Hello all, here’s another question for a No. 3. I got brand new rollers and have secured them into the bottom roller assembly, but now I need to put the assembly back onto the lift arm bracket and want to make sure I’m doing it correctly. Any tips on how this should go? I have the assembly propped up on a box now so I can screw them back in, but I noted that my rollers may prevent me from putting the nut on the end of the screw that attaches to the bracket. So is there a way to put the assembly on without the rollers, and then put them on afterward so I can get that nut on?

Thanks in advance for the help.


I’m still running into problems on my No.3 with respect to roller height and I haven’t seen anyone else having this issue. I’m using a type-high gauge (from NA Graphics) on top of a cold-rolled steel 18-gauge plate. I set the proper roller height where the start of my Boxcar Base would be, then roll toward the end of the base and the rollers are too high, not even touching the gauge!

I’ve checked and re-checked everything I can think of (I have brand new rollers from NA, btw, so that can’t be the issue):

  • Bearing bars are steel, block numbers match and oil holes face up and outward (one broken Nyliner is missing that I have to replace)
  • Adjusting screws and holes are cleaned up; they looked good but used a tap and die to make sure the threads were okay
  • Roller frame appears okay and even
  • Thought the steel plate might be bowing slightly from one end to the other, so placed the Boxcar base on top to weigh it down but same results

I don’t have a galley height gauge, which I’m trying to avoid having to buy as my credit card still hurts from the new roller purchase. The only thing I can think of to (hopefully) solve the problem is to build up under the steel plate at the low end with some packing until it reaches the proper roller height.

Anyone have a better idea or is that the best option?



We have a No. 4 (S/N 8655) and have a problem with the foot pedal mechanism that interacts with the gripper trip assembly.  The foot pedal is connected to the pivot mechanism on the non-operator side of the press by way of the bicycle chain on the outside of the press cabinet.  I had the cylinder rolled to the end of the bed and was oiling the gripper trip assembly and pivot mechanism attached to the foot pedal.  I happened to hit the foot pedal and heard a ‘snap’.  At that point the foot pedal dropped to the floor and did not come back up to the normal position.  The gripper trip assembly had moved outward to the point that the spring (MRS-106) was fully extended and away from the side of the press.  I found a small spacer on the floor.  It has a 1/2″ outside diameter with a 1/4″ center hole and is 1/4″ thick.   The manual we have does not have any diagram of the pivot mechanism which is attached to the foot pedal via the chain and has a tongue that is between the gripper trip assembly and pushes on the gripper trip assembly to open the grippers when the cylinder is at the feed table.  Does a diagram of this part exist which would assist me in determining what happened, how to fix it, and if the spacer is key to the repair?

The problem happened late in the evening so I have yet to take steps to remove any parts.  It is also difficult to provide photos because limited space in out print shop means we have the non-operator side of the press fairly  close to the wall.  I thought I would check with the experts for help before I begin taking things apart.


John Johnson

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?

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