UNI III Missing parts

Hi –

I am missing the friction fingers (X-21714), and I want to understand the function. Also, the UNI I parts list has a friction spring (X-21715) listed.  I am guessing that this was dropped on the UNI III as it does not appear in my UNI III manual.  or is the Vandercook technical writing team again doing their less than bang up job in documentation?  I believe Fritz describes it as being just short of criminal……

We are also missing the starwheel assemblies (X-18740 and X-18739)  and starwheel(s) (X-12930).

How important are these two parts (friction fingers and starwheels) in your opinion?


11 thoughts on “UNI III Missing parts

  1. Ron - December 27, 2010


    Fritz, your staff is excellent and very helpful. I failed to have part #s available when I called, and rather than have them take the time to search for that particular part I elected to wait. I am glad I did, as it seems I would have been throwing money away if you had them.

  2. Paul Moxon, Moderator - December 27, 2010

    Any significant gear wear is more likely to appear in the hole for the roller core end. The hole will ream out if the woodruff key is missing and the set screw is not fully tightened.

    Eric made a similar point in his comment to this recent post:


  3. Fritz Klinke - December 27, 2010

    Vandercook made the roller gears with pointed teeth. Normally these gears would have squared teeth on the outside edge. When talking to gear people, they all express the opinion that the pointed teeth are not necessary and question why these were made that way, so all I can think is that through experience, Vandercook found that the gears meshed more easily at the start of the gear racks with pointed teeth. The starting tooth has three teeth, and all are shaped, and I think that is to easily engage the gear and get it running smoothly without chatter or meshing noises. So what many press owners perceive as wear on the roller gear is really built into it from day one. I have yet to see one of these that is really worn to the point they need replacing. We are experimenting with a standard gear, machined to fit the roller cores, to see if squared teeth will be satisfactory. So far, no problems. Any real wear could be compensated by raising the gear rack higher with shims rather than changing out roller gears.

    And while my staff does their best, try to talk to me on some of this stuff if in doubt.


  4. Ron - December 26, 2010

    Hi Fritz,

    Hope you made it to your destination after fighting to get out of Silverton.

    I think we are all set except for sending you some money!

    I sent a set of rollers to your shop for recovering, and need some other parts in addition to the friction fingers as well.

    Do you have new form roller gears (X-21010)? The two we have are a bit worn. The NA team in attendance found the bearing block assemblies I want to replace, but it was not readily apparent if you had new gears for the form roller.


  5. Fritz Klinke - December 26, 2010

    I’m away from the office, so have no resources at hand. The original friction fingers were formed from phenolic board (printed circuit board material), but what we furnish now is the same thing in spring steel. The part number called a spring was for the original finger as a stiffener, but what we have now doesn’t require the spring. The star wheel assemblies are not currently available for any of the presses, nice but not absolutely necessary. I’ll be visiting with Eric in a couple of days so I’ll see what he has in the way of manuals if this needs further information.

    With stiffer stocks, the sheet may well hit the rear ink roller leaving a stripe of ink, and if possible, one way around that is to trim the dry sheets afterwards, use a 5 pica wide piece of furniture on edge at the end of the form to give the sheet something to ride on instead of the last line of copy or springing up to hit the ink roller, or the taping the end of each sheet to the cylinder, and that’s a real pain.


  6. Ron - December 25, 2010

    Hi Eric,

    We are a “plain power” Universal III, and I am pretty sure this is original. Please see Sheet No 222 in the Universal III manual. We have the plain power control panel.

    And yes, we must remove the printed stock from the cylinder carriage at end of the bed, and then use manual control lever (lever “j” as indicated in the manual) to return the cylinder carriage to the feed table. Just a step above “hand crank”.

  7. Eric Holub - December 25, 2010

    The P designation refers to Power normally. And I thought that all power Universals would have the frisket tower so that stock could be returned to the feedboard, or at least all those with the “cycle” function; you can’t cycle the press without control over the sheet as it returns, by use of the frisket tapes. Otherwise you must stop motion at end of the bed and deliver the sheet before the return. But some machines have had their towers stripped by owners wanting to simplify or shed weight.

  8. Ron - December 25, 2010

    Paul, no we are just a P.

  9. Paul Moxon, Moderator - December 24, 2010

    Ron, does your power carriage have a tapes tower? If so, then friction fingers and star wheels are unnecessary when the tapes are in use.

  10. Ron - December 24, 2010

    Thanks Eric, I appreciate your quick response. It seemed like this would be the purpose, but wanted to be sure.

    Looks like we need to order some parts….

  11. Eric Holub - December 24, 2010

    They are there to keep the sheet from slapping either the press or the form. Either condition can spoil a sheet, but a firm hand on the tail of the sheet may get around the lack of starwheels, and tape on the tail can get around the lack of friction fingers. Friction fingers aren’t perfect but it is better to have them, or you may need to resort to various methods such as press points to avoid slur.
    The friction finger is the block on the cross bar, the spring is the leaf attached to it, and the spring actually supports the sheet as it comes around below the cylinder. Fingers without springs will do nothing.

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