain you press to make sure you keep it in working order. If you need any help with this, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.
Over 40 years ago Dave Gunning designed the first Gunning press so that he could have his own press at home in his print studio. Forty years later thousands of printmakers all over the world have Gunning press’s in their studios, schools and Universities.
Thank you for purchasing one of our presses from us, if you ever need any technical support please do not hesitate to get in touch with us. We offer a wide range of workshops in our print studio exploring both traditional and contemporary methods of printmaking. We also have a large beautiful Gallery in Ironbridge (a UNESCO world heritage site) where we exhibit both our own work and other printmakers work, so it’s well worth a visit.
Please keep us updated of the work that you produce, we look forward to hearing from you.
The stainless steel top roller on your press has been lathed perfectly so you do not have any in-discrepancies. You can print your relief plates without a blanket and get perfect prints. As it is stainless steel you will not need to do anything but keep it clean. If you need any further information or help please get in touch.
The printing press pressure is set by adjusting the tommy bars. Left to loosen and right to tighten. Your bearings are no maintenance bearings (2019 onwards) so when the press is moved, the oil impregnated insert self oils the bearings. If you purchased a press from us before 2019 your press will have bearings that need greasing every 6 months or so depending on how much you use your machine just put bearing grease on the shaft and bearing and then turn it several times. Do not use WD40 as this is white spirit based and will eventually evaporate.
Geared Presses need the gears greasing every few years to keep them working beautifully. Simply remove the plastic cover and add bearing grease.
The standard press bed is made from steel and marine ply. Your steel surface on the bed is lacquered with clear lacquer which allows the surface to be wiped clean after printing. It has two safety stops on the bed also to make sure it does not fall out when printing.
The Optional Upgrade – Aluminium Bed is a stronger bed than the standard bed and will give you a slightly better stamp and is recommended if you are etching and photo-etching. Keep it clean and the registration bed is recommended which will wipe clean easily and protect both the standard and aluminium bed.
Do not clean your plates on the press bed. Always use tissue paper on the press bed to keep it as clean as you can or purchase one of our registration beds that are amazing to use.
The 3mm thick Styrene registration Bed is an amazing tool that you can purchase to your press. It sits on your press bed and is secured to the bed. This needs to be wiped clean on a regular basis.
The printing blankets. We provide with the press is brilliant for printing everything to an excellent quality. This will last you around 2 years at which stage we would suggest you purchase the 100%woven wool swanskin blankets that will last you a life time, or the unwoven wool blankets that will last you around 5 years.
If you want any help with your blanket choices follow this link to our guide on how to print all the different kinds of plates and what blankets to use, in order of preference.
Ways of Damaging the press
Winding one pressure adjuster down without the other one continuously.
If you drop a press from a great height, or if you try to put things like metal screws or sharp objects through the press.
Not maintaining the press including not cleaning, greasing or looking after the press.
If you leave the blanket wet in the press.
If you are tipping white spirit over the press bed to clean printed plates.
If you use WD40 on any part of the press as a lubricant as it is white spirit based and will dry up any moving parts eventually damaging the press.
The Gunning Arts Etching Printing Presses are made with loving care so they should be treated accordingly.
To help ensure that your press is kept in the best possible condition we suggest the following.
Please note for presses purchased after 2019, they have stainless steel top rollers. Stainless steel does not rust so no maintenance is needed.
For presses with the oilight bushes in the bearings they are maintenance free however after high use of the press, 3 in 1 oil can be dropped onto the shaft by the bearing to soak the oil into the bushes. Note – the oilite bushes we use are for high speed applications and the presses are not high speed at all so the likely hood of the bearings needing oiling are minimal.
As a rule, we do not use WD40 on any moving parts to lubricate the press because it will dry up and cause greater problems.
For presses purchased AFTER 2019 use all the instructions below.
For presses purchased BEFORE 2019 use all the instructions below.
Please note this is not a conclusive list of do’s and don’ts but merely a guide to assist you in keeping you press in a good condition. Should you need any information or assistance please contact us. We run many workshops throughout the year at our beautiful print workshops and Gallery in Ironbridge for both beginner and advanced printers for dates and further information please contact us.
Grease for the maintenance of any moving parts on the press including the bearings without the oilite bushes.
For presses with the oilight bushes in the bearings they are maintenance free however after high use of the press, 3 in 1 oil can be dropped onto the shaft by the bearing to soak the oil into the bushes. Note – the oilite bushes we use are for high speed applications and the presses are not high speed at all so the likelihood of the bearings needing oiling are minimal.