Ink Roller Supports (Bearers)
Shown here is a roller support (bearer) used to ensure that the inking rollers remain at .918 as they transverse the bed. Two are used, one on either side of the form, positioned near the ends of the rollers. The use of additional bearers was commonplace when furnishing reproduction proofs and Vandercook recommended them. The bearer mark was printed with the specimen.
These are 18-pt brass bar weld (full-face) rule made by Caslon Limited, UK (which no longer manufactures these). Similar bar weld, however, can now be obtained from Stephenson & Blake, Ltd., Sheffield, UK. These run the full printable length of the bed of a Vandercook SP-15. They support here two Bunting Magnetic Cerface Flat Bases. Shown also is Resalite plastic furniture.
The supports are usually chamfered and rounded at the surface edge ends to prevent roller nicking. To prevent wear on the supports the tympan is usually cut back.
We have several of these (new) available in 24-pt thickness from Stephenson & Blake Ltd.
Note: Temporary supports can also be made from strips of steel-backed photopolymer plate material, 18- to 24-pt wide and as long as the base. These should be placed at the edge of the base and outside of the printing area or incorporated along with the imaging. Polyester-backed plates can be used if incorporated with the imaging on the plate; strips of the plate material don't work as well though as without stronger support they curl and bend.