No. 4 Trip Issue

Our Vandercook No. 4 does not stay in trip.  When printing, the operator has to hold down the trip to keep it in place.  In comparing it to our other No. 4, the trip mechanism is still in place, but the trip bar connected to the handle has a lot of play; there is no tension to keep the lever raised to rotate the shaft connected to the rear trip wedge and I can’t get a good vantage point to see what, if anything, is missing or broken.  Any insight?


Sara P.

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Paul Moxon, Moderator
13 years ago

Eric this is what you wrote, but on Briar Press:

To fix a loose trip/print lever on the No. 4, you have to get a wrench on the head of the pivot bolt, which is hidden. The nut is accessible, but in my experience the bolt turns when you try to tighten the nut. The bolt head is covered by sheet metal, but it can be pried out enough to get a wrench in (sorry, I don’t recall what size). If you had a flat wrench, the cheap kind pressed out of sheet metal, it might just fit it in through the gap. Cutting away some sheet metal is another possibility for access to the bolt head.
While this is true of most 4s, there is also an early version that has the trip/print lever on the outside of the press.

I have made this repair, too. The wrench size 1/2″. Sometimes the threads on the bolt (5/16 -18) are stripped. Be sure also that the short tension block, which is threaded, is keep parallel. It is indicated in yellow in the image below from Sheet 107 of the manual.

Eric Holub
13 years ago

There is a loose nut on the screw on which the lever pivots. Tighten it. Access is the problem, and I have pried open the sheet metal covering it enough to get a wrench in there.
I have written about this before, but can’t find it in the archives. Perhaps Paul can find it or elaborate.

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