General printer reclamation, maintenance and refreshing

Hi Dana,

Hope things are good with you and that the snow this week is not a huge inconvenience.

Jon may have shared with you that I have many older Epson printers I keep using in my studio in Santa Fe. With the progression of Piezography systems I feel I no longer need all of them (about 30). They all need some work to make them available for other photographers to be able to rely on them so I want to share with you my generic approach to freshening up each printer. Your input and comments would be very helpful and appreciated.

4 areas get the most attention: capping-pump station, dampers/ink exchangers, print head and ink supply tubes. Capping stations and dampers are straight forward enough in my mind; replace everything you can. But I have questions about print head cleaning and tubes. It occurs to me that there is a problem with coagulated and dry ink in the puppy tubes. When flush is run through these tubes that ink often softens and causes sometimes terminal downstream problems. My thought is that while the printhead is out to replace the dampers/ink exchangers it makes sense to load a strong cleaner, like ammonia, and pull it through the disconnected ink lines with a syringe over a period of time until the tubes are clear. Then draw red flush through before reconnecting to the new dampers/ink exchanges.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch the printheads may need additional cleaning while they are out and available to do so. I tried a ‘waterfall’ cleaning on one of my 4800s, wont do that again.What I am thinking is that the heads can be placed face down on a microfiber soaked in red flush the entire time the tubes are being purged; days. Once all of the head assembly parts are back together and returned to their working position performing 2 initial fills over 8 hour? 24 hours? 8 hours? should result in excellent nozzle checks if the head wasn’t damaged to begin with.

There are simpler things like cleaning the control strip, q-tipping and wiping out ink deposits from the printers’ chassis.

My plan is to sell a number of these printers over to students who are looking to create Piezography printers and haven’t found one. I have 4 4000s, 3 4800s, 2 3800s, 3 3880s, 1 9800, 1 9880, 2 4900, 3 9900s and 7 1430s. Will keep 1 9880, 1 4900, 3 9900 and all 1430s. That will hopefully create at least 14 printers to move on. If some printers’ heads do not fully function, those that have at least 6 good print channels I will offer to map for P2 ink sets for their buyers.

Any and all input is helpful. Thank you.

Dana is out today but I’m going to defer to her (the maintenance guru) on this one. She’ll be in tomorrow.


Thanks Walker.