I’m looking into purchasing an older Vandy #3, but it has a broken handle, please see the photo. The seller split the press into two pieces (press bed and carriage) so that’s what shown in the photo. Does anyone have a good idea of how much it will cost to replace? And how difficult it might be to fix? The price is a great deal for this press, but I’m wondering how much it will take to get it in working order. Any help or advice would be appreciated.
Back to the broken stub of the cylinder shaft that the handle attaches to. The handle can be repaired by brazing but the cylinder is another matter. It looks like it is broken within the bearing and that poses special problems. The cylinders are one piece cast iron. Both cylinder ends that go through the bearings are turned at the same turning operation and are symetrical and balanced to pretty tight specs. (I have the machining drawing for this cylinder). The broken stub can not be reattached with any degree of accuracy by “welding”, actually brazing, and to fit in the bearing and then turn so the cylinder is concentric to its axis and parallel to the bed. The only way I have seen this done with any degree of success is to bore out the stub of the broken part from the cylinder casting, then turn a new stub to spec and insert into the bored hole and hold in place with machine screws. Attaching an operating handle to the stub of a motorized press does not require the same degree of accuracy needed for this type of damage.
This press now on ebay.
This press is more complete than was first reported and far from the worst known. It will take quite a bit of effort/money to resurface the drum, oscillator and riders. Still the mileage of any one printer will will vary.
So sad to see…yeah that’s a few hours of work right there. It seems really straight under the rust though.
I think he said the quote was a shop that does industrial conveyors mostly. Here in Seattle that would run a little low at 300$.
He sounded like a pretty nice guy too.
I hope you find a cleaner ‘not broken press’ soon and I hope somebody fixes this sad little beastie.
I want to clarify that the seller does indeed have the handle for this press, and he said that a machinist gave him a quote to fix/weld the handle back for $300. Upon viewing the press it was too much work for me in terms of overhauling, adjusting and cleaning it up, but it could still have some promise, maybe I just didn’t see it. I took more pictures on the spot if anyone is interested in taking a look.
Wow! I am shocked to see this post! I’m pretty darn sure I spoke with the seller of this press on the phone. He was asking about repair costs and value. Weird to find a post about it when I was looking for something entirely different.
He claimed to have all the pieces and has had a machinist look at repairing it. The estimate he gave me from the machinist sounded correct for a weld up and turn down of the broken stub, probably about 400-500$.
I did tell him the asking price was about double what it was worth in it’s current state and I think he understood why after I listed all the costs to make it run properly again.
I would not write it off, I bet someone with mechanical skills at the level of work like say – installing an automobile clutch – could make it work again.
Heck, the carriage is already off!
While I concur with Fritz and Paul this press will be expensive to fix and is not worth 1500, however, I do not believe it should be relegated to parts press status as there are far too few surviving Vandys. I have successfully replaced a Journal shaft on a UNI-III power to manual conversion, the trick was to use a piece of cast iron (I think I sacrificed a C&P main shaft). A decent machine shop can handle (no pun intended) the job. If you decide against purchasing the press I may have interest. Regards
The missing hub for the handle on the cylinder casting is much more serious than it looks. It indicates that this press had a crash landing that broke all this off, and the damage may be much more severe than what can be seen in this photo. The hub/handle stem can be replaced but quite expensive and done only by a competent machinist, then there’s the handle issue, plus, plus, plus. This is a parts press at best, a money pit at the other extreme.
Thank you for your knowledge, Paul! Sounds like the press will actually be more cost than I realized. The seller is selling it for $1500. I am in talks with another seller for a newer #3 (s/n 15495) that is in much much better condition. I’m seeing this broken one today, I’ll definitely keep your input in mind.
In addition to a missing crank handle, the stub on which the collar of the crank handle fits is missing. The handle is a cast piece and would be expensive to have made, maybe $1500. Considering that the carriage is off the press, there are likely other parts missing or damaged. At the very least you will need new rubber on your existing roller cores. This will cost approximately $500 for two form rollers and a feeder roller.