No. 1 Proof Press Cylinder Undercut / Registration

I have a No. 1 proof press, serial # 6327 that I picked up a while ago to print woodblock and linocuts on, plus I would love to do some small edition work, as I learn. Two questions-
In reading through some posts and books, I see the impression cylinder has an under-cut. How do I determine what the undercut is? I looked on the cylinder bearer and bed bearer, but saw nothing.
The second question pertains to registration (I have looked at the posts regarding this), but in using a frisket, secured to the bed bearer holes, won’t the frame get stopped by the ink tray? Is there another way to accomplish this, that I have missed?
Any help is greatly appreciated. My book on General Printing should be arriving soon, so maybe these and more questions will be answered.

6 thoughts on “No. 1 Proof Press Cylinder Undercut / Registration

  1. Paul Sinclair - November 11, 2009

    Agghhh…obviously I am thinking about this way to hard :). This makes total sense, either thru upside down thumb tacks, or press points (to double as a nasty weapon too).

  2. Paul Moxon, Moderator - November 11, 2009

    An even simpler solution may be to use press points.

    Rummonds mentions them in Printing on the Iron Handpress and on his website:

    Gerald Lange shows an image of press points on his blog at:

  3. kyle van horn - November 11, 2009

    As for registration – while I understand the desire for a frisket, I don’t think they’re really necessary.

    You could utilize a simple pin-registration system like we use for silkscreen. sells a metal registration pin which could be easily mounted to a piece of furniture at one end of the press. Holes punched in your paper (a simple 3-hole punch is perfect for this) will ensure that every sheet falls in the same place.

    For proof of concept, or just to be frugal, you could do what Jim Sherraden of Hatch does on HIS No. 1, which is a couple of thumbtacks glued to furniture, point up. As long as the point stays below type-high, you can punch your first sheet into place on your first print, and then use those holes for alignment on all successive colors.

    Good luck!

  4. Paul Moxon, Moderator - November 11, 2009

    Yes, .040″ and .070″ is are accurate. Often the number is hidden by grime, try cleaning with a wire brush.

  5. Paul Sinclair - November 11, 2009

    Thanks, I see where you’re talking about. No undercut stamp on mine that’s for sure. I was told that on a No.1, This particular model came in two undercut depths, 7/100 and 4/100 of an inch. I don’t know if this is in fact accurate, but there is a depth-change on the cylinder. I guess I can pick up a micrometer to verify.

  6. Paul Moxon, Moderator - November 10, 2009

    With cylinder at feed board, you’ll find the undercut measurement stamped into the narrow oil channel separating the cylinder face from the cylinder bearers on the operator’s side. 040 K is most common.

    The earliest Vandercooks don’t have a stamped undercut, and I’m not sure when it became standard to include it. The serial number table dates your press to 1935.

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