I haven’t checked in on the Vanderblog for a long time but wanted to say I had my rails milled at a reliable machine shop in Holyoke, MA, that works on a lot of old press equipment. I removed the bed and transported it to them, they milled the rails on both sides to my specs within a few days and I adjusted the bearings to accommodate the milling and now the press prints even all along the bed. This was a huge job taking the press apart but the option to rebuilding the rails. I learned a lot about the press while taking it apart and the machine shop charged me around $240.00. Happy to post pics if anyone is interested
Hi, Feral Press- I can’t find detail photos of the rails but have a slew of them from the disassembly/reassembly. To detail the milling: I asked the machine shop to mill the operator side impression-bearing under-rail to the point of maximum wear which was .01 at the head of the press (the wear on this rail was significantly different at the foot of the bed) and then to match that dimension on the other side of the press. So, it wasn’t much but it evened everything up so I could adjust the bearings and achieve even and reliable impression from head to foot of the bed. I didn’t know about all of this when I bought my Vandercook from a friend who used the press for very small work for years and had it in a barn, never leveled it or knew much about maintenance.
I’m somewhat of a perfectionist when it comes to tools and machinery and I was determined to improve the press results.
I was under the impression that once the rails were done, the press was done as well. I’d love to see pictures.