Universal III automatic / control relay switches

We are having some trouble with our Vandercook Universal III Automatic. We THINK it is in the relays.

It will sometimes not start moving when it should. Switching the forward / reverse back and forth will sometimes help. It helps to set the press speed faster which is what makes us believe the problem is in the relays.

Attached are three photos of the relay switches, the tag, and the relays we are working with.

Below is the main block of relays.

Below are the relay parts we are looking for.

Below is the plate describing stuff.

Anyone got any they would sell or have an idea where I could get some or what I could ask for? A modern replacement? NA Graphics does not have any. Anyone rebuilt this using modern parts on their press?

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Paul Moxon, Moderator
11 years ago

This comment via email by noted British press mechanic (and vanderblog lurker), Basil Head:

“I have, over the last few years when refurbishing Uni 3 power m/cs changed the relays using modern contactors manufactured by Schneider Electric. They are Global so these parts should be available from local outlets across the States if they wish to change them. The contactor details:- One off LC2K0901F7 2 x 3NO & 1NC auxiliary 9A 110V
coil (Reversing pair) replacing the Forward/Reverse relays and One off LC1K090087F 2NO & 2NC 9A 110V coil replacing the Control relay.”


John Henry
11 years ago


I guess I’ve been fortunate to have not required a new switch. They seem to be available new from the supplier as well.

John H.

The Arm
11 years ago

Do you mean the limit switches on the back of the press? Do an eBay search for BZE6-2RN2. The whole units are available as new old stock for pretty cheap these days.


John Henry
11 years ago


If you just need a couple contacts, as pictured, I can provide them to you from my spare ones. Some of them have been used, but the contact pads are intact and in decent shape. I also have a spare contactor, but would have to test it to see if the coils are OK.

I’m planning on evaluating some solid state options for my press and make the switch when the time comes and the contactor fails. It will take a bit of planning, but certainly is “do-able”. I switched my Ludlow to solid state, and my shop immediately became much quieter. So much so that I have to double check that I turned the machine off when I clsoe down at night.

Are the microswitch products still available for the limit switches? It might might be possible to go with prox switches so as to do away with mechanical contacts completely. It may require running with a 24v. circuit to drive the proxs and relays.

John Henry

The Arm
11 years ago

I’ve also found that it is handy to have a can of DeoxIT contact cleaner in the tool kit. Give the contactors and inside the variac a bit of a spray every now and then and it keeps corrosion down.


The Arm
11 years ago

Do you think this would work to replace the entire contactor relay instead of just the points?

Daniel Morris
The Arm Letterpress
Brooklyn, NY

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