Vandercook Articles 

A Short History of Vandercook by Harold E. Sterne
Common Vandercook Operator Errors by Paul Moxon
Edition Printing on the Cylinder Proof Press: A Historical Perspective by Gerald Lange
Adjusting Cylinder Carriage Bearings by Gerald Lange
Lock-Up by David S. Rose

See also:
Bibliography
Vandercook Anecdotes


 
A Short History of Vandercook

Harold E. Sterne
Former co-owner of NA Graphics

Vandercook without a doubt is the most recognized name in the world for proof presses.

The company was started by Robert Vandercook in Chicago in September 1909. The first press was a "rocker" proof press, made with a geared cylinder. Up to the development of this press all proofs were either made on a roller press that depended on gravity for impression or on a Washington Hand Press.

During the next 54 years they brought out 60 different press models of which nine models were made in two or more styles. In the 75 years that presses were manufactured, more than 38,000 with the name of Vandercook were produced. The name of Vandercook & Sons was used until 1968 when E.O. Vandercook sold the company to one of their suppliers, Illinois Tool Works. They only kept the company for four years and then sold it to one of their managers, Hugh Fletcher, who renamed the company Vandersons Corporation. Vandersons stopped manufacturing presses in 1976 at which time they only made models HS27, SP20, SP25 and Universal I (see Serial Number Tables). After ceasing to manufacture presses Vandersons continued selling parts and supplies for the thousands of presses that were still being used. In 1989 the company was sold to Stuart Evans. In January 1994 Tom Bell and Hal Sterne of NA Graphics bought the company and moved it to Cincinnati, Ohio. Then in October of 1996 they sold NA Graphics to Fritz Klinke who moved the operation to Silverton, Colorado. NA Graphics is still selling parts and supplies for many of the models of Vandercook presses.

Vandercook was very prolific in producing new models. They developed 29 models before World War II and 17 of these models were still being manufactured many years after the war. The most popular of these models was #4, which was first made in 1935 and not discontinued until 1960. Many are still in use today. In 1948 they brought out the model 4T, which was used to pull transparency proofs of type on acetate. The acetate proofs could then be contacted to film for offset negatives. During World War II not many presses were made because Vandercook was heavily involved in manufacturing for the war effort, for which they received the E award. One press they made for the government during the war was a model 055, 51" x 75" in size.

With the exception of models 0, 01, 03 and 099, which were gravity type presses, all of the Vandercooks had geared cylinders. The last models designed were the SP series (which stands for Simple Precision) and the Universal series. They are similar in design but the Universal presses were originally designed as Test presses for ink companies and paper mills. Most of them were made with automatic controls and adjustable beds (AB). The SP series were mostly hand presses. The SP15 was the most popular of them all.

Besides letterpress proof presses Vandercook also made offset proof presses. The flat bed presses were the model 20-26 (wet) and 15-20 (dry). In 1968 they came out with model RO4-29, which was a unique 4 color, offset proofing press that featured a common impression cylinder surrounded by the 4 printing units. This press was capable of running 1500 sheets per hour and automatically producing progressive proofs. They also made 4 color letterpress wet proof presses; model 604 which was brought out in 1947 and 10 years later replaced by model 30-26 which was made until 1972.

Prices for the early model rocker presses were from $140 to $175 depending on the size. Forty years later the model 0 proof press was still only $175. Other prices in 1955 were $1965 for a model 4 and $23,650 for a model 604. The Universal I cost $2150 in 1958.

Unfortunately we lost a lot of the historical information after we bought Vandersons. So if any of the readers have any information on the history of Vandercook please send it to me at 19 Whispering Sands Drive # 103, Sarasota, Florida 34242-1656. Thank you.“
Top


 
Common Vandercook Operator Errors

Paul Moxon
Webmaster Vandercookpress.info

Several times a year, I teach a Vandercook maintenance workshop at various schools, book arts centers and private shops around the country. I enjoy sharing my knowledge, setting presses right, and often learn something new in the process. This is a summary of the maladjustments and misunderstandings that I see again and again. Undoubtedly, these are not the only things that can go wrong and each operator’s experience will vary. Please note that I am addressing the Vandercook proof press in general. A thorough discussion of the particulars of existing models would require more space than is available here and might be as tedious to read as it would be to write. Such comparisons are better illustrated in workshop.

Press Not Level
Leveling the press is the first issue addressed in the Vandercook operator’s manuals. The press be must be placed on a firm foundation. If it is not level across the width of the bed one side will carry more of the weight of the cylinder causing uneven wear to the bearings and rails. Use a spirit level, crow bar and shims to balance. Some models have leveling feet at the right end of the bed. Lighter weight presses like the SP15 may creep forward across the floor during printing. To stop this, insert rubber pads under the feet. The press should never wobble or rock.  

Improper Press Height
This is an ergonomic and safety issue. If the primary operator is tall the press should be raised up to reduce stress on the back and shoulders. However, I have witnessed short and average height individuals use presses on skids, blocks and casters. This will stress the back and shoulders much as a too low press will a tall person. An improperly raised press may  slide off on end of its supports. While casters may make it easy to move the press it can also make it less stable. The force of the carriage hitting the bumper springs at the end of the bed will move the press forward.   

Lack of Lubrication
On some presses oil holes and cups are identified by a spot of red paint. The operator’s manuals also identify the points of lubrication and the frequency of which to add it. SAE 20 wt oil is generally specified, however today 3-in-One which only comes in small sizes is the only retail brand available and is relatively expensive. For older presses that seem to require more frequent oiling of the gear box, such as the No. 4, SAE 5W20 is a good economical substitute. Additionally, use WD40 to wipe down the bed and to coat screw threads. Graphite powder is good for lubricating the gripper stems. (See also Oil: SAE 20 wt and variants.)

Dirt Accumulation
In general, grime on mechanical parts inhibits their operation. While the gears and gear racks allow for some build-up, the smooth surfaces of the carriage bearings, cylinder bearers, bed bearers and under rails that contact one another have a very small tolerance. For example, during impression, the weight of the cylinder rests on the bed bearers. Foreign matter more than a .001 or .002” thick may noticeably affect the impression from one side of the bed to the other. Dirt ground into these surfaces will cause premature wear and produce uneven impression, making it necessary to adjust the impression bearings, which may not alleviate the problem. To remove grimy build-up, use mineral spirits and a scouring pad. From then on, heed the operator’s manual and wipe these surfaces with a slightly oiled rag before each use. Remember: oil attracts dirt. As with grime build-up on bearers, etc. debris on bed may get under printing form causing surface to be too higher resulting in heavy inking and impression. Loose debris may also contact inked form rollers. Wipe down bed with clean cloth and light amount of WD40 before usage. Cover the press with a canvas drop cloth when not in use. Use canned air or an air compressor to blow out the dust on an SP series press between the carriage side plate and the trip assembly. Remember to oil the trip eccentric at the collar of the crank handle. Rust is of mechanical concern only if it has decayed a large enough area on any of these surfaces: impression cylinder and bearers, bed bearers, under rails, ink reservoir drum or press bed. The surface may be filled in with a hard solder. To free seized parts, use WD40 which will penetrate into hard to reach moving parts.   

Poor Condition of Form Rollers
New rollers is an expense that most operators wish to delay as long as possible. Rollers in poor condition deliver an uneven lay of ink on the printing form. Endless and futile roller adjustment is an expense of time and will still yield substandard results. Rollers need replacement is the ends are flared or the faces are torn, pitted or glazed (oxidized). The latter can be ameliorated with a roller conditioner, e.g. Easy Street or Putz Pomade. Less noticeable are flat spots and rubber that is too hard. Vandercook recommended that the hardness of rollers should not exceed a 20 reading on a Shore “Type A” durometer.   

Over-packed Cylinder
Too much tympan or other material under the drawsheet may cause misregistration, slurs or wrinkles on the printed sheet. When printing large forms, excessive packing may cause cylinder bearings to shift out of alignment. Vandercook recommended that total packing including drawsheet and paper stock should be between .002" to .003" over cylinder bearers. To determine how much packing to use, begin by confirming the cylinder undercut. This is the amount of the cylinder face that is lower than the cylinder bearers, which contact with the bed bearers (smooth rail). With the cylinder at feed board, find the measurement stamped into the narrow channel separating the cylinder face from the cylinder bearers on the operator’s side (040k” is most common). This means that .040" worth of packing is needed to make contact with a form locked in the bed of the press. Adjust plus or minus for the sheet being printed and degree of impression wanted, but to be significantly over .918" changes the diameter of the cylinder and that may cause register problems. Tympan paper is generally .006 while Mylar is .005, .007, or 010”. The bulk of the paperstock can be measured with a micrometer. Certainly impression over .003” is possible without damaging the press. The force from compression of the paperstock and packing force can be felt by the operator using a hand-cranked press. The limit is well short of a two-handed effort. Operators who use a Mylar drawsheet often have an additional tympan drawsheet scored and tucked down between the cylinder and the clamp bar. This is unnecessary and positions the gripper bar further from the cylinder than intended, keeping the screws from tightening completely, which is critical to obtaining good packing and sheet registration. Note that bent or stripped threads inhibits the tightness of the gripper bar. Drawsheets that are hand-cut from a tympan roll need to be sharply scored at clamp bar end. Like too much packing, a soft rounded edge may cause misregistration, slurs or wrinkles on the printed sheet. Hand-cut drawsheets allow the operator to make the tail longer that those than are die-cut. More tail wound around the reel rod provides enough tension so that a reel rod clamp or adhesive tape is  unnecessary to achieve a smooth drum-tight surface. A common complaint is the sticking of the gripper pins. These should be cleaned and lubricated at the lower end with graphite. Adjustment on older style gripper bars is rarely needed. Later Universal and SP series presses have a shaft that passes through the center of the cylinder on which tapered cams are mounted that contact the bottom of the gripper pins. When the foot pedal is depressed, the shaft and cams move toward the operator wedging under the cams thus pushing the gripper pins up. The position of each cam on the shaft can be moved so that more of the taper is pushed under the pin. See the illustration in the manual.  

Loose, Worn, Broken and Missing Parts
Because these presses are 40, 50, and 60 years old, wear and tear is to be expected. When encountering a particular press for the first time take a quick inventory to see if all the parts are accounted for, and compare to the manual, which is available for most models. In addition to the obvious (oscillating rollers, form rollers, gripper bar and side guide), check the screws, nuts, bolts and springs. Confirm that the screw threads are in good condition. Replace or use a thread die to clean them up. This is especially important for the roller height adjustment screws on bottom frame form rollers found on the 219 and the No. 4 as well as the roller adjustment knobs and lock screws on Universals and SP series presses. These latter model presses have “quick change” rollers with a separate bearing on each core end. The roller height is adjusted by a vertical screw post attached to the roller bearing and held in place by a lock screw. Often the original lock screws have been replaced with either flat head or Phillips head machine screws. The slots on these screws are generally chewed up and thus make tightening difficult. Replace them with socket head cap screws and tighten with a hex (or Allen) wrench. Use 8-32 x 3/4” for the SP15 and  8-32 x 5/8” or shorter for the SP20 and Universals.  The bearing block for the SP15 is a cube that sits on the lift arm, while on Universals and the SP20 the bearing is round and sits in a bracket mounted on the inside of the carriage side plate. An L-shaped bracket (actually: Γ ) is riveted or screwed into the side of the roller bearing. This bracket rests on top of the lift arm. When the rivet or screw is loose the bracket may flip upside-down ( L ) causing the end roller to be set too high. If the bracket is inserted under the lift arm the form roller will sit too low and cannot be adjusted. Check the tightness of the hex screw(s) on the collar of the form roller gear against the roller core. A loose gear will wobble as it travels over the gear rack and over time, the hole will ream out. Eventually, this would allow the roller to slide over the form instead of turning and thus not lay ink correctly. An addition concern on the No. 4 is its gear and clutch mechanism. When at the feed board these parts are separated by the depression of a pin, aided a spring, that slides in the end of the roller cores. If the pins stick, clean and lubricate with graphite powder. The pin is depressed by the clutch plate. If it has excessive wear at the contact points it can be brazed. Rollers on older presses (e.g. 320, 219, No. 4, and No. 3) are set into a frame and held in place with two-part brass bearing blocks bored to the diameter of the roller cores. Over the course of use, the spinning action of the harder steel roller cores will ream out the blocks’ holes in an oval shape, causing the form rollers to bounce. Replace with steel blocks and nyliners (nylon bushing). These blocks are bored to the diameter of a nyliner fitted onto the roller core. Note the position of the oil holes and install retainer clips to hold nyliners in place on the side opposite the gears. Roller height adjustment to each screw needs to be made incrementally because adjusting one screw too much will inhibit the adjustment of the other screw on that same block. Also check condition of the screw threads, besides being stripped they may be coated in dried ink. Once adjusted the middle sets screws must be tightened to hold the roller height.  The worm gear for the oscillating roller should be on the operator’s side so that its cleanliness and  lubrication can be easily monitored. If it is on the opposite side,  it had previously been removed for repair of thorough cleaning. Apparently on the 320/325 series and the older Composing Room Cylinder presses with their separate inking carriages the worm was designed to be on opposite side. This can be reversed with no adverse affects by removing the worm gear and oscillating roller from its frame then rotating them. Inspect the carriage latch spring (called the cylinder check on older models). Usually it is still in place, but broken in several pieces and can result in the carriage rolling away from the feedboard unprompted.  

Brash Disassembly and Adjustment
While understanding how a press works is essential, taking it apart to do so isn’t. Those operators with the initiative to restore a press can be too eager to disassemble it to get at cosmetic grime. Others will diagnose a problem and apply an unsound remedy that may serve them in the short term, but may actually exacerbate the problem, such as adding adhesive tape to the bed bearers. Caution is especially urged when considering adjusting the carriage bearings. They will wear down over time and may not make contact with the bed bearers or under rails at all points during travel over the bed. However before adjusting, check the evenness of impression by pulling a blind proof of type high rule or bearers locked in the bed placed near and parallel to the bed bearers, per Gerald Lange in his article Adjusting Cylinder Carriage Bearings. Similarly, Fritz Klinke’s method is recommended:

We have typically set the impression bearings with the cylinder on print positioned in the middle of the bed. Set the bearings too tight to the upper rail and the cylinder will not turn, and too loose and it will allow for movement in the cylinder when printing, so we have used paper in the thickness of .003” to place between each bearing and the top rail, tighten snugly to the rail with that paper in place, then roll cylinder off the paper and it should be about right. It may take more thickness in the paper, probably not less, but should be the same for all four bearings. This can take some time and experimentation.

Brass shims work better than paper, and it should be noted that factory settings can only be approximated.  

Upgrade Your Toolkit
Simple adjustments and repairs are poorly executed in a shop that doesn’t have proper tools. For example, a small screwdriver used to loosen the fillister-head screws on the gripper bar may not provide enough torque to loosen them and will quickly chew the slot, making subsequent drawsheet changes difficult. This can also get expensive since these screws are not found in a hardware stores and usually have to be purchased from NA graphics who has them specially made and are currently priced at $9.50 piece. Assemble a basic toolkit that includes:

• 3/4" open end wrench

Socket set  (English)

Fine-grit metal sandpaper

• Medium adjustable wrench

X-acto or breakaway knife

Extension magnet or grabber

• Assorted screwdriver set

Cutting mat

Flashlight

3/8" flathead screwdriver

36" ruler or straight edge

Lint free rags (blue wipes)

Hex wrench set (English)

Bone folder

Pipe cleaners & cotton swabs

Pliers (“Channel Lock”style)

Metal file

2-3 toothbrushes

I hope this narrative will be helpful. My goal is to encourage greater diligence in the care and maintenance of your press. If you do this, it may outlast you and perhaps someday a Vandercook operator yet to be born will be grateful for your efforts.

Copyright © 2007 by Paul Moxon. This article originally published in Galley Gab, October 2007.
Top

 


 
Edition Printing on the Cylinder Proof Press: A Historical Perspective

Gerald Lange
Moderator of PPLetterpress Mailing List

To my knowledge, the first documented use of a modern flatbed cylinder proof press for editioning a finely printed book was in the early 1950s at the newly formed Thistle Press. This was the Bert Clarke and David Way printing of volumes IV through XII of the Frick Collection catalogue (completed in 1955). John Dreyfus, in his book, Bert Clarke, Typographer, notes the pair abandoned the iron handpresses, used to print the first three volumes of the catalogue (published in 1949), after having “successfully experimented with alternative methods for printing dampened handmade paper on a large Vandercook proof press.”

But it was not until the mid-1960s that the hand-operated flatbed cylinder press began to be viewed by some printers as an ideal press for limited edition production work. The most notable early practitioner in this regard was Claire Van Vliet of the Janus Press. Her earliest work on a Vandercook proof press stems from the period of her apprenticeship (1958–1960) at John Anderson’s The Pickering Press. Probably the most influential advocate of the hand-operated flatbed cylinder press, however, was Walter Hamady of The Perishable Press, Ltd., whose first printed work on a Vandercook appeared in 1966 when he began teaching at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.1 Both Van Vliet and Hamady were (and are) first and foremost, artists, and practiced the printing arts with a different perspective than their predecessors. Their stylistic approach to personal bookmaking was to have a significant impact on the like-minded fine press “renascence” of the mid-1970s.

As the commercial printing industry completed its shift away from letterpress technology in the late 1960s and early 1970s, flatbed cylinder proof presses and other remnants of the metal type era were flooding into the used printing equipment market. Only a few years after Lewis Allen published his seminal Printing With the Handpress in 1969, the iron handpress, the subject of his study, was already losing its ground as the press of choice for a new generation of fine printers.2 From William Morris to Allen the iron handpress had remained the only machine deemed traditionally appropriate for hand edition work. Allen begrudgingly felt that a cylinder press could only be considered a legitimate handpress if the roller mechanism was removed (and the form inked by hand); his contemporary, Harry Duncan, thought that the addition of a tympan and frisket cage attached to the end of the bed would suffice. This standing defense of tradition was itself, ironically, a bit blind to traditional technique. In 1933, printing historian Paul Johnston lamented that the “modern” mechanical use of rollers to ink a form had irrevocably invalidated the virtue of, and the skills required for, “hand press printing” by dispensing with the difficult, but more touch-sensitive, ink balls.3Despite the argument, the iron handpress was increasingly forsaken for the very reasons Clarke and Way had abandoned it in the 1950s: efficiency and availability. In 1973, while beginning work on the Greenwood Press Phoedrus, printer Jack Stauffacher chose handset type and the Vandercook proof press as “the simplest and most trustworthy tools” for producing the book. As more and more of the fine printers entering the field took up the hand-operated flatbed cylinder press, resistance fell by the wayside. By 1980, in his lecture “The Technology of the Hand Press,” Duncan referred with shielded optimism to the “upstart” cylinder press as “the new god.”
 
Notes1. Interestingly, Van Vliet immediately preceded Hamady at Madison, teaching there for a year in 1965. Previous to this, according to the bibliographic evidence, Hamady printed on a clamshell platen press.
2. In this book, Allen has written that Bruce Rogers was an early practitioner of printing on a Vandercook. I have been unable to find any evidence of this except to note that Rogers was associated with the Thistle Press and the Frick Collection catalogue and may have been influential in Clarke and Way’s decision to complete the project with a Vandercook.Further note: In a letter from William J. Murray, dated March 31, 2006, he notes that his acquaintance William G. Haynes worked on the Thistle Press Frick catalog for three years. Murray states “I distinctly remember his talking about the use of the Vandercooks in the printing and that the project was considered by the workmen to have been under the overall supervision of Bruce Rogers, who at his age (early 80s) did not want the day to day burdens of the printing project itself. But Bill Haynes remembered that he did come, but rarely, to the shop to look at the printing in progress. Haynes recalls meeting him there.”
3. Rollers were first used as inking devices on printing presses in 1812.Excerpted from “Edition Printing on the Cylinder Proof Press: A Historical Perspective,” Parenthesis: The Journal of the Fine Press Book Association, Oxford, England. Number 3, May, 1999. Revised, with additional notes not originally included in the article.

Copyright © 1999, 2003 by Gerald Lange.
Top

 

 
Adjusting Cylinder Carriage Bearings Vandercook SP-15, SP-20, SP-25, Universal Models

Gerald Lange

Moderator of PPLetterpress Mailing List

Press bearings need to be oiled on a daily basis. Wipe the bearers’ top and bottom, with a freshly oiled rag, each time you set up the press. Clean the bearers at the front of the press and then move the cylinder to clean the bearers at the rear of the press. If particles of metal show up on the rag after wiping, your bearers have begun to erode. This is not necessarily a reason for adjusting the bearings, but it does indicate that your bearers are worn and disintegrating and that the bearings may need adjustment to compensate. A more important consideration is impression balance, or the relationship of the cylinder to the bed, from side-to-side, from end-to-end.Unless you are mechanically inclined, however, and know what you are doing, cylinder carriage bearing adjustments are best left to a press mechanic (it is highly recommended that this be done on a periodic basis).An even impression across the form is determined by printing a heavyweight proof sheet without inking. Examine the sheet in cross light to detect any variance in impression from one edge to another. Do not overly tighten the lock-up before this test as it could force the form to rise and give a false reading. If impression is off from one side of the bed to another, the most likely problem is that the cylinder carriage bearings or bearers are off balance or worn and will need to be adjusted. [Note: bearings themselves can be replaced. NA Graphics supplies such replacement parts for various models of Vandercooks.]The cylinder carriage bearings consist of the bearings mounted to an impression wheel eccentric. These are adjustable from the outside of the cylinder carriage. There are three sets on each side of a Vandercook SP-15 and four sets on each side of a Vandercook SP-20 or Universal I.The top bearings work in conjunction with the roller height adjustments. Turning the eccentric to raise the bearings upward will cause the rollers on that side of the carriage to drop (downward movement). These bearings are adjusted on “print” mode.The bottom bearings control the amount of impression. Turning the eccentric to raise the bearings upward reduces the play in the cylinder, thus increasing impression. These bearings are adjusted in “trip” mode (off impression).Note: Vandercook made its initial settings with the cylinder carriage positioned in the middle of the bed. This is the recommended carriage position when adjusting the bearings.To adjust the bearings, unlock the eccentric’s bolt head and the small bolt head that controls the movement of the eccentric. Turn the triangular-shaped plate to make the adjustment, and tighten the bolt heads.

In adjusting a SP-20, this procedure seemed to work best in affecting drop:
The rear (feed board) top bearing was turned toward the rear to increase drop. The front (bedside) top bearing was turned toward the front to increase drop.

Both bottom bearings were turned toward the front to increase drop.
Note: the direction of these adjustments may vary from press to press.
After re-tightening the bolt heads, check for any drag in the bearings. They should spin with finger pressure and there should be a slight drag on the rail (the cylinder carriage should move without difficulty). The bearings will normally be “loose” in trip mode, but tight in “print” mode.

Testing adjustments:
The cylinder should be packed at a normal setting for the press. Place several long, 36-pt wide, type-high rule down the bed length, one on each side of the bed. A piece of .001 tissue should just pull out from the compression of the cylinder against the rule. [Note: The original specifications for the SP-15 allowed for the top carrier bearings to be set at .005 to .007 for the rear bearings and .001 to .002 for the front bearings, but without an appropriate manufacturer’s gauge there is no other practical way of making this measurement.]

If this adjustment is correct, ink the press and pull a proof on tissue to reveal inking and impression. Pull further proofs on heavier stock and examine the backside for impression consistency from one side to another. Re-adjust the bearings to correct inconsistencies.

Check the lay of the cylinder on the ink drum by dropping the roller cage down on the ink drum and then lifting it up again. The cylinder needs to be perfectly horizontal to the ink drum. [Some Vandercook models, such as the SP-20 allow for separate ink drum adjustments, others do not.]  There should be an even ink strike-pattern of 1/8 to 1/4 inches from end to end revealed on the ink drum.

Copyright © 2003 by Gerald Lange.

Please send corrections and suggestions to the author.
Top

 

 
Lock-Up

David S. Rose
Author of
Introduction to Letterpress Printing in the 21st Century

Some Vandercooks were designed to print from type while still in galleys, and others were designed for type out of galleys. The former are known as "galley-high" (as opposed to "type-high"), and shipped with a special insert plate which was the exact thickness of a galley, and let them serve both purposes. You can't, however, lower a type-high bed to print from galleys. The third type of Vandercooks were the fancy, high-end models with "adjustable" beds, in which the entire bed could be raised or lowered by a hand crank at the foot of the press, letting it be used for different heights of type, in or out of galleys.

For proofs in galleys, the type is usually tied up with string (details of this age-old practice are shown here and in most printing manuals), and sometimes kept roughly in place by the use of magnets or spring-metal galley locks. Since the idea of proofing type in a galley was simply to check for correct setting, registration wasn't particularly important, and thus lock-up wasn't a big issue.

For "production" work on a Vandercook, you usually set the type directly on a type-high bed (or the insert on a galley-high bed), and then lock it up with furniture against the three fixed sides of the press. At the foot, you lock against either the standard, fixed-position lock-up bar (which drops into little grooves towards the end of the bed), or else against the optional, more expensive, handy-dandy positive lock-up bar, which slides down the bed as far as necessary and then, with a slide of the lever, locks first to the sides and then presses in toward the form.

All that said, many printers will use a chase in Vandercook, because it allows you to lock-up the form on the imposing stone and move it to the press only when needed. You can also quickly pop in and take out forms (if for some reason you keep multiple standing forms around), which is a lot easier than if the type is locked directly into the bed. When a chase is used, depending on the particular circumstance, it is usually held in place by the lock-up bar and/or furniture and quoins.

Copyright © 2003 by David S. Rose

Top  |  Home  |  Webmaster