Hello -

Paul kindly inspected my press before I purchased it. During his inspection he noted that the motor was loud, but quieted down quickly. Paul suggested checking the motor mounts, but those checked out fine. I’ve been trying to figure out the odd motor noise and today I noticed something. The noise seems to be a direct result of the ink drum chain bouncing about. The chain bounces when the motor is first turned on and settles down within a minute or so. It also bounces when the form, oscillator, and rider rollers are lowered into position and it stops bouncing when the ink system is lifted back off the ink drum. Any ideas or suggestions? Let me know if you need a video for reference. Thank you for your help.


I’ve acquired a 15-21 and am pretty much teaching myself. I have the manual from NAGraphics for this model, have read and absorbed a great deal but don’t know the history of this press, feel like there are things that might need some attention by a professional. I live in Western Massachusetts and wondering if anyone knows someone who could or would be coming this way to do a complete check-up on this press. I’ve done a lot of lubing, de-rusting and some minor printing at this point. I’m a mechanically-inclined person and have checked out many links about maintenance on vandercooks. thanks

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no2-reelrodsI have a vandercook # 2 serial #3046. After taking a short coarse on Letterpress at the South West School of Art in San Antonio on there #14 , I have a question on the #2 having two tension bars for the packing—Is this for a double tapered packing or maybe a felt pad? Ratchets on both bars and they turn in opposite directions



Hello -

Ready for my daily SP-20 question? I truly appreciate all the shared knowledge and help I’ve received along the way. Anyway, a few days ago I noticed that I can wiggle the cylinder back and forth with out the cylinder moving down the bed. There is 1/16th to 1/8th of play before the cylinder begins to rotate. Is this normal or indicative of a larger problem? I’ve attached a video of the cylinder wiggle.

Cylinder Wiggle


Igloo #4 metal wear

Hi – I am noticing new wear on my Vandy #4.  A burr is being created at the top and bottom of the metal shown in the picture.  You can see the shiny new metal that has been exposed.  This is the operator side of the press.  I don’t see anything on the other side.

Can anyone give me advice on what I should troubleshoot to find the cause?  The wheels are moving freely the whole length of the press bed.




Lockup Bar  - InternalMy Handy Lockup Bar is not working. I took the bar apart thinking that the mechanism might be dirty, but that doesn’t seem to be the problem. Along with the NR-255 Cam Rider, NRS-23 Spring, and NS-399 Block Extension I also found 4 washers. Do the washers actually belong in the lockup bar? It seems that someone was trying to get the Block Extension to work and used the washers to make the mechanism long enough to actually extend the Block. When moving the NR-253 Cam via the handle it does not engage or disengage the Block Extension. I cannot figure out what the set screw does in the NR-253 Cam. Does anyone know? Do you think NR-255 Cam Rider and NRS-23 Spring are worn and need replacing? Or is there another problem I’m not understanding? Any insight would be greatly appreciated!

Lockup Cam and Set Screw


The SP25 at our school press (Virginia Commonwealth University – Bowe House Press) is experiencing difficulty when trying to raise the grippers. We tried oiling the exterior items that are attached – the X-22516 Gripper Shaft, but this did not help. This problem began in the past two weeks, before there was no indication of a problem. Has anyone experienced such a problem, if so was there a solution? Is there an internal section that may need oiled or is this a possible problem with the foot pedal? We made a video of this, located below, but it does not really show the problem as clearly as my just stating it.

This is a revised video – hopefully showing the problem more clearly. We did already check the packing and that was not the problem.



Dutch advert

I found this advertisement of a repro-company in the 1952 Christmas issue of the Dutch Federation of Printers. They proudly announce the purchase of a second Vandercook proof press. The quote at the top of the advert is from an article that appeared earliercover Christmas issue 1952 in a publication of the Amsterdam Typefoundry. In the article, the progress made in printing and pre-press, is explained by a team of Dutch specialists who visited the USA. Printers in the Netherlands suffered of course from the post-WW II shortages and were keen to invest and to get printing again.

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Hello -

I removed the ink drum chain this morning and noticed that there is quite a bit of movement in the gear that comes out of the motor. Is this normal? Or do I need to push the pin (that is sticking out) further in? Here is a video. I am sorry about the quality, but it’s in a tight space. Let me know your thoughts. Thank you.

Gear Movement


leaf blind

To go along with my previous post about plate movement, I noticed the leading and trailing edges of my prints have a noticeably deeper impression than the middle. I ran off a blind print of a small leaf plate so you can see it here. My packing is 4 sheets of tympan and 1 sheet of press board (total .042″). The print sheet is Lettra 110. What’s causing this? What can I do to eliminate it?

Thanks for your help as always!



For those of you that use Patmag bases, what do you do to keep your steel-backed plates from moving? I have a pretty large solid – about 15″ x 4″ – that I’m running and I discovered, upon running the second color, that the plate had continually moved throughout the run. Makes registration a damn pain, that’s for sure.

Anyone try spray mount? I know that would mess up minute registration adjustments, but I need something to keep the stupid thing from moving, even minutely.

I put some scotch tape on just to see what would happen and you can see how it’s shifting and torquing. This isn’t even the big plate (and ignore the messy plate; I was hand-rolling).


Hello -

Has anyone found a replacement source for wash-up blades? Any leads or even blade specs would be greatly appreciated!

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