219 OS eccentric and rail questions


I’ve posted on Briar Press regarding some inking problems I was having with my 219 OS and have emailed/spoken with a few of you about these problems, but I have some additional questions that I thought best asked here. Currently, the carriage seems absurdly tight and heavy. At some point earlier it felt heavy, until someone adjusted something on the far side of the carriage, which made things normal for a while. Then after some use, it has gotten tighter and heavier until it’s all but impossible to move without a great deal of physical strain (both human, and likely, mechanical.)

I’ve read Gerald’s article posted here about adjusting eccentrics, and I’ve seen them adjusted on an SP, but the 219 seems very different. I know it’s best to have a professional make such adjustments and I hope to have a press mechanic visit soon, but until then I was hoping to take a shot at at least loosening things up. I’ve looked at the manual that’s been posted around and as far as I can tell, much of it is from the NS model.

On the OS, on each side of the carriage there are the two outer wheels, which are exposed, and the one larger one behind the plate. Does anybody have any tips regarding loosening and/or adjusting the eccentrics on this press?

In Gerald’s artical he noted the measurement for how much space should be accounted for between the cylinder and printing surface. On an Sp-15, .005 to .007 for the rear and .001 to .002 for the front. While on a Uni Paul mentioned using a.003″ feeler gauge, but that was regarding space between the bearing and rail. Can somebody clarify how either of these might be accounted for when setting eccentrics on the 219?

One other question that may be related. My 219’s rail on the side opposite the operator is on springs and has a good amount of play up and down. It seems that the tightness of the carriage is worst at the exact place where the springy rail is raised the most. Why are these springs there and what to they do? Is it possible that the relationship between this springy rail and the carriage eccentric is causing the tightness?

What confuses me is that the press started out moving fine, then got tight. Then an adjustment was made and it seemed OK again, but as time passed it’s gotten tight again and even worse. I thought i may be the weather as I’m fighting a pretty cold shop, but I’ve been told that while that’s a hassle, it shouldn’t cause this much issue.

Any thoughts? I have other issues and questions but I’ve gone on long enough and don’t want to cover too many subjects in one post! I did think however that any feedback someone might have regarding these questions would be helpful to other 219 OS owners.

7 thoughts on “219 OS eccentric and rail questions

  1. Widmark - February 23, 2012

    An update…

    Perry came by and did some work on my 219. He noticed right away that in addition to being tight, the far impression eccentric wasn’t spinning at all, it was jammed and just scraping along the rail. Meanwhile the operator side eccentric was spinning, but it couldn’t be adjusted, as that was stuck. He adjusted the upper eccentrics and evened them out, and adjusted the far eccentric so it was more or less keeping the carriage even with the one on the operator side, but without being able to adjust the near one, and the far one not spinning, couldn’t set them both to the proper height.

    He did spray the far eccentric with some penetrating oil and a day later something had loosened up enough that now it’s spinning. I’m going to spray the operator side impression eccentric adjustment as well in the hopes of loosening that up so that eventually they both can be set properly.

    We didn’t touch the spring that’s above the eccentric behind the nameplate. What exactly does that control?

    We also put on the new bearing blocks and nyliners from NA and it seems to help, however in measuring the cores Perry noted that one of them had worn, so even after dealing with the wear to the bearing block, the core itself is a bit less of a width then it’s supposed to be, so that’s something else to deal with it.

  2. Widmark - February 7, 2012

    Thank you, that is helpful. It’s way over my head but it’s a start!

    I got a stronger screwdriver and loosened the eccentric on the far side of the bed and it’s moving smoothly. With Perry’s advice I put a few pieces of paper on my boxcar base to get it just above type high and rolled the cylinder to the middle of the bed and it didn’t seem uneven. I don’t know if the little adjustment I made was the right amount, I printed something blind that I had printed before this problem started, with the same packing, and I got a decent impression that looked pretty even and was just a touch lighter than before.

  3. Fritz Klinke - February 7, 2012

    I’ve posted 2 sections from the 219OS Assembly Print that may shed some light on how this press is put together and how to adjust it. The upper two large diameter bearings are not set to touch the bed rail–they serve to keep the cylinder from rocking when in motion, and this system was used up through numerous models to follow including the SP series. I guess those are called “steady” rollers and are not to be cranked down on the rails. The main center bed rail bearing has a somewhat primitive way to set the eccentric with the two screws, but take a look. Finding this print was a long time coming as there is scant 219OS material in the files.



  4. Widmark - February 6, 2012

    I think the cylinder bearers and bed bearers are in full contact while in print. I don’t have a long feeler gauge, but I tried slipping .002 paper between and there no clearance. So if that’s nothing to do with the issue, is it more likely the tightness of the eccentric? Removing the plate, I see what looks like a second set screw for the main eccentric. Is it worth loosening that screw and the other set screw to loosen the eccentric without messing with the pin wrench to see if I can get the whole carriage to feel looser?

  5. Eric Holub - February 6, 2012

    A pin wrench is just a steel rod with ends turned to a specific diameter, sometimes double-ended with one end bent at an angle. The adjustment screw has a disk with holes drilled around the perimeter, and you will need a pin wrench to match the holes.
    This adjustment is unknown territory. Gerald’s instructions concern a somewhat more known area, but still one about which there is disagreement about the best way to proceed. Since there is probably nobody still alive who has done it (and if they are, they are not online, nor are there any surviving records), this adjustment should be done with the most extreme caution; don’t move more than one hole at a time and keep a record of all movements. And first use long feeler gauges to determine if there is actually any gap between bed and cylinder bearers on impression. If the cylinder bearers are in full contact with the bed beareres on impression, this is not the cause of your problem.
    The point is that the impression bearings hold down the carriage and prevent bear-off during impression. This unique adjustment within the carriage of the OS 219 positions the cylinder within the carriage, a design later abandoned by Vandercook.

  6. Widmark - February 6, 2012

    Thank you. Do you know the size pin wrench or would an adjustable one do?

  7. Eric Holub - February 6, 2012

    The adjustment of impression bearingson an OS 219 is complicated by the fact that the cylinder also has adjustment relative to the carriage, and I haven’t seen that on any other Vandercook (though it was common on production flatbed cylinder presses). Take off the nameplate on the carriage and you will find the adjusting screw; it uses a pinwrench, and is present on both sides. I haven’t touched this so I can’t give any suggestions.
    There are no instructions available regarding the OS 219. NA does have a parts diagram though.

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