I have old cans of VanSon Holiday gold paste and a can of gold paste from Cal/Ink. How do you print with these? Do you mix them with varnish or transparent base? Thanks.


Hi Folks,
Sorry if this has been covered before…
Haven’t printed on this machine yet, but in the course of general lube and clean-up, I detect one issue: in the home/start position, the carriage doesn’t quite sit well-settled to the left/feedboard. it wants to roll off of the correct home/detente position and almost begin travel.
Thanks for insights,


no3-lift-arm-bracketHello all–

Wondering if there is a rule of thumb for bolt placement in the slot for the lift arm bracket on the No. 3 (and why there’s such a large slot in the first place)? Do I need to adjust those in some way before I start adjusting my roller height (e.g. on one side of the press vs. the other and front-to-back on each side of the rollers)? Thanks!




This past week my SP-15 has started making a whining/humming when I move the carriage forward. It happens in both trip and print although it sounds a little more dramatic in print. I have oiled everything I can possibly think of to put oil on and it makes no difference. This also happens when the rollers are up, so I have ruled out that it has anything to do with those. I can’t see any issues with any of the wheels, but it is a little hard to see while everything is moving. Here are two videos I took that have the noise. It starts about 1/3rd of the way down the press bed.

Thank you for taking a look!



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I have a friend who has an SP15. She was having trouble getting the inking smooth and I stopped over to see if I could figure it out. Turned out that the roller and the drive gear were acting independently of each other.  Once it was printing the gear that should drive the form roller was slipping (generally speaking it was rolling but the roller itself was just sliding across the surface of the type). I came back and looked at our SP15 which was the same way, but the rubber of the roller on ours was locked to the gear. On hers you could rotate the gear quite easily.

One difference in our rollers is that the rubber end on hers is cut off square and on ours it is tapered as you can see in the photo below.

We suggested making a washer out of a non-stick sheet to see if she could get more pressure between the roller and the gear. That at least worked to reduce most of the slur she was getting.

Can anyone explain how this should work? Is there a way to essentially glue the rubber to the gear or do you not want to do that?



I currently print on a Vandercook and run a business here in the US, but am looking at moving to Northern Ireland for a year. I’d like to continue printing —either on a borrowed press (in a shared studio environment) or on a press that I buy over there. Are there any recommendations of reputable sites that list presses for sale? Are Vandercooks common in the UK or am I more likely to find another type of cylinder press? Any advice welcome. Thanks!


Hi guys, you might remember that last year I posted about this problem I was having with my ink drum not getting fully inked.


I finally got around to changing the wooden bushings on the Ink drum and on the rider rollers. Very nice oilite brass bushings for the ink drum and some nylon bushings for the rider rollers.

I installed everything again, and I could tell that one side is still lower than the other, even without having to ink it.

Previously the squareness of the frame was mentioned as a possibility, but I don’t think the roller frame has fault here.

I measured the distance the ink drum protrudes up from the carriage bearers and on the operator side it protrudes approx. 0.108″, while on the N.O.S. it protrudes only 0.065″

Might that difference be what we see over here? (photo from last year’s post)


Also, I noticed that the ink drum has play between the rails, and that if I slide it to the O.S., it will travel to the N.O.S. again in a short period of time.

I measured the bed with a spirit level and it seemed that the N.O.S. was lower, so I raised it, but that doesn’t account at all for the difference in height. Maybe for the sliding, but I also made sure that the chain was extra loose, so it wasn’t pulling in that direction.

What could it be?

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Hello All,

I own a Uni I. I’m trying to move my gripper cams to accommodate thicker papers and make the gripper pins open higher.

I can’t get them to budge. I’ve removed all of the set screws, used penetrating oil, and lots of elbow grease.

Any suggestions? This seems so simple, and I’m worried maybe I’m missing something?

Thank you!



So I know this is not Vandercook related, but I thought with such a knowledgeable community y’all could help. I am about to move a 10 × 15 Craftsman Chandler and Price Automatic Platen Press. Has anyone moved this type of press? How much does this press weigh? 1500 lbs vs 3500 lbs? If anyone has any successful moving stories of this type of press without hiring someone I’m all ears?


The symptom: The top of the bed has less impression. At first I thought maybe the adjustable bed could be at fault, but a level revealed it pretty even from top to bottom center, but the operator side corner top appears to actually rise, in complete contradiction to my problem of less impression at the top in general. (toward the cylinder)
A roller gauge inking test shows that in trip there is no line when it is placed at the top, and at only about 8 inches from the the top does it show a good stripe. So it would seems that the bearers traveling over the bed are the problem.
There does not appear to be any wear or metal shavings on the rails and they are clean and oiled.
So am I right that this is what needs to be done? I’m about to start a project and I really would like to solve this once and for all. How does the eccentric adjustment improve an impression variance in travel? Or is it the bearings needing replacing…

I will do the test for impression-after getting my form out of the way.
Got none of those feeler gauges, though David says you can get a kit of them, they are just not as long as the ones Paul showed us. Or use paper.
Any tips/reminders appreciated!


Hello All,

I have a Challenge 15MP (similar to the Vandercook SP15). Not having an extensive manual for this particular press, I am not sure I’m finding all the appropriate oil ports to lube it correctly.

Does anyone have a schematic showing proper oiling points for this press? If not, is there one for the SP15 that I could use as a guide?

Thank you in advance for the help.

All best,

Emily Hancock, St Brigid Press



I’m setting up the wash-up tray for my school’s Universal 1. I’m not sure of exactly where to place two rails that form the fixed support for the tray, and I’m also not sure if the moveable support for the tray has all the parts.

Also I have two long pieces of steel with triangular flanges that seem like they go with the press somewhere but I’m not sure, although one or both could go with an SP-15 that is no longer here.

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