Ron offers expert tips and advice on printer lubrication, dealing with a clogged nozzle, and making adjustments for canvas shrinkage.
Whether you’ve run into these problems in the past or want to know how to prepare for them in the future, you’ll want to listen in to this episode of #AskBC.
- The right (and wrong) oils to use for printer lubrication
- Possible causes and solutions for a noisy machine
- Clogged nozzle? Troubleshoot it with a flow test, it might not be the print head after all
- Making adjustments for canvas shortage
Listen in to learn about squeaky printers, clogged nozzles, & canvas shrinkage
- For more information about Ron you can visit Arditos.com
- Listeners featured in this episode include Phillip from psingerart.com, Curtis from Pixel2Canvas.com, and Mike from MikeNaney.com.
- Love the show? Have some feedback for us? Leave us a review on iTunes.
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Or, to view a web version of the transcript:
Announcer 1: You are listening to the #AskBC podcast. Your printmaking questions answered by the experts!
Justin: In this episode, we talk about how to quiet a squeaky printer, fixing canvas shrinkage, and how to deal with clogged printer nozzles.
What’s up everybody? It’s your host Justin and this is Episode 10 of the #AskBC podcast. We’ve brought back a special guest today – Ron Ardito from Arditos.com – to help us answer some of your questions. Without further ado, let’s jump right in! [00:31]
Announcer 2: Phillip from psingerart.com asks, “In Episode 4, Ron Ardito explained that the print head rolls along a highly polished rod. My print head squeaks as it moves across that rod, what should I use to lubricate this?
Ron: Well, the oil that you would use – if you’re using a rod, say it’s a 3880 or a 3800 and it’s using a silver, highly polished rod that goes all the way from the left side to the right side, three-in-one oil is okay, nothing heavier than that. [01:00]
Sewing machine oil is very good as well, or an oil with a little bit of silicone in it. Silicone-based, thin oil. Nothing heavy, we’re not dealing with motor oil here.
Justin: [laughs] Okay, gotcha. What about the other models?
Ron: The models with the bearings, you don’t touch ‘em.
Justin: Don’t touch ‘em, okay.
Ron: The roller bearings you don’t touch them, absolutely not. Nope, nope, nope. It’ll just make it noisier and there’s no reason to do that. They’re pre-lubricated.
Ron: Now if this is getting noisy it’s very possible, and he has the machine with the bearings, the roller bearings, they’re failing. They wear out. You know, and it’s like I just changed eight in the machine here that we’re getting ready for sale. It was noisy, it was passable, but I changed them anyway. [01:36]
Justin: So there’s are like seal bearings – you pop out the old ones, pop in the new ones, yeah?
Ron: Yeah, you’ve got to take the carrier out of the machine to do it. It takes about an hour and a half.
Justin: A little more complicated than just pop out the old ones pop in the new ones? [laughs]
Ron: Yeah, a little more. [laughs]
Justin: Alright, easier said than done.
Announcer 2: Curtis from pixeltocanvas.com asks, “I purchased an Epson 9890 about eighteen months ago. About twelve months in, I saw that one of the print heads was dropping some nozzles so I began attempting to go through the cleaning process. The problem got worse instead of better. Is there some way to recover the nozzles that doesn’t involve the cleaning process? [02:12]
Ron: On the 9890, that particular print head, rarely are the nozzles the culprit. They rarely clog. You can take a print head out of a 9890 or a 9800, any of that series, and you can do what I call a “flow test,” where I get a large syringe with a clear solution – waters fine – and you push the water through the print head and that particular nozzle, and they all look perfect, absolutely perfect. There’s no clogs whatsoever. [02:38]
Then you put the head back in the machine and you find out that you still have the same issue. And maybe you’re losing one of the oranges or greens, or you’re losing ten lines in one particular color. What’s happened there is, the print head has failed internally.
They have these little plates in there that vibrate [inaudible] electric, they vibrate, they push the ink out. It’s a “cool” system, unlike some of the other systems where they use heat like HP and Canon – that’s how Epson gets their accuracy, they don’t require the heat. But, once these plates fail, the logic inside the print head goes back, there’s no recovering it. Absolutely no way to get it back.
Justin: So for models that are earlier than the 890, the 9900, does that same issue still apply where it’s the kind of internals of the print head that fail, or not really? [03:21]
Ron: It’s a different animal. We can get to the print heads that are used in a 9800, or 9880, and that series of printers, which would include the 78 and the 7880, it’s a different animal.
Ron: You’ll find more issues with clogging in those print heads versus internal failures.
Ron: Those print heads are much more reliable. The average life of print head for a 9900, I’m gonna estimate based on my experience is two to three years before they fail.
Ron: Whereas a 9880 or a 9800, I have machines out there that are going five years, six years, seven years.
Justin: Oh wow.
Ron: Yeah. [03:57]
Justin: So when nozzles clog in those printers, what is your thought on kind of using that cleaning solution as opposed to replacing a print head to get those stubborn clogs unclogged?
Ron: On those models you can use a cleaning solution, you can flood the cap assembly where it parks and let it sit overnight and try it again. It doesn’t always work, there are nozzles that are clogged – sometimes what you think is a nozzle clog is the result of a head strike and it’s damaged the surface of the print head.
The print head on the 9880 and the 7880 has a gold foil on it that’s very, very sensitive. And if you do have a head crash with the media you’re printing on, you’ve now distorted the area that the ink sprays out of and there’s no getting it back. [04:40]
Justin: Can you replace just that foil part, or is that a new print head?
Ron: New print head. But the print head for that model is $600 versus $1,600 for the 9900.
Justin: Interesting, and that lasts much longer.
Announcer 2: Mike from mikenaney.com asks, “Using an Epson 9900 with all canvas media I have used, the image is always short in the feed direction. The magnitude of this shortage changes with print size. Is there a remedy for this problem?
Ron: Absolutely not, and no one knows why it happens. Nobody I’ve ever spoke to has an answer for it. You know, there are adjustments that can be made to the machine and the user can make them on a 9900. [05:20] It’s a few adjustment and you can vary the feed, but it’s really a pain in the ass, it does effect print quality. There’s really no answer. Epson would point their finger at the software driving it, and the software manufacturers say, “No, it’s not us,” but this is a common issue that’s been with all the machines that they’ve made. And that would be the whole series.
Justin: Yeah, that’s my feeling as well. I’ve even seen a lot of those RIP softwares that have the built in adjustment. You type in a percentage and it’ll automatically adjust your image. Or the feed or whatever it’s doing. [05:50]
Ron: Yeah, yeah. You can do that, or what I tell people to do is resize it to the point where you’re gonna compensate for that.
Ron: You know, if you’re stretching canvas and things like that that’s what you should do. Or just go the overage and cut back what you don’t need.
Justin: Sure, seems like a pretty simple adjustment. I’ve seen…you know that percentage varies quite a bit depending on the model and maybe the environment effects it, I’m not really sure, but I see like 1.25% is kind of like the industry norm that we’ve kind of seen developed. So, interesting issue. [06:18]
Ron: Yeah, it is. And again, you talk to Epson, they’re clueless. They basically won’t admit to the fact that even though you’re specifying a specific output size the machine’s not giving it to you. And it varies from machine to machine or model to model, you know, it’s not constant across the whole product line.
Justin: Definitely. Yeah I think the media manufacturer gets “pointed at” quite a bit there as well. We get that call quite a bit from a tech support stand-point.
Ron: Yeah, you know what that feels like. [laughs][06:41]
Justin: Alright guys that’s it for today’s episode! If this is the first time you’ve caught #AskBC, I hope you enjoyed it and gained some valuable insight from listening. Definitely subscribe using the links below the audio player, that way you don’t miss out on any future episodes. And if you have a few minutes, head over to iTunes and leave us a review! This kind of feedback really helps us to improve the show, and kind of know what you guys are thinking.
For the show notes for this episode, you can visit ask-bc.com/episode10. That’s ask-bc.com/episode10.
I just wanna say thanks again for taking the time to listen, and also for submitting these questions and being part of the conversation. For those of you whose questions we chose, I’ll be sending out a free Breathing Color t-shirt to each of you.
If you would like to ask a question for the show, just visit ask-bc.com and if we choose to feature your question, we’ll mention your business name in the episode, and send you a free Breathing Color t-shirt.
[End Audio – 07:38]
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