I recently acquired a Vandercook No. 3. There is still a tremendous amount of cleaning to do, but I have it to a point where at least all the oil holes are un-clogged and the parts that are supposed to move, do so smoothly. I also have brand new rollers on the press. (Polishing all the pretty brass will have to wait until I have a printing lull…or an intern.) I’ve printed a few small projects on the press so far with decent results. But then last week I ran into a serious problem – there is one thin stripe, the width of the press, that doesn’t ink (at all) when the roller height is adjusted properly. I’ve diagnosed the problem, more or less, but can’t figure out how to fix it.
The stripe of non-inking is caused by a small ‘bounce’ of the entire carriage. The bounce occurs where the trip/print rack (bar on non-operator side, with gearing at the top) comes near to the top of the rear trip wedge. In other words, when the cylinder reaches the very ‘print-most’ position. There is no bounce when the cylinder/rollers travel in trip position.
Yesterday I thoroughly cleaned the large trucks [bearings] and rails at the bottom outside of the press. (The cylinder gearing and upper rails are also clean.) And while I had the bumpers plates off, I noticed that the position where the stripe was occurring was the only place where these trucks [bearings] weren’t in contact with the rail (I could freely turn them). I am not sure how it would be possible, but it seems to me that the problem might be that the trip/print mechanism is slightly off. The trip mechanism comes out on the operator side and has a pin that rotates as it goes from trip to print. There are also two screw pins that look like they are the ‘stop’ points for this motion. However, when I return the cylinder (and it should be fully tripped) it hasn’t actually quite reached the ‘stop’ pin. I feel like it needs to trip just a little bit further and ‘print’ just a little bit less. (Like the trip gear needs to be turned slightly with respect to the rest of the trip mechanism.) But all of the parts appear to be held together with taper pins, making the likelihood that it would be a little bit off very unlikely.
Sorry for the ridiculous level of detail. Anyone have any ideas?
I’ll attach some pics of the relevant parts of my Vandy 3.