Chris Manson, proprietor of Crooked Crow Press, in Rockville, Maryland has converted his Universal III Power Vandercook to a hand-cranked press. He had a retired machinist make a collar extension to fit onto the bearing stub on the impression cylinder (photo 3). Onto this new bearing stub Chris attached a crank from a large Poco press. Note the notch that had to be cut out of the handle arm (photo 5). Currently, a set screw is the only means of holding the position of the crank collar on the new bearing stub. Chris still needs to have a hole drilled through the assembly to fit a taper pin.
Chris kept the circuitry intact but removed the carriage motor, which was attached on the carriage. He also removed the form rollers, preferring to ink his forms manually with a roller as is done on an iron handpress.
With this project, and the 232 at Wesleyan, hand-cranked conversion seems to be an idea whose time has come. Fritz Klinke has asked me to assist him in developing a conversion kit to that could be used on most power carriage models including the 219. Together we will study the original Vandercook engineering drawings during my visit to NA Graphics in February.
Chris was fortunate to have found a crank long enough for his press. Additionally to matching length to cylinder and bed size a new handle arm would need to have an outward bend like those on standard equipped hand-cranked Vandercooks.