SP-15 Trip Spring Question

Yesterday when printing I noticed that the usual sound of the trip springs on my SP-15 seemed different/quieter. Upon examining, I found that the spring on the operator’s side is no longer fitting snugly under what is referred to as “Dowel B” on sheet #302 “SP Series Replacement Trip Spring” diagram that Paul has posted here previously. There is some play when I gently push down on the end of the spring. The other trip spring is still fitting properly under the dowel. I’m assuming that the loose spring is on its way to breaking and should be replaced.

Since both springs were broken when I first got the press, I know what’s involved with replacing them, but I’m wondering if there’s any underlying issue I should look for that would cause the one spring to be weakening. In the 4 years since the springs were replaced with new ones, I’d say that the press has received light to medium usage. Is it normal for the springs to wear out periodically? Thanks for any insights.

SP-15 Trip Spring Question
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7 thoughts on “SP-15 Trip Spring Question

  • August 24, 2011 at 11:24 am
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    Gerald,
    Thanks and yes I understand your paranoia. Other than the originally broken trip springs when I received it, this press seems to have been fairly well treated by the previous owner, and I try to maintain it as best as possible as I expect I will never be able to afford another Vandercook. I currently have one spare spring and you’re right it wouldn’t be a bad idea to have a couple more around. At least, thankfully, these parts are still available.

    Sylvia

  • August 24, 2011 at 12:18 am
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    Sylvia

    I should add to this that I have personally owned well over a dozen or so working Vandercooks over the years and have had a great deal of experience with their problems. And do currently teach at a couple of educational institutions where the presses are battered and misused on a daily basis. And continual repair is a given. Just as an explanation for my overly cautious cautions and paranoia.

    You seem to be aware.

    Gerald

  • August 23, 2011 at 11:55 pm
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    Hi Sylvia

    Sorry I did not respond earlier but for some reason the comments section was blocked on this post. I have a Vandercook SP15 that was purchased as new back in the early 1980s. Nothing has ever gone wrong with it. It is quite perfect, but I do take very good care of it. I don’t know that you have to replace the spring if it is not broken. Still, it would not hurt to have replacements. I have replacements for pretty much everything that can be replaced, whether I need them or not. Just to be on the safe side of it all.

    Gerald

  • August 23, 2011 at 6:39 pm
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    Paul,
    Thanks for your comments. I know that both springs were fitting properly 4 years ago when I first replaced them. I admit I haven’t really checked them closely since then. Also, I do oil all the points suggested in the manual every time I print. I too wonder why only one spring is weakening, but if you think it’s OK to go ahead and use it as is, then I might not rush to replace it, as it’s not the easiest thing to do. However, that’s wonderful that the install tool now exists and I will definitely check with Fritz about renting it.

    Sylvia

  • August 23, 2011 at 1:34 pm
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    Other than short rolling, the steel may simply fatigue after may years of straitening and bending. odd that only one side is know longer touching dowell “B”. Perhaps the bend at the loop end was compromised during installation. I’m not sure you need to worry, but a spare pair is a good idea.

    Recently, Dave Seat had a few copies of the install tool (J-19953) made. I bought one and so did Fritz, so it can be rented from NA Graphics.

    The manual says to oil the eccentric once a week. The SP15 is clunky and there are a couple sources of noise: the eccentric bearing, trip arm contacting the trip rollers (X-21119) and the plunger; the rear carriage tie rod contacting the drum arm (X-20564) pushing the drum down and lifting the motor.

  • August 21, 2011 at 10:56 am
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    Gerald,
    I’ve read about the perils of short-rolling, here and elsewhere, so I never do that. I do have a spare spring and will be replacing the weak one, but was just curious about the “lifespan” one might expect from them with normal use.

    Thanks,
    Sylvia

  • August 21, 2011 at 12:11 am
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    Sylvia

    The only thing that I am aware of that would cause breaking of the springs is short rolling the press. Not sure why folks do that but they do. Maybe stock up on some springs?

    Gerald
    http://BielerPress.blogspot.com

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