215/4 Ink Rollers Dropping

I have had a continuous problem with the Vandercook 215 form rollers dropping down too low due to the hex bolts working themselves loose. We tighten these by hand because with a wrench, they get too tight and the rollers won’t turn freely. Is this an indication that there is something wrong with the bearing blocks? We have nyliners in place, too. For years I have just accepted this as press aging, something to be watched from time to time, but I’m hoping there might just be a cure. Any help appreciated. I have photos if that would be helpful.

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Paul Moxon, Moderator
14 years ago

In the last two weeks I cleaned three No. 4s in the manner Eric describes.

Eric Holub
14 years ago

I’d disassemble and thoroughly clean the blocks and bolts, since oil often gets into the threads (except where people don’t know there are oil holes in the blocks, common when the blocks aren’t assembled properly). It would be a good time to clean the set-screw and hole as well, since those are often caked with dried ink. If the slot of the setscrew is chewed up, an easy replacement is a 3/8-24 allen setscrew (at least on the 4 and the 15-21, not sure about the 215). The setscrew can be lowered through the bottom if the top is too caked. Then clean out with a 3/8-24 tap. Never over-tighten the setscrew (which can warp the frame), just make it snug.
When you reassemble, put lock washers under the bolts. That should keep it all together. But I wonder if there are other vibrations that are the root cause of the problem.

Paul Moxon, Moderator
14 years ago

I mean that if the blocks are too wide to fit into the space on the core with the flanges intact.

Paul Moxon, Moderator
14 years ago

Photos are usually helpful. Because you have nyliners in place I assume that the blocks are steel and not brass. I’ve seen blocks that are a bit too wide for the nylners on the gear side. The solution was to cut off the flange of the nyliner. If brass the blocks are bored to the diameter of the roller cores. Have you also checked the threads of the adjustment screws?

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