Tension Bars on Vandercook #2

no2-reelrodsI have a vandercook # 2 serial #3046. After taking a short coarse on Letterpress at the South West School of Art in San Antonio on there #14 , I have a question on the #2 having two tension bars for the packing—Is this for a double tapered packing or maybe a felt pad? Ratchets on both bars and they turn in opposite directions


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Paul Moxon, Moderator
10 years ago

The tension bars are called reel rods. Here is a description of how the tympan is secured from a ca. 1927 sales sheet (I will send a pdf):

Two reel rods and two clamps are provided to hold the tympan in place. The monocork blanket is clamped on one side of the cylinder gap and is drawn tight by a reel rod on the other side. The top sheet has its own clamp and reel rod which make drawsheet changes easy.

It appears that the clamp bars are missing. This shouldn’t be difficult to replicate. They are two pieces of flat stock. The holes should be slotted to aid screw alignment. While I have seen this arrangement before, I don’t know the specs. The screws are socket head cap screws and the thread pitch is likely 5/16-18.

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