Vandercook 03 – Impression roller and bearings

I am wondering about the impression roller (I don’t know if this is the right name) on this press. I’ve noticed that mine is a bit damaged, with some traces of scoring. I am worried this might cause uneven impression.

Is this a roller that can be recovered or is this not a replaceable part?

I also have another question. The bearings and under rails seem like they were always kept greased up, I don’t know if this is the ideal practice, or I should clean up all the gunk and re-grease and re-oil. Right now the impression roller and bearings don’t travel really smooth. Would anyone recommend disassembling the impression system and cleaning it up? Or am I facing possible misalignments when I position it back on the press?

I am asking here because there isn’t much information available on this press apart from the tympan and frisket article.

I also have another question, now that I’ve mentioned the frisket and tympan. In the timeline section for the 03 is mentioned “register device with or without foot operated grippers”. Is there anyone who has in his possession or at least has seen this optional device? I’d like to know how it worked. It’d be very interesting for me to come up with something similar so that when I want to have something registered, I don’t have to use a tympan and frisket and sacrifice printable size.

Thanks everyone for your help.

5 thoughts on “Vandercook 03 – Impression roller and bearings

  1. Enrique V Woolfolk - August 13, 2011

    Thank you Eric for your insights, and thanks Paul for your information.
    Does Fritz have this bearings, or are this some commonly-sized hardware store ball bearings?

  2. Paul Moxon, Moderator - August 13, 2011

    I would use mineral spirits. I only use Simple Green, which is water-based, for cleaning crud and old dried ink, then follow up with WD-40. The carriage bearings are probably OK. Inside each one are ball bearings packed with grease. The casing is sealed and is designed to need no attention. If they don’t turn freely then it might be best to replace.

  3. Eric Holub - August 13, 2011

    Greasing or oiling the underrails and impression bearing surfaces (or cam followers on other presses) can cause the bearing to slide rather than turn, and over time cause unnecceasy wear to the rails or flat spots on the bearings.
    (Where a cam follower should be lubricated, there will be a means to do it such as the oil hole found on the cam follower at the bottom of Vandercook old-style trip mechanisms, the cam follower of a C&P rocker arm, etc.)

  4. Enrique V Woolfolk - August 13, 2011

    Paul, thank you very much. That is very useful information.
    Mineral spirits for cleaning up the grease? Simple Green?
    Do the ball bearings usually need to be replaced as well? Or are this meant to last a life time?
    Thankfully there is virtually no rust on the press at all, as it was most of it’s life in use, and in a closed environment.

  5. Paul Moxon, Moderator - August 13, 2011

    See Yvon Lantaigne’s recent post about the impression cylinder on his 05.

    Clean up up the grease. Like all other flatbed cylinder proof presses the bearings, under rails, bed bearers and cylinder bearers should be wiped with a slightly oiled rag daily. The idea is to keep the surfaces clean rather than lubricated.

    I have not seen an 03, but here is a detail from a brochure about the grippers. I’ll send you the PDF.

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