I have a Speedball brayer that I love, but it is quite old. I have been buying different sorts of brayers over the years, just to see if there is one I like as much, and also to acquire a few different size options. I find you cannot trust Amazon listings when they say “soft rubber brayer” – is usually is not soft at all -and you have to look out for references to printmaking, where a hard brayer is more the norm. I have a bunch now, not all great but I use all of them.
I recently decide to buy a Ranger/Dina Wakely/Dylusions branded brayer because I wanted a very small sized one. Big mistake.
The darn thing started out just fine, but very shortly a clear design flaw was revealed. If you look closely att eh curl of metal that holds the rubber brayer in place, you can see on MY brayer it is really really tight against the rubber core (bright pink in the photo) and guess what that means?
When I try to roll the brayer over paint on the gel plate, the rubber will not roll. It drags across the gel plate and smears the paint, leave gaps or wonky coverage. Now it isn’t just me. In the FB artist group I frequent, many people complain about it, for a variety of reasons. My issue is one big one, but another is how darn squeaky it is. OK, so maybe only annoying and not really a performance issue, but still…
So I looked at my issue, thought about what it would take to solve the problem and came up with a solution. I disassembled a clothes peg and wedged on side between the metal handle. This spread the bit that grips the roller in place so it no longer squeezes the core and keeps it from rotating. Aa bit of electricians tape holds it all in place.
Doubt this will solve the squeak, and for £12 from a major brand, you would hope this to be made better. I suppose it is dependent on how much spread you need – too much and the roller will just slip from the curl of metal and fall out!
As a sidebar, I also got a GelPress Economy Brayer (4inch) for about £9 and that seems like it works about as well as the Speedball one (at nearly £20) does. I like that the roller pops out for cleaning too.
Sorry. Boring post, but hopefully it will help someone out.