This is not a lollipop

roller-gaugeA vintage roller setting gauge is being offered on ebay. I do not recommend bidding on it for two reasons:
1) a used gauge will most likely have a flat spot and so is no longer .918″ high and would therefore provide a false reading as to correct roller height;
2) at $39.95 the price is much too high. Boxcar Press and NA Graphics sells new gauges for less. The oldest gauges have a brass label with lettering in relief on a red painted background. They do make nice wall decorations.

2 thoughts on “This is not a lollipop

  1. Paul Moxon, Moderator - July 4, 2013

    Gerald, I have one of the excellent gauges you made.

    In previous years, low mileage vintage gauges (as well as well maintained, single owner presses) were easier to find. In my travels seeing Vandercooks that have now had several owners, as well as the hard-worked presses at schools and book arts centers, visibly worn down roller setting gauges are common.

    Recently, I was at RIT’s Cary Library to tune-up their mint SP20 and Universal III P and found an original Vandercook roller setting gauge with its head still encased in vinyl. I’ve seen many worm crescents that way. but never a gauge.

  2. Gerald Lange - July 4, 2013

    Hi Paul

    I guess I’d agree that buying a used measuring device on eBay is not a good idea. Have to say though, in some three dozen years of buy used printing equipment, and acquiring an abnormally large number of these, it is rare to see a noticeable flat spot. I assume because the gauges weren’t actually used all that much. Rare to find one with a press in the old days and when they were, they were hidden away in a box of other junk.

    A while back a friend and I engaged in the production of a very high precision well-built gauge

    and he tested a bunch of those that I had, both of old and new manufacturer. Hate to say it but the old Vandercook et al. gauges were of better manufacturer than contemporary third party stuff; better built, better steel, more precise, by a long shot.


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