I found some roller bearings (a total of 4 pieces) from an unknown press. They came with another press that they don’t fit to. It is definitely from none of my presses. Paul said it’s probably not Vandercook. I know that they are definitely not FAG. If someone can identify them or if someone is interested in them – I’ll ship them worldwide if you pay the postage. (Shipping is from Switzerland). They need to leave soon – they have been sitting here for too long.


Hello, this is Britt at Banshee Press in Denver.  I am having a problem with my Vandercook Model UNI-I, Serial # 24389 with auto carriage.

On the trip cycle, the carriage balks with an abrupt jerk – sometimes to the point of stopping – at 21 1/2″ measured from the feed-board end of the press.  (It does not balk on the print cycle, only returning from printing on trip.) I have tried:

  • Complete clean and lubrication of all parts.
  • Made sure press is perfectly level on both axes.
  • Adjust the drive clutch, both over and under adjusted.
  • Visual inspection for obstacles and impingements.  Tighten all screws and bolts.
  • Remove, clean and adjust cylinder racks so they move smoothly and accurately.
  • Remove form rollers. (no effect)
  • Remove gripper bar. (no effect)

uni-i-mov-screenshotThe effect is more pronounced and 100% incident in manual mode. Less pronounced in cycle mode (sometimes doesn’t happen at all in cycle mode.)

The effect is more pronounced with a polymer plate on the base, running under pressure.  The effect seems to be more pronounced the longer the carriage sits at the open end.

The impression is not uneven, nor is the inking.

I have attached a brief video showing the problem in manual mode.

Any suggestions?  Thank you so much for your help.





Ferdinand Wesel (1846-1912) was the founder of the F. Wesel Manufacturing Company, which among other equipment, made some of the first flatbed cylinder proof presses. Born in Frankfurt A.M., he learned the printing-machinery trade, as The Inland Printer once put it, “in the thorough manner characteristic of his countrymen.” In 1866, he emigrated to New York and worked in several print shops. Two years later he was hired by R. Hoe & Co. as a manufacturing department head where he remained until establishing his eponymous company in 1880. This new new venture’s growth was rapid and necessitated four plant moves in the first twelve years. His Inland Printer obituary said Mr. Wesel was “an indefatigable worker, and had the faculty of vision. These combinations and his trained skill enabled him to secure results which have placed the products of the Wesel Manufacturing Company on a plane which has won for them a world-wide reputation.” Among dozens of products were stereotype and electrotype platemaking equipment, camera, type saws, and proof presses. While on a visit to Germany with his wife, Wesel died suddenly at age 66. That same year, a Wesel Electric Self-inking Proof Press” appears in the 1912 American Type Founders catalog. Only one of these is now known to exist. Later versions look similar to the Vandercook models 22, and 23 and HS27.

See Origin of the modern proof press reconsidered, Part II

* A two page display ad in a 1901 Inland Printer for F. Wesel Mfg. noted that the manager was Henry Lewis Bullen (1857–1938). Bullen became an influential writer on printing and typography who later established a library and museum for the American Type Founders Company.  The collection at one point containing over 16,000 items is now at Columbia University.


In a 2010 post, I examined Vandercook’s claim to be “the originators of the modern proof press.” In it I discussed presses shown in a 1906 catalog issued by the British manufacturer Harrild & Sons (courtesy of Steven O. Saxe). In the comments, Eric Holub shared images from a 1904 catalog for Soldan’s, another British firm. Here’s another contender thanks again to Steve Saxe, with whom I had the opportunity to visit this past summer.

Continue reading »


Recently when inking the rollers on my Vandercook SP20 I have encountered the following problems. 1) When I apply ink across the distributor roller and let it down on the form rollers the ink does not spread evenly and there seems to be some hesitation in the distributor rollers. 2) When I roll the rollers over the form the distributor roller does not roll or seem to be engaged. and 3) when I return the rollers to the inking position the form roller that makes contact with the inking cylinder jumps out of its support bracket and is no longer in contact with the inking cylinder.



I purchased this press when I was making woodblock prints 13+ years ago. I had a dream of refinishing it and properly setting it up. However that dream has since long passed, but perhaps that’s your dream now. If so, let’s talk.

Pickup or arranged shipping would have to be from Morton, IL 61550.

$900 + you take care of pick up

If you want more photos, I’ll take them and post them on Google+.





Though the ink drum drive chain and gear seem to be operating normally when powered on, the ink drum itself is not spinning. The ink drum does move freely when manually manipulated.

Tagged with:

Our friend Kevin Martin at the Papertrail, in Nediameter-gaugew Dundee, Ontario, Canada, has developed an ingenious flexible roller diameter gauge. It’s available as a free pdf on his website.



Tagged with:

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.

Set your Twitter account name in your settings to use the TwitterBar Section.
Theme Tweaker by Unreal