Vandercook Workshops led by Paul Moxon. Please contact the institution to register. To schedule a workshop, service call, lecture, or private consult, please use the Contact Form

Vandercook Maintenance

TBA Museum of Printing, Haverhill MA
September 27, Ladies of Letterpress + Print Week
September 9–10, Center for Book Arts, New York

Participants will learn all the points of maintenance, cleaning, and lubrication so as to be prepared for potential problems and make or direct repairs. We will also discuss all models of interest and other brands as warranted. Whether you use a school press, own one, or are planning to buy, this workshop will provide excellent direction for your future presswork. Bring your questions, photos and/or broken parts. Paul will also share examples from his collection of Vandercook literature.

Vandercook Maintenance & Halftone Printing
October 8–13, Maine Media Workshops + College

Gain a complete understanding of press maintenance and trouble-shooting through fine-tuned experiments in half tone printing.

This weeklong course will provide any letterpress practitioner with a wealth of endlessly useful knowledge and hands-on experience. Even if you work on non-Vandercook presses, this class will prove invaluable.

Students will start the course by performing a full maintenance sweep of the two presses at Maine Media, a Vandercook Universal I and III, under the guidance of the instructor, Paul Moxon. The class will also discuss other models and brands as warranted in order to expand students’ awareness of press maintenance. Paul will also share his extensive knowledge of the history of these machines and printing in general throughout the course.

The following days will be devoted to time on the press, learning about halftone printing and exploring the effect of certain variables on the final print. Students will learn to print a digital negative and make a photopolymer plate for half-tone printing, which can be used to print multiples of photographic images on the letterpress. However, students should not expect to leave with a finished letterpress project. The purpose of this portion of the course is to improve students’ technical quality of presswork. The class will methodically play with variables like cylinder packing, paper, ink, height of plates, and registration, in order to ascertain the effect these small changes have on the final print.

By the end of the week, students will have gained knowledge of press maintenance and should have a deeper understanding about the minutiae of letterpress printing, which will allow you to troubleshoot your future projects with confidence. 

Proof Press Finesse
Improve the technical quality of your presswork in this problem-solving workshop. Moxon will cover how to tweak current problems on the press and to gain mastery of press skills with a focus on production printing using a Vandercook, delve into the minutiae of make-ready, imposition, lockup, and the adjustment of form rollers to obtain proper inking and impression. Other topics include choosing paper and inks, using photopolymer plates and troubleshooting press problems, all resulting in better quality press work, better understanding of equipment and materials, better ability to troubleshoot, and an all around productive time spent among quality people. Bravely bring examples of your worst printing to be critiqued in class as well as any photopolymer plates or paper you would like to try; otherwise all materials will be provided. A great class for those considering starting their own shop.

Vandercook Concentration: Mastering the Proof Press
This comprehensive workshop delves into the minutiae of Vandercookery. Using presses in the print studio, participants will gain hands-on maintenance experience as preparation for future problems and repairs. (We will also discuss all models of interest and other brands as warranted.) Once the presses have been serviced, we will investigate materials and methods to improve the technical quality of presswork. With a focus on production printing using proof presses, we will examine the control of inking, cylinder packing, proper height of plates, form imposition, lockup and registration aids. By standardizing materials (as much as possible) we will do “minimum makeready” to achieve maximum results — just like Vandercook intended.

(Robert Keleman)
(Amanda Stevenson)
(Paul Brown)