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Old 05-23-2004, 05:20 AM   #13
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Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Set into the baseboard of your stamping room
Posts: 18,393
Default cartridges and how they work

Normally, you buy the ink cartridges and they are already inked with one color. Buy the reinker when you buy the cartridge, since they tend to dry out more quickly than an ink pad. The ink pad reinkers do not work with the cartridges...the cartridge ink is thicker and will not splatter when your roll the wheel.

Loading the cartridge can be a bit tricky. Put the cartridge in the handle with the square trigger (at least that's what I call it!) facing out. Put your thumb on the trigger and pull the cover off. You won't be able to slide the cartidge into position with the cover on! Now pull the trigger down into the handle until you hear it click, keeping your thumb firmly on that trigger. Then you can pop your wheel in. If your wheel design has a top and a bottom, load it in so that it looks like it's going to be upside down. It will then be right side up when you roll if you are right handed. If you find after you start to roll that it is upside down, you can always turn your paper or pop the wheel out and turn it around.

Now push the trigger towards the wheel, making sure that the cardtridge is straight so that the ink roller fully engages against the wheel. Roll the wheel on a piece of scratch paper. Some people like to roll forwards other people like to pull towards them. I like forward...I think I roll straighter. But either way will work.

When you roll make sure that you aren't rocking the wheel. I find if I put one finger over the wheel well, that helps. And to get straight lines, look where you are rolling, not at the wheel. You can use a straight edge of some sort to roll against; experiment with what you have to find out what works for you. Some people like the edge of the paper trimmer...I haven't had too much luck with it.

Diagonal lines will look more even and straight across a piece of cardstock than horizontal or vertical, but a lot of that depends on how slowly you go and how accurate you are trying to be.

Now that you are done rolling, pull the trigger back towards the handle until you hear it click. Roll the excess ink off the wheel onto your scrap paper. Now, some people clean their wheel in the handle, others like to pull it out. I'm one of the latter. I clean mine once it's out by holding the two axels in a pincer grip and rubbing the wheel on my stampin' scrub, rotating the wheel a little bit to get around all of the rubber surface.

If you are going to leave your cartridge in your handle, don't forget to replace the cover! You can just slide it right in. To remove the cartridge put your thumb on the trigger and gently push it up out of the handle, making sure to keep your thumb firmly on the trigger. There is a spring involved and it can be either very amusing, or very horrible to watch your cartridge get "fired" across the table, depending on who is sitting there (your best friend or your mother-in-law, for instance) and whether you have white carpet on the floor or vinyl flooring. Once that cartridge hits the floor, the roller will often pop right out. You can put it back, though. Just try to avoid that altogether. Once you've felt the cartridge disengage from the handle with your thumb firmly on the trigger, slide the cover back on.

Store your cartridges in a zip lock bag or other air tight container to keep them from drying out too fast. Reinking is fairly easy, just apply the ink to the roller, massaging it in with the tip of the reinker and rotate the roller around to get the whole thing reinked. Be cautious not to put too much on...after you reink, test with a wheel to see if you got the whole thing evenly inked, if not reapply where you think you missed. You can always add more, but it's hard to take away what you've put in if you overdo. If you do overdo, wad up a piece of paper towel and blot the excess away, rotating the roller as you go.

The two and three cell cartridges have a divided roller that you ink up yourself. To do this, you need to decide which colors you want to use in them and have the reinkers on hand. There is a white label on the cartridge so you can write the colors in in tiny letters so you know what is in that cartridge. Technically, you could wash the ink out of the roller and use something different, but cartridges are pretty cheap anyway so why not buy more than one? Plus, you'll tend to like certain combinations, so why not keep them ready to go? You'll find that when you first ink up a blank cartridge that the next time it will have seemingly dried out. This is because the ink will sink further into the foam, so you will have to add more the first two or three times you use it again.
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