Sp-15 lock-up bar not locking to the side

sp-15 lock-up bar not locking to the sideI’m unfamiliar with exactly how a lock-up bar works but I don’t think mine is not working correctly. The extension block will not move when I tighten the bar down. (isn’t it suppose to?) I’ve taken it apart and noticed that there was a spring like part inside but when I put my finger in the hole and move the bar back and forth nothing moves. I was thinking that it should move up which would push the extension block out. (see attached image) As is, the lock-up bar doesn’t fit inside the bed bearers as it’s too wide. Would really appreciate any information/advice for what the problem is and how I could fix it. Thanks so much! Amanda Thomas

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Paul Moxon, Moderator
16 years ago

I agree with Gerald. However, if you must use one because you don’t have a deadbar or are using a model missing its lockup pins, which a deadbar rests against (e.g. SP15), then I recommend placing a slip of thin leather or a heavy toothy paper between the ends of the lockbar and the sides of the bed bearers. This increases tension and keeps the lockupbar from slipping. Also: never use a quoin at the tail of your form with a lockup bar. When tightened it will push the lockupbar back.

Gerald Lange
16 years ago


My recommendation would be to not use the lock up bar at all. If you are doing any sort of editioning they will case problems. This contraption is only for one time proofing.


Alex Brooks
16 years ago

I can’t tell exactly with the picture you’ve posted & your description, but the cam should be removable. It’s the round piece that the handle attaches to. Once you remove the cam you should have access to the other end of the push rod and can figure out why it won’t move. probably just dried grease.

I guess it’s possible that you have the cam stuck in the “on” position, and that’s why the bar is too wide. If you’ve removed the cam before, it might be in backwards, or the push rod might just be stuck in the “on” position. If so use penetrating oil and be patient. if that doesn’t work use heat. i’ve had good results throwing small pieces like that in the oven for a few minutes – loosens things right up.

if you have more & more problems it might be wise to seek the council and guidance of someone in the flesh, as that’s really the best way to figure out this kind of stuff.
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Eric Holub
16 years ago

Probe with something longer than your finger. There should be a rod inside, between the spring and the eccentric cam connected to the handle. It should just slide out, but could be held in place by crud.
If everything is present and free-moving, the cam will push on the inner rod, which pushes against the spring, which pushes on the outer block.
If this does not provide enough pressure for lockup, you can drop a washer of suitable diameter between the inner rod and the spring. You will get as much extra movement as the thickness of the washer. Haven’t seen one before that was overly tight; are you turning the handle in the right direction?
If the inner rod is missing, it should be fairly easy to measure what is needed.

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