I’m having a problem with my steel roller (the large one that oscillates) binding against the inner form roller when the carriage returns. After returning one or two inches it binds regardless of location, i.e.: If I lift and lower the oscillating roll, it still binds at any point on the return trip. One side of the oscillating steel roll (the side opposite the operator) rises higher than the operator side (the rectangular bar at the end of the roll rises in its slot) and the carriage stops. Any suggestions on how I might resolve this problem? As a work around I’m lifting the oscillating roll each time on the return trip. Sorry I don’t have the terminology correct. Thank you.

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6 thoughts on “SP15 oscillator problem”

  1. Mystery solved, one half of the crescent was broken, thank you for everyone’s help.

  2. First refer to Sheet 254 of your manual. I have posted it here and also added a side view of the crescent from a No. 4 manual (see below). The maintenance procedure is the same for all Vandercooks.

    Remove the oscillating roller from the frame and place on a flat work space. The empty bed of the press is idea. You may want to support and protect the face of the oscillating roller by placing it on a thick towel. (Old style oscillating rollers, e.g. 4, 219, 320 series can be supported by the removable frame).

    If you have not taken apart an oscillating roller before, chances are the slot of the crescent holder screw is filled in with dried ink and appears as a black indented spot on the surface of the oscillating roller tube. This will have to be dug out. But first, holder is unlocked by loosening small set screw on the side of the tube.

    With the tube near the left end of the shaft, remove the crescent holder screw. Push the tube toward the right end of the shaft. This should reveal the worm crescent sitting on the worm gear.

    Clean the crescent, gear and shaft. It is likely that the crescent is covered by a thick sludge comprised of ink, Vaseline and dirt. Also clean both ends of the tube. Turn tube on end to pull crud out and downward so as to not drop any into the interior.

    Check for wear and breakage of the pointed ends of both the crescent and the gear. If either are worn down or broken off the crescent may hesitate or stop, and thus the oscillating tube will not move.

    To reassemble, feed the narrow end of worm gear shaft into large opening of tube. The work goes faster by looking into the tube through one of the smaller holes.

    Place the crescent on the gear, align with the opening for the stem opening and push the worm gear into the tube. Look through the hole of the crescent holder on the tube surface to center the stem of the crescent.

    Replace the crescent holder and tighten the screw onto the crescent until it touches the crescent shank. Back off ¾ turn to allow the crescent to rotate free of any drag. Lock holder with set screw on side of tube.

    Replace the reassembled oscillating roller into frame with the worm gear on operator’s side. Add a generous amount Vaseline to worm gear. With oscillating roller clear of form rollers spin by hand to test oscillation. Adjust crescent holder as needed.

  3. I have something to report, which I should have noticed sooner. The oscillating roll locks up even when it’s not in contact with the form rollers. To explain more, if I lift the oscillating roll off the form rollers and rotate it by hand counter clockwise (the direction it moves when the carriage moves to the right), it oscillates smoothly. If I rotate it by hand clockwise (the direction it moves when the carriage is returning), it will rotates a small amount before it locks up or rather stops. If I fiddle with it, I can get it moving clockwise once more but very soon it stops again. I’m guessing there’s some kind of pin or ball bearings inside that need repair? I guess that will become apparent when I take it apart, but is there anything I should watch for?

  4. I don’t have an SP15 close by to examine and wont see one for another month. So I was hoping someone else would field this first.

    You write that one the side of the oscillating steel roll (opposite the operator) rises higher than the operator side. Perhaps the vibrator shaft is bent (see sheet 254 of your manual) or one part of the vibrator frame assembly that holds the oscillating roller is twisted.


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