219 OS Carriage latch question

I’ve been talking to Fritz about this and he suggested reaching out to see if anyone else may have some measurements. My 219 OS has a wooden block acting as the carriage latch. Now that my press is properly leveled it’s clear that the wood has worn away and it’s no longer holding the carriage back at the feedboard. See the attched photos:

and the video posted here:

Dave Seat leveled the press while making other adjustments and that was when this problem became clear. Using masking tape to attach a small wooden shim solved the problem, but it was obviously a temporary solution. Recently that shim has compressed more and the whole thing wasn’t working, so I taped a bit of leading on, and it seems to work better. The linked video shows me moving the carriage while the wood block has both the wooden shim and a 2 pt lead.

But I’d like a more serious fix. Fritz doesn’t have a record of the carriage latch working like this and assumes that block was once steel. He doesn’t have a specs of such a piece. Do any other 219 OS owners have something similar? Or any other models using this technique? Ideally it would be great to get some measurements to try to make a new one.

Would adjusting the screw lift the wooden block enough to make it work? I haven’t messed with that because I don’t know what I’d be messing with! I’d also rather have a block with the right shape that would lift up and push the carriage back to the feed board the appropriate amount.

Any thoughts/info is much appreciated, thank you.

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Eric Holub
11 years ago

Putty is probably too soft, but you can use something like Devcon plastic steel epoxy to rebuild to the original profile; I find it superior to JB Weld or PC-7, but with such a large patch you may need to dam it in. If the wood is oil-soaked, adherance may be a problem, but it may take securely if you roughen the surface or place anchor screws. Once dried, it is easily filed or scraped to form.

Eric Holub
12 years ago

I recognize the 219 OS pictured as belonging to Jamie at A Mano Press.

The Arm
12 years ago

I don’t know this model very well. I found this photo online and it almost looks like the block is rubber. I would suggest going on the Paul’s census and emailing some of the people that have the same press as you to get a drawing and/or some photographs.

Oh, and a question- that hatch in the body of the press that says Vandercook- that’s where you put the coal, right? Just checking…

Daniel Morris
The Arm Letterpress
Brooklyn, NY

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