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.


I have taken apart the automatic inking system on a Universal 1, cleaned it, and put it back together. Behinh the machine where the threaded rod goes into when ink system is fully open has what appears to be an small oil opening with a red flip lid. There is no oil in it now, but I would like to add some to keep things in order. Should I add SAE- 20 to this or something else? Thanks.



Does anyone know how to remove the arm of a SP-15 press without damaging anything ?




One my my worst nightmares just happened. I was cleaning the ink drum of my No. 4 and carelessly let the rag slip with the drum rotating. I immediately switched off the power and hoped to see the rag on the shelf below the drum. But it is nowhere visible. I fear it may be tangled in the chain because I heard and felt a slight, soft “thunk” as the drum stopped rotating. The rag is a piece of thin flannel about 12″ × 8″. Maybe I deserve this for using old pajamas. Any suggestions?




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.


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







I’m planning to drive from Mobile, Alabama to Sarasota to tune up some Vandercooks at Ringling College of Art & Design May 21–22. If anyone is interested in a service call before or after these dates, please contact me as soon as possible.

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