Is there an SP-15 specific full moon?

We have a new (to us) SP-15, no manual, sadly. The front rubber roller adjustment knobs very suddenly stopped moving. At all. If it were one side or the other, that would be one thing, but they are both immobile, and they had been turning fine earlier in the day. I removed the roller, and the two screws that are on the side, (without a schematic, I don’t have part numbers or names), thinking that one or the other might function as a locking screw, but that made no change. My thought was to soak the whole thing in mineral spirits, but I’m troubled by the fact that it happened to both sides at the same time.

I should also note that we are a community studio, and someone was renting the press at the time this happened. The user said she was just trying to raise the roller, and it didn’t turn the way it had 30 minutes before when I did it for her. I was not watching her make the adjustment, so I don’t know what happened prior to the freeze.


Any help would be most welcome!

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Paul Moxon, Moderator
12 years ago

Yeah, I should have said to loosen the lock screw. I did see the substitute end screws, too. I try to leave a little meat on the comment bone.

Fritz Klinke
12 years ago

Rollers are definitely undersize, and the end screws/bolt should be replaced with the correct screw X-22157. I can’t see if the necessary Nyliners (X-13123) are in the bearing block. Also, the X-11103 screw that tightens the split end of the bearing block to lock the adjusting stem (X-20455) in place is inserted on the wrong side of the back bearing block. The front one is correct. Before you use Paul’s vise grips on the plastic knob, make sure that screw has been loosened or I’ll be selling you a new knob (X-11954).

This press was shipped 5/22/64 to the Mid-continent Tab Co, 3201 N. 7th Street Trafficway, Kansas City, Kansas, and has a .918 bed with power ink.

Ray Nichols
12 years ago

I have a .pdf of our manual at Lead Graffiti (total of 16 or so pages). Email me and I’ll email it back.

Boxcar Press also maintains Vandercook manuals but I think ours is more complete.

Paul Moxon, Moderator
12 years ago

You may only need to put a bit more muscle to it. To get more leverage, remove the bearing block from the roller core and place in a bench vise. Spray WD-40 into the the block, then turn the knob counterclockwise by hand. If that doesn’t do it use a pair of Channel Lock pliers or Vice Grips, but be sure to cover knobs with a thick cloth to prevent the plastic from getting chewed up.

Thanks for the s/n, the census is now updated.

Paul Moxon, Moderator
12 years ago

From the photo, it appears that the rubber on the rollers is undersized (the diameter should be is 2.5″). So, in an attempt to compensate for this the adjusting posts have threaded all the way down to the point where the end of the posts are contacting the bearing block, which locks them, similarly to how the middle lock screw works on your No. 4 and 325. The solution is to recover the rollers.

Send me the serial number when you can and I will add it to the census.

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