Vandercook 099 Proofpress – Poor Impression

I just purchased a Vandercook 099 Proofpress ( It is in great working condition and has been well taken care of. I have experience with a Vandercook press but not this one. I have to ink the plate by hand and then place the paper on the form (it did not come with the optional paper loader). Does anyone have any advice or technique they could share? I started with rubber based ink and quickly realized I should be using oil based, I am using felt on top of the paper for pressure and the paper is being embossed. The image comes out spotty, unclear or not at all.

8 thoughts on “Vandercook 099 Proofpress – Poor Impression

  1. Paul Moxon, Moderator - October 13, 2010

    As noted in my last comment this is on a press at the Center for Book Arts in NYC.

  2. MJCGraphics - October 13, 2010

    Hi Paul,
    Thanks for the advice. I actually got the press to print pretty well. It was a combination of my inking and the backing I was using for the paper. Where did you get this gripper? Is it something you made? It looks like it could work out really well for registration.

  3. sallygardner - October 9, 2010

    Cool! thanks, Paul!

  4. Paul Moxon, Moderator - October 9, 2010

    Here’s another view.

  5. Paul Moxon, Moderator - October 9, 2010

    Sally: here’s an example found (if I remember correctly) on a Triumph proof press at the Center for Book Arts in New York.

  6. Sally Gardner - October 9, 2010

    Paul, can you describe in more detail what you mean by rigging “spring loaded bed grippers?” I also have a 099, and I’m particularly interested in attempting to register 2 or more colors. …Crazy?

  7. MJCGraphics - October 7, 2010

    Thanks Paul. That is great advice. I think the serial number is actually already on the site, it is # 05770. Where is it located on the press and I will double check. Thanks again!

  8. Paul Moxon, Moderator - October 7, 2010

    The 099 has a galley height bed that is .968″ deep instead of the standard .918″ or type high. This means that your printing form should placed on a galley or set on a bed plate both which are .050.” You could also build up that amount under the form with some dense materials of consistent thickness such as tympan paper (.006″). Better still use .016 non-slip hard packing, or red press board which is .015″. Otherwise you will have to add .050″ to whatever you are already laying on top of the printing stock to achieve the impression your want.

    Your inking may not be due to the base you’re using, but rather to laying too thick a film and/or applying it inconsistently with a brayer. Considered locking up type high rule outside the trim area to serve as ink roller bearers. This may require a wider brayer. Conversely, your brayer maybe too large for this particular form.

    As for sheet placement, you could rig spring loaded bed grippers similar to a clip board or install a frisket.

    Lastly, send me the serial number and location and I will add it to gravity press census of

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