SP15 Bed Plate Specs

Hello Vanderkin-
I am a new owner of an SP15 and need a bed plate for the press which has a galley height bed. I’ve been lurking around here for a little while and see that I need a plate made from cold rolled steel with a thickness of .050″. Should I order the plate in the exact dimensions of the press bed (15 x 31½”)? My concern is that if it’s exact to the bed specs, it will be tight trying to fit it in. Is that silly of me?

Many thanks in advance,

7 thoughts on “SP15 Bed Plate Specs

  1. Mark Wilden - August 5, 2010

    @Eric: On my 317, the end of the bed has a wide indentation (about .050″ deep) so that a form can be slid back onto the galley easily.

    I want to say that it’s “rabbited”…is that the right term?

  2. Gerald Lange - August 4, 2010

    Hi Eric

    Actually, doesn’t matter if if the bed plate was outfitted to function perfectly on Mars, Vandercook press beds have a tolerance of .002″ from end to end, side to side; I am led to believe. So it’s all a balancing act.


  3. Eric Holub - August 4, 2010

    The point to be made is that sheet steel as it comes out of the rolls varies in thickness. It takes extra work to finish it to an exact .050″. Most sheet metal shops don’t have any demand for such precise thickness, nor the equipment needed; note that Gerald literally used rocket science for such precision.

  4. Gerald Lange - August 4, 2010

    Actually, steel bed plates CAN be made to exactly .050. I have one for a Vandercook 325 that was made by Jet Propulsion Laboratories as a gift. No pluses or minuses, thickness, width, or length.

    It sucks air as it drops slowly to the bed. Quite cool.


  5. Beth Klavir - August 3, 2010

    Thanks, Kyle & Eric. That is incredibly helpful.

  6. Eric Holub - August 3, 2010

    The bedplates I have seen all went beyond the deadlines to support the head bar and the lockup bar, but stopped at the tail pin holes. You don’t want to cover the entire tail area; having a open space allows you to hold a galley there and slde the form from bed plate to galley. They have also had minimal clearance at the sides, so less matter gets under the plate.

  7. kyle van horn - August 2, 2010

    You can have it cut that size, but it only needs to be the length of the printable area (20″ long — you’ll see a score line in the press bed).

    I’d probably cut it 1/8″ narrower than the bed, so 14 7/8 x 20. Steel at exactly .050 is rare, but 18 gage steel is .048, which is definitely close enough.

    Cold rolled or stainless are both suitable.

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