15-21 gripper adjustment?

I’m doing some reassemble on my press after having some work done on the bed and I don’t know what this part is called but it has something to do with the grippers in relation to trip/print mode.  This is on the side opposite the operator at the head of the bed.  It connects to the trip mechanism.  I can’t find anything in my manual that helps me understand why there is a sliding bar and why there is a latch.  Is this bolt and screw meant to be tightened down after some adjustment is made or is it supposed to slide around?  It also affects the wedge just to the left of it and how much movement in and out it has.  The parts as listed in my manual are screw x-11007 and QR-103 and latch x-11066 which all sit on block x-11171.       Thanks!

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Paul Moxon, Moderator
8 years ago

Well done, Justin. Be sure to tell us more about what you do to the 15-21 at BookWorks, I don’t recall it was all that bad. Coincidentally, I just installed new tie rod bushings for the top frame oscillator on the one at Florida State.

For the benefit of others: ramps are referred to as cams in most Vandercook manuals. Auto grippers are great for fast poster work, but registered work needs to go slower and rely on the pedal. Then, locking the gripper latch makes for less wear on the gripper bar and a quieter shop.

Barbara, I’m sure I mentioned that this model is a rare bird (the census lists just twenty). The closest ones to you are at Wesleyan, the Museum of Printing and a private one in Somerville. Don’t for get to tell us more about your under rails rebuild.

Justin Turcotte
Justin Turcotte
8 years ago

That is what triggers the automatic grippers. You can adjust when the they close with this bolt. It is a great feature. I know several printers who are using automatic grippers and they love them. I recommend giving it a try.
Also I believe your press has a movable” ramp” for the grippers at the other end, opposite the operator. This allows you to change where the grippers release the paper. It might be helpful if you are printing shorter things. Some people don’t know about theses features. Best of luck with your press, and if you need any photos of parts let me know. I have hundreds.

Justin Turcotte
Justin Turcotte
8 years ago

The bar with the slots in it is suppose to slide back and forth. When the latch is holding the bar back the grippers will operate with the foot pedal. When the latch is released the grippers are in “automatic” mode. When the carriage is rolled back to the feed table the grippers will come up automatically. They will snap down right at the end. The nut and bolt that are located on the bar just under the latch are what adjusts when the grippers will snap down.
I am currently completely rebuilding a 15-21 for Book Works in Asheville. So let me know if you have any other questions

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