Maintenance Checklists

oil-canThese recommendations are based on those in the original operation manuals, but do deviate in places. While the most common models are named below, much of this information is applicable to all Vandercook models as well as other brands of flatbed cylinder proof presses.

Where oil is specified use SAE 20, except where indicated. Oil left on open surfaces will attract particulates (dust, paper fluff, etc.) that form grime. This will cause wear and interfere with the smooth operation of the press. It is better to apply small amounts, frequently, than to slather it between long periods of inattention.

Detailed maintenance recommendations can be found in the book Vandercook Presses: Maintenance, History and Resources (2nd Edition) .

For real-world proof press maintenance instruction see Workshop page. To comment or suggest revisions, please use the contact form.

 


Routine Maintenance for All Models

General Recommendations
☐ House press in a climate-controlled location to inhibit rust, ideally 72°F and 50% humidity.
☐ Keep ink, grease, and tools off the feed board.
☐ Clear press bed of tools, quoins, excess furniture, etc. before printing.
☐ To adjust the tension of drive belt or chain, move ink motor or raise chain sprocket.

Daily Recommendations
☐ Wipe bed bearers, cylinder bearers, and under rails with a slightly oiled rag daily. Use solvent to remove grime as needed.
☐ Wipe press bed with WD-40 before installing a form.
☐ When press is not in use, disengage form rollers and then turn off ink motor so that the inking system is not subjected to needless wear.
☐ Clean excessive grime from the cylinder gears and racks, and the form roller gear and rack. Oiling is not necessary.
☐ Look for debris buildup, metal shavings, and rust.

As Needed Recommendations
☐ Unclog oil holes with a drill bit held in a hand chuck or use pipe cleaners.
☐ Oil cylinder eccentrics on carriage. Look for beveled oils and/or red painted indicators. Use SAE 20 every 50 hours of operation except where noted.
☐ Lubricate worm gear and shaft at end of tube with Vaseline.
☐ Lubricate interior of worm crescent holder with graphite.
☐ Lubricate gripper stems with graphite, except where oil holes are present.
☐ Oil gripper push rod on backside of press.
☐ Check oil level in the gearbox or speed reducer.

 

Model Specific Recommendations

SP15, Challenge Series M
☐ Oil cylinder eccentrics at the base of the hand crank and push rod weekly.
☐ Remove dust and grime buildup on the inside carriage side plate.
☐ To install new trip springs, click here.
☐ Tighten roller core end screws or check tension of snap rings.
☐ Tighten set screws on form roller gear.
☐ Check condition of the starting tooth and spring.
☐ Check condition of the four trip rollers on outer ends of the bed.
☐ Roll carriage to open end of bed to clean bed bearer wiper blades located between form rollers.

SP20, SP25, SP33
☐ Oil cylinder eccentrics at the base of the hand crank and push rod weekly.
☐ Remove dust and grime buildup on the inside carriage side plate.
☐ To install new trip springs, click here.
☐ Tighten set screw on form roller gear, install a Woodruff key if missing.
☐ Check condition of the starting tooth and spring.
☐ Check condition of the four trip rollers on outer ends of the bed.
☐ Roll carriage to open end of bed to clean bed bearer wiper blades located between form rollers.
☐ SP25/SP33 power carriage: clean the contacts (wheels) on limit switches.

Universal Series
☐ Oil impression cylinder eccentrics at oil holes on the carriage covers.
☐ Check tightness of the form roller end screw and check for the presence of its interior set screw and dowel.
☐ Check fit of the gear on the form roller core. A Woodruff key should be present. Tighten the set screw.
☐ Check tightness of the removable gripper opener cam (if equipped).
☐ Clean bed bearer wiper blades located behind form rollers.
☐ Power carriage: clean the wheels on the limit switches.

219 OS, 219 NS
☐ Oil impression cylinder eccentrics at oil holes on the carriage covers.
☐ Oil bearing blocks on the form roller bottom frame.
☐ Check oil level on the ink motor speed reducer.
☐ Check fit of the gears on the form roller cores. A Woodruff key should be present. Tighten the set screws.
☐ Clean lift bar assembly (slides for form roller bottom frame).
☐ Power carriage: clean the wheels on the micro switches.
☐ Replace brass form roller bearing blocks with steel blocks and Nyliners.
☐ Oil form roller frame lift arms.

15-21
☐ Oil impression cylinder eccentrics at oil holes on the carriage covers.
☐ Lubricate worm gear and shaft with Vaseline.
☐ Check fit of gears on the form roller cores. A Woodruff key should be present. Tighten the set screw.
☐ Check tightness of the removable gripper opener cam.
☐ Replace brass form roller bearing blocks with steel blocks and Nyliners.
☐ Oil form roller frame lift arms.

320, 325, 25-24
☐ Oil impression cylinder eccentrics at oil holes.
☐ Oil bearing blocks on the form roller bottom frame.
☐ Check fit of gears on the form roller cores. A Woodruff key should be present. Tighten set screws.
☐ Replace brass form roller bearing blocks with steel blocks and Nyliners.
☐ Oil form roller frame lift arms.

No. 4, No. 215
☐ Oil impression cylinder eccentrics at oil ports (four to five beveled holes, depending on the year it was built, on each side of carriage).
☐ Oil bearing blocks on the form roller bottom frame.
☐ Check oil level on the ink motor speed reducer.
☐ Check tightness of set screws on the form roller gear collars.
☐ Check for wear of the form roller clutch pins and lubricate with graphite.
☐ Check for wear on the form roller clutch trip plate. These should cause the clutch block and gear to separate at the feed board and engage during carriage travel.
☐ Check tightness of the print/trip lever pivot bolt.
☐ Replace brass form roller bearing blocks with steel blocks and Nyliners.
☐ Oil form roller frame lift arms.

No. 3
☐ Oil impression cylinder eccentrics at oil ports (four to five beveled holes, depending on the year it was built, on each side of carriage).
☐ Oil bearing blocks on the form roller bottom frame.
☐ Check tightness of set screws on the form roller gear collars.
☐ Check tightness of the print/trip lever pivot bolt.
☐ Replace brass form roller bearing blocks with steel blocks and Nyliners. ☐ Oil form roller frame lift arms and feed roller brackets.


Acknowledgments
The following individuals have helped improve this table: Martha Chiplis, Terrence Chouinard, Eric Holub, Fritz Klinke, Charles Krause, and Katherine Victoria Taylor.