Mystery SP15 spare parts

The previous owner of my SP15 left a small bag of spare parts in the cabinet, I post a photo below. The springs at top left are straightforward, the bottom left piece appears to be a damaged wiper spring, the piece above it a leftover trip spring but the 2 pairs of flat bars and the pair of curved parts with small nylon wheels puzzle me.

I see a reference inset photo showing a ‘starwheel assembly X-21126’ as well as a ‘starwheel X-12930 & pin X-16895’ on page 281 of the Vandercook SP15 manual, but the photo is of such poor quality, being a multiple generation photocopy, that I can’t identify what I’m looking at. They seem like they would clip on a set of bars or pins, and the wheels remind me of guides on a paper delivery system on an offset press, something that goes on the cylinder assembly somehow?

Any info on what these starwheels and small bars are meant to do and where to install them is heartily welcome, if they are in fact SP15 parts?

Can I be the only SP15 owner bemoaning the fact that there is no better reference material available for this press? All I got from the previous owner were a handful of poor quality copies, a portion of which I suspect he himself found online on the Boxcar site.

Fritz, if you read this and have an actual original printed copy of an SP15 manual, I know of at least 312 people you could make very happy (listed in this site’s Vandercook Census) if you had good quality scans made of the pertinent pages and sold these as laser copies or easier still, PDFs online. I would happily pay for these, as I suspect many other SP15 owners would…

Thanks everyone, Yvon

SP15 mystery spare parts




8 thoughts on “Mystery SP15 spare parts

  1. Yvon Lantaigne - March 1, 2011

    @Ray Feb 25, 7:15am
    Ray, I misread your instructions earlier. Your portion about “away from the feedboard” confused me into thinking the fingers were to be installed on the feedboard side of the cylinder, which of course only has the one bar as I mentioned earlier.
    A good soul posted new photos on his Flickr site to help me identify what was what and where it goes:
    Thanks Michael!

  2. Yvon Lantaigne - February 28, 2011

    Reply to Paul regarding the phenolic sheet finger X-23723:

    Sadly I am missing sheet 281-A also (I’m sounding like a badly broken record by now!) and it does appear that the previous owner of the press used these sheet fingers as wiper springs.

    See close-up photos in my previous post “Bearer controlled form roller support assembly”.

    Further, it appears that I may have the phenolic finger brackets on the bar but no fingers? My manual page 281 shows this very badly.

    Might someone be able to post a good size photo of the front and back of an SP15 carriage for me? Or forward to my email address?

    Thank you all! Yvon

  3. Yvon Lantaigne - February 28, 2011

    Paul, thank you for rallying to the cause of this printer in distress once again.

    I’ve more or less figured out the X-13020 springs from sheet 283, as I don’t have sheet 283-A, nor, as I have now found out thanks to Fritz, have I got the optional roller support assembly.

    I have also figured out 1 of the 2 functions you mention for ARS-5 long springs, the geared form roller, but not the trip arm X-20804. I’ll have to remove the motor cover and peak inside as I check the oil level, as I also don’t have sheet 282-A, and the quality of my 247 & 282 sheets is so poor that I can’t distinguish any of the parts within the photo area, just one big black blob.

    One more appeal to the Vandy Community:
    Are there any better copies of the SP15 manual available for sale anywhere? It’s almost like a Vandercook conspiracy to keep us all in the dark regarding fixing and maintaining our presses. Oddly enough, there are any number of generic sales sheets in circulation that have been wonderfully scanned, crisp and clean :)

    Thank you again Paul.

  4. Yvon Lantaigne - February 28, 2011

    Ray, thanks for clarifying a portion of my mystery.

    I will check out the feed board side of my impression cylinder assembly at my shop tonight. So far, from my photos, I only see one bar at the back, the one that holds the 2 upper rear carriage bearings. And none of the manual pages I’ve obtained show the rear of the carriage…bummer. I do see another set of holes in the side carriage plates however, just below the protective cover flanges, looks like I might be missing a bar altogether!

    Oh to have a COMPLETE decent quality copy of an SP15 manual…Fritz, are you reading this :) Please, help us out! I’ll pay!!

    Thanks Ray!

  5. Paul Moxon, Moderator - February 25, 2011

    I think the part you are calling a wiper spring is actually a stiffener (X-24901) for a phenolic sheet finger (X-23723, see Sheet 281-A.

    The wiper spring (X-20757) doesn’t have a hole nor project above the holder, see sheet 283-A. But it works, nu?

  6. Paul Moxon, Moderator - February 25, 2011

    For the benefit other other SP15 operators, the two short coil springs on the left are the lower springs (X-13020) for roller support assembly. See manual Sheet 283-A

    The two longer springs (ARS-5) on the right used in two places: a) to connect trip arms (X-20804) that activate the plungers, see Sheets 247 and 282-A; and b) used to hold the geared form roller down, see Sheet 283-A.

    I can’t ID the four piece of flat sheet on the lower right at the moment.

  7. Ray Nichols - February 25, 2011

    Link to SP-15 manual and parts list can be downloaded from Boxcar Press at

  8. Ray Nichols - February 25, 2011

    The two parts with the plastic parts are “star wheels.” They clip on the two round bars just in front of the cylinder away from the feed board. You’d like to position them so the don’t hit the ink as the print is made, but they are intended to hold the paper away from the inking rollers as the print is made.

    The plastic part is at the bottom toward the cylinder.

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