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.

6 thoughts on “215/4 Ink Rollers Dropping

  1. Paul Moxon, Moderator - March 2, 2010

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

  2. Eric Holub - March 2, 2010

    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.

  3. Katie Harper - March 1, 2010

    Ah, yes. Ours are not too wide, so that must not be the issue. I will check the threads on the bolts tomorrow. The bolts may not be original; they have R-S-? (can’t read the last one) stamped on the top, if that is any help. The looseness tends to be worse on the gear side, if that helps. We have also noticed lighter inking on that side. I have attached photo showing bolts.

  4. Paul Moxon, Moderator - March 1, 2010

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

  5. Katie Harper - March 1, 2010

    Have to confess I could not figure out how to upload a photo. You are right: the bearing blocks are steel, and have matching numbers on top and bottom. Not sure what is meant by “blocks too wide for nyliners.” Can you tell me what to check for?

  6. Paul Moxon, Moderator - March 1, 2010

    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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