I’m having some trouble with my press and I’m wondering if someone out there can help me diagnose the problem. First off, I have a Vandercook SP-15. I purchased it a while ago and just recently got it up and running. I was able to print on it for about 150 impressions when it became difficult to trip, It felt like the trip lever was sticking for a few runs and then it stopped tripping altogether.
Up to that point, the press had been working very well, it gave an excellent impression and it showed no signs of trouble. After it broke, I was able to trip the press, but only by bumping it against the nylon roller that activates the lever much harder than I was comfortable doing.
I looked the press over as best I could and I found a broken trip spring. Assuming this to be the problem, I replaced the offending part. This did not fix the issue. The press felt exactly the same as before I had replaced the broken spring.
I’ve looked at every part that I can see without removing the side plates and everything seems to be intact. I get the impression that the eccentric is sticking for some reason, but I can’t fathom why. I can watch the trip lever mechanism doing what it’s supposed to on both sides, but the eccentric doesn’t seem to want to turn. The nylon roller on the side of the press is fine and everything looks lined up properly.
I already made one attempt to get the side plate off, but it didn’t want to come apart for some reason. I couldn’t tell if it was hanging up on something or if I just had to hit it harder. So, before I go attempting to pull the side plate off again and getting myself into a bigger mess, does anyone have any suggestions of things to check or ideas on what might be broken? If you think I should pull the side plate off, please let me know if there are any common stumbling blocks to doing so that I might have missed the first time through. Thanks for any help you may be able to offer.