The oscillating roller is hanging up at one point in its travels. Fritz wrote that this is probably due to damage somewhere on the worm gear, the center shaft of the oscillating roller. He was right; one of the points on the worm gear was chipped, and that is where the crescent rider is hanging up. I was able to get back up and running temporarily by backing off on the set screw that holds the crescent in place, but yesterday, the roller refused to get around that bad spot. I was able to file the worm gear down a bit, but Fritz is right; the gear is hardened steel and does not go gently under the file. My question is: does this mean I have to get a new worm gear? Does a new one exist?? Can I try filing some more? Would a machinist be able to hone that point for me? Thanks.
Update: the press was moved successfully and safely to its new, much larger home. Best of all the floor where the press sits is actually level!
The worm gear is not working, however. I tried filing (using the slip stone advice, I found a small bit for my drill that honed the metal much faster than the file.) But I can’t seem to get the point sharp. (I have a drawing but don’t know how to post it.) I’m hoping to take this to a machine shop this week to see if they can make the point sharp. Also hoping that will do the trick, as that sharp point seems to be what makes the crescent glide past without sticking. Will keep you posted.Thanks!
I’m kicking myself now for having gotten rid of a spare set of metal rollers. My press came from an ink company in Cincinnati, and it had a spare oscillator that was split for proofing two inks at a time.It never occurred to me that the parts might one day come in handy; just seemed like a heavy item I didn’t need to haul around….Will try the slipstone method, although the previous poster back in march said that his press didn’t work even after filing the points on the worm… I’m moving my shop this weekend, and will get to it after that. Will keep you posted. Thanks!
I guess I’ll have to bite the bullet and get some more of these made. They are lost wax steel castings, there is some machine work to clean up the bore hole and turn off any casting imperfections, and then they have to be hardened. We still have access to the original Vandercook mold and had some trial waxes made about a year ago. The minimum order is pretty hefty, but it is a vital part.
Nathan Rose asked the same question in March and it was thoroughly addressed by Eric Holub and Fritz. See “#4 worm gear needs an evaluation”:https://vandercookpress.info/vanderblog/2007/03/28/4-worm-gear-needs-an-evaluation/
Try a shapening stone such as you would use for woodworking tools. If you have to get into a tight space they’re available in smaller shapes, one of them being wedge-shaped and called a slipstone. There are natural and man-made stones that you must lubricate with oil, waterstones that are soaked in and then lubricated with water, and diamoned honing stones that require no lubrication.
If it were me I’d probably use a natural Arkansas or Norton man-made sliptone. They’re easy to come by, probably at your local hardware store or even Home Depot. If you don’t want to buy the special “honing oil” just use olive oil, mineral oil, neatfoot oil (my favorite) or 3 in 1 oil that you probably have around the house.
The oil acts as a vehicle to hold the metal removed and keep it from clogging the pores of the stone. Use different areas of the stone as you work so you don’t wear a divit in the stone. Wipe the stone clean when done.
A stone will cut hardened steel and leave a reasonably polished surface vastly smoother than a file.