Dear friends,

The print co-op I belong to recently had the form rollers for our SP-15 recovered by Pamarco. After reinstallation, I adjusted both roller heights to achieve proper strike on the roller gauge. When the rear form roller is set to a proper height, the roller gear skips along the gear rack, barely making contact. When I lower the rear roller far enough for good meshing between the gear and rack, the roller sits at an unusably low level. What simple thing am I missing?

recovered roller diameter: 2.54″
form roller gear diameter: 2.62″
gear rack height: sits 3–6 points below the bearer. Shims in place.
the press bed is galley high with a bed plate.
impression is normal with a normal amount of packing for 0.040 undercut

Thanks in advance! Happy to supply pictures if needed.


20150926_171858I have a Vandercook No. 3, the same one (SN 13165) here, that’s missing its M-134 feed roller frame assembly. I’m looking to first see if anyone has a spare (which I imagine is unlikely). Or if anyone has fabricated an alternative to the stock feed roller.

I’ve also looked into Paul’s suggestion here but the sprockets on the end of the form rollers need to be lifted above the gear rack to be rotated. Does anyone know if the original plans/drawings for the feed roller assembly, or possibly the similar lift assembly on a No. 4 are floating around somewhere? There are a few No. 3’s near me, one is owned by the individual that I purchased my No. 3 from, and I could probably take measurements from that press.

Edit: Another recommended post here, shows the lift arm bracket in more detail (thanks Paul!)





I am having a problem with a roller on my Universal. The roller closest to the feed board is binding and can’t be removed. The offending area is opposite the press operator. We can not move the carriage and the roller is not spinning.

We believe that a screw has worked loose and is not allowing the roller to move. I am concerned about using a lever on the rails to pop the roller out, but I am not sure how else to proceed. Any advice would be greatly appreciated!


Hi everyone,

I’m looking for a replacement electrical switch for an SP-15. Any ideas if there is a replacement switch out there I can drop in there?


side_guideI’m looking for missing parts for an old style side guide (for my No. 3). It’s not an immediate need, as the press is disassembled for cleaning, but I would like to try and use this one (when completed) if at all possible. I know Fritz has a new side guide available, so if I can’t locate the parts I’ll probably pick one up from him.

The first image is what I currently have – the second image is taken from Daniel’s similar post from 2007 and indicates the parts I am seeking, minus the spring.












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Challenge-M-oscillator-1 Challenge-M-oscillator-2

I am having a new worm gear and crescent fabricated for a Challenge M series press.* I intend to have a couple of extra sets made. The cost per set will be $1,150 with free shipping within the US and Canada. This is less than having a one-off made.

The Challenge census lists forty-one 15MA/MP and four 21MP. The gear diameter is the same for both sizes only the shaft length differs.

My watchword regarding presses is “anticipate failure.” You will be glad to have a spare worm gear and crescent at some point down the road. The price will certainly be higher in the future. Please contact me as soon a possible. I require a 50% deposit with the balance due before shipping.

*Similar to the Asbern A series a crescent is set into a collar that is attached to the end of the tube with set screws. Unlike the Asbern, (or Vandercook) the worm gear is cut into the shaft. This Challenge 21MP is locking up at one end of the worm gear. There are chips in the gear points and the crescent is also worn.


I have completed the restoration on this Hacker #4. Here is the history as I know it:

1. The press was purchased 1/31/1929.( A date on the bed said Apr. 12. I assume 1928) The company that bought it was Grey Ketterer & Hansen, Inc. It was later sold to Columbus Engraving Corp.
2. The press fell over at some point in its life and was fixed. Stanley Metza worked on it in 1957, at  Columbus Engraving Corp.
3. It eventually found its way to the Ohio home of Ronald Fauver and Nancy Haitz in the 1980’s. This is where I found it and gave it a new home in Pensacola, FL.
A big thanks to a few folks who helped me along the way: Paul Moxon for providing the 1936 catalog. This was most helpful in preparing for the move. Fritz Klinke who looked up the historical information on this particular press in his archives, and Scott Moore( who was there on the day of the move in Ohio.
before1 after1

profiletapersHatch Show Print, with the help of the venerable Dave Seat, had rebuilt the worn out under rails on their hand-cranked Vandercook Universal I. Worn out under rails yield uneven impression and the inability to maintain registration. Wear is caused by excessive pressure due to these conditions: 1) an unleveled press; 2) grime buildup on the cylinder bearers, bed bearers, carriage bearings and under rails; 3) overpacking of the impression cylinder; and/or 4) printing forms over type high.

hatch-uni-i-underrailsTC-stampOn all Vandercooks, except the SP series, the under rails are part of the bed casting and support the travel of the steel-cased carriage bearings. Carriage bearings can be adjusted to compensate for wear, but there are limits.

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Can I a retrofit a counter on my Universal I? If so, where are they available and did all V’s originally have one? Thanks, Neil


Screen Shot 2015-08-12 at 2.35.19 PMWe made or first Vandercook gripper bar assembly from scratch for a Universal I. The press had lost its bar somewhere, and to get it back into operation, we had to get this one made. This is for the first version of the Universal I press and is basically the same as used on the #4 and 219 presses. The style that replaced his one in 1961 is the same bar as used on the SP-15. We’ve had several people ask if we could upgrade the basic SP-15 gripper bar to one with 5 paper guides, and if this one works, we will be able to start making these. Here are a couple of pictures:


In June, I tuned-up a Challenge 21MP for Andrew Huot at Big River Bindery in Davenport, Iowa. He also has an Asbern ADR-1 that had a gummed up oscillator. I hadn’t serviced one before, so this was a great opportunity to see what it’s innards look like. The main difference is the crescent is set into a collar that is attached to the end of the tube at with socket head caps screws.

Asbern-oscilator-1 Asbern-oscilator-2 Asbern-oscilator-3 Asbern-oscilator-4





We at Tweedle Press have moved on to greener pastures and although we are reluctant to part with our beloved equipment – we feel certain that they would be happier to be used more often. See below for a list of the major pieces we are selling out of our house in Woolwich, Maine (about 45 minutes north of Portland) and their conditions. First priority will go to entire shop buys (for which we are willing to provide a discount!) and local pickup, of course. Buyer pays moving fees. We are hoping to clear out by the middle of August! Please email with questions.

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