Reprex Once-over

Scott Fisk, designer, educator, and vanderblog consultant, just bought a Reprex, a 1960s era down-market flatbed cylinder proof press. Its overall condition is quite good and it should prove to be serviceable. Its mechanisms, however, may seem a bit peculiar to most Vandercook operators. For example, the reservoir drum, while driven by a chain, also oscillates—conversely the large steel rider doesn’t. The form rollers do not have bearing blocks or nyliners on the core ends; they simply sit into a notched bracket that is raised and lowered by adjustment screws, much like pre-Universal series Vandercooks (No.4, 219, 325). –PM




Scott’s Photos:



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The Arm
17 years ago

It looks like you’re right. For some reason it all just looked too wide, but the 42-28 does have a different design for the tower and brackets: it all looks to be more robust.

I forgot to say congratulation on the Reprex. It looks to be a great press and in good condition. I am looking forward to hearing what you have to say about it once you’re putting it to work.


Paul Moxon, Moderator
17 years ago

Daniel: upon further examination the UCF press appears–based on the shape of the base bracket for the frisket tower–to be either a 32-28 or a 232P. But fear not, I have emailed Prof. Francis, so the difinitive answer is coming soon.

Scott Fisk
17 years ago

Hi Terry and thanks for the information. I have some closeup shots of the Reprex that are interesting. I’ll make certain they get posted soon.

The Arm
17 years ago

Terry and Paul,
The press in the photo is not a Universal III or IV. By the size and type of frisket tower its probaby a 42-28. If you want to see a Universal IV you should talk to Michael at Kat Ran Press. He has a pair of them and one is up and running, the other still needs a bit of work. I am very jealous.

Daniel Morris
The Arm Letterpress
Brooklyn, NY

Paul Moxon, Moderator
17 years ago

Terry, That’s a nice big press at UCF. I have yet to see an actual Universal IV in person. (I can’t think of a better reason to visit Orlando). The website and the original literature I have state that the maximum sheet size for the III is 18¾” × 28″ and for the IV is 32-7/8″ × 29½”.

Terrence Chouinard
17 years ago

Nice press, and what a lock-up bar! I believe Ke Francis at the University of Central Florida had/had a Reprex just like this. Scott, I’m not sure where you’re located, but if you ever need to find Ke online try either of these websites: or

The latter shows Ke working on his Universal III (or is it a IV Paul?) Automatic. Nice guy, great artist, and super helpful if you ever need to give him a holler.

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