SP15 Cylinder Carriage–jammed!

Hello! I’m new to the wild world of Vandercook ownership…and am hesitant to take apart the cylinder without first getting advice. Here are the details:

(1) I bought the press a little over a month ago, and noticed that the carriage was getting hung up (as if it had to scale a small hill) about 5 inches out from the feedboard. The press’s owner was not a trained printer, and had definitely neglected to oil the press in the 5-10 years she’d owned it.

(2) Upon loading the press into the moving van, we dropped it. It fell back to a 45 degree angle on the back side–after which we noticed that the carriage was binding at that point–about 5 inches away from the feedboard. However, the fall didn’t impact the bed or carriage, only the lower portion of the cabinet.
I’ve posted photos here: http://picasaweb.google.com/maydaystudio/VandercookTripArm

The press is now installed in my shop, and I’d like to start cleaning, oiling, and making repairs. My question for you: should I go ahead and take off the carriage plates to investigate the problem? I am fairly mechanically competent, and have a manual with diagrams. Or is this something I should hire a repair person for?

Thanks for your help!

May Day Studio

Notify of
Oldest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
john christopher
15 years ago

“the wild world of Vandercook ownership”

Hey – is there something going on that I haven’t heard about – are you people having a party over there in the US?

Sylvia Chevrier
15 years ago

I replaced both broken trip springs on my SP-15 not long ago. It helps to have two people– one to thread and hold the spring in place (I used a very long pair of needle nose pliers to do this) and the other to hit the spring with some force to snap it in place over the dowel (a really large screwdriver hit with a hammer did the trick for this). Do hit the spring straight in, rather than trying to bend or lift it over the dowel; I did break one this way. A couple of small LED lights with magnets on the ends are also helpful; you can place them where you need light and in this way avoid holding a flashlight.


Paul Moxon, Moderator
15 years ago

Vandercook intended that trip springs were to be replaced without removing the side plates as shown in Sheet 302 of the operator’s manual. Though the method is rather awkward.

Having said that, it is a serious project to remove the side plates mainly because it requires using a a bearing extractor to remove the outer Cylinder Eccentric attached to the crank shaft. The side plates s are held together by tie rods and the lift arm. What you are left with is an unsupported cylinder with it’s gears seated in the cylinder gear rack.

See my post on repairing the trip springs on an SP20 https://vandercookpress.info/vanderblog/2007/06/14/sp20-trip-spring-repaired/

If you do decide to take the side plates off you should also take the opportunity to clean and lubricate the carriage eccentric.

john christopher
15 years ago

I had the same problem with my sp15 – if a trip spring is broken then the cylinder may hang lower on the broken side and prevents the whole assembly from moving – it looks like yours is stuck just before the sprung plate which forces the ink drum down as the cylinder passes over it. I have some good reference images on flickr showing the trip spring in position (the side plates are off as part of a general refurbishment)…


Eric Holub
15 years ago

If the two trip arm assemblies are not at the same level, you may have a broken trip spring. The trip arm on the broken side will be stuck in position. A strong light shined between cylinder and carriage, maybe with a dental mirror, will help you see what is happening in there, after a good cleaning with compressed air and a long-handled bottle brush (or linotype brush).
The “hill” might be a stiff trip arm assembly anyway, whether from lack of lubrication, gunk, or something else that might be binding it.

Ray Nichols
15 years ago

I wouldn’t think you could clean and oil things. That might be at least some of the problem.

A couple of questions…

Can you can see or feel with your fingers the ‘hill’?

Is the ‘hill’ on the cylinder or on the cylinder bearers?

Is it fairly abrupt or does it slowly happen?

Might the problem be in the bearings?

Can you roll over the hill, that is can you still print?

While I wouldn’t say this isn’t a problem I would think that at 5″ your paper still hasn’t begun to print so it might not have any impact on printing.

Copyright © 2024 vandercookpress.infoTheme by SiteOrigin
Scroll to top
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x