Is it possible to remove the reel rod on the No. 4 ?
I want to get in there real good with a brush, it’s nasty in there.
I found two hex nuts and tried both ways but couldn’t get it out.
I also unscrewed the ratchet but I can’t see how the reel rod can come off.


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4 thoughts on “Reel rod”

  1. Sorry, Barb, the Universal reel rod is like the No. 4. (Just for comparison: SP series reel rods have a pin, spring and set screw, which make removal easy)

    Is the issue that it’s worn or smashed? There is a set screw so you should be able to turn it. If just worn, then you can use a file to reshape the teeth.

  2. barbara tetenbaum

    Is there any way to get the ratchet on and off the reel rod? We were trying to do that today on a Univ. 1 and ran into problem above. But perhaps there’s a secret way to get the ratchet off on its own?

  3. Oh god.. seems like an awful lot of trouble just to have an easier access for cleaning.
    I guess I’ll just figure out how to clean it without removing it.
    It’s good to know this information. Thank you, Paul, and our guest printer.

  4. It will take a lot of effort. In an email, one knowledgeable (and blog-shy) printer told me that he had done this. Here’s an edited description of what he told me:

    There’s not enough space inside the reel rod to draw both screws into the rod. Moreover there’s a spring behind the screw inside the cylinder. Check out the schematics.

    So in all my sweat I simply had to saw one of the screws. Now here’s where it gets ugly. You have to leave enough of the screw sticking out of the reel rod so you can use pliers or a vise grip to withdraw it from the reel rod. The other half falls out of the cylinder hole freely. This screw is ruined, but the other screw in still in decent condition. I believe one, if not both of those screws are slotted on the ends facing out. (If they are not, they should be.)

    Take the good screw to a machinist and have two made in case you fuck up the new, or the sample screw is damaged my the machinist. Make sure the machinist cuts slots in the end for a flathead to fit.

    Meanwhile, remove the gripper assembly, etc. to give yourself space to work inside the cylinder. Use a drill, preferably a hammer drill and a brand new half inch drill bit, one meant for drilling through serious steel—the better quality the bit the easier the drilling goes. Double check that dimension, I may be wrong but I seem to recall it as a ½” bit cause it’s a half inch hole and a half inch screw that fits in there.

    Now you outfit your drill with the bit, slip the bit into the reel rod screw hole on the operator’s side of the press (you want to remove the sheet metal shielding and stuff too, maybe even the handle cause you’re gonna be standing there a long while. Now drill toward yourself until you’ve drilled all the way through. hole through you’re done. I recall the bit getting stuck at the very end but the bit had peeked through enough that I could position the bit on the outside of the cylinder and drill back toward where I began, clearing a nice clean hole right through. Now get a vacuum and other cleaning stuff and suck up all your metal shavings cause that shit would be bad news for the workings of your Vandy.

    Now you just put the reel rood all back together except for the screw on the operator’s side. Get everything the way you want it and then slide the reel rod screw through your new hole and using a slightly narrower flathead screw driver, replace the screw in the reel rod. Don’t forget to include the nut in there too. You tighten it against the reel rod so the screw doesn’t slip. Oh, and don’t forget the spring in there if it has fallen out of the recess of the reel rod.

    It is my contention (you & Fritz will know better though) that the reel rod was one of the first pieces put into place when a cylinder was assembled. That the cylinder is not one big piece of machined metal but it is a machined piece with flat circles of various diameters & thicknesses screwed to it. And all these “pancakes” box in the reel rod and the open whole first used to install the real rod, the very hole you’ve just extended outward to access once again to correct the direction of the ratchet & pawl.

    How’s that sit with you? It’s all I got. And mind you what I describe above only applies to my experience with V4s or Universal 1s. So if other people have other opinions, then good for them. Their mothers must be very proud of them.install the real rod, the very hole you’ve just extended outward to access once again to correct the direction of the ratchet & pawl.

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