Vandercook #2 Proof Press

I have been cleaning up an old Vandercook #2 Proofing Press and have some question regarding the real rods, packing, and the clamp bars.

First, the press has 2 real rods. I assume one is for packing and the other is for a top sheet? Is this for easy change out?

Second, I was wondering what the best backing would be? I am use to using oiled Tympan as packing covered with a piece of Mylar. Is there any better suggestions or does it depend on what you are use to?

Third, the bottom clamp bar has 3 raised pegs sticking out. This is the side that goes down toward the impression cylinder, but there is no holes to receive the pegs. Does it just sit at an angle? I have attached some pictures of this.

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5 thoughts on “Vandercook #2 Proof Press

  1. Justin Barfield - July 18, 2015

    Thanks! The information is super helpful!

  2. adamleestma - July 18, 2015

    I just cleaned up a No 2 at USU and was also curious about the three pegs. This is just speculation, but I imagine the pegs are to compensate for the thickness of a rubber blanket if it were to be clamped between the cylinder and first clamp bar (as Kyle pointed out, it has a deep undercut). Tympan or whatever your top sheet is would be held between the first and second clamp bar allowing you to change that without removing/loosening the blanket. Below are directions for the #2.


  3. Justin Barfield - July 13, 2015

    Paul, Thanks for the info!

    Kyle, I hate to ask you to take your tympani off, but if you could and get back to me that would be great. I would’t think the bottom clamp bar would sit an an angle. If all else I could just bring the pegs down. I think I might lay down a piece of steel on the press bed the thickness of a galley tray in order to raise the bed. Let me know if you think that is a good idea?



  4. kyle van horn - July 1, 2015

    Hi Justin –

    Here’s 2 photos of the #2 we have at MICA.

    It’s a little difficult to see, but the set up is as follows. The clamp on the left holds a rubber blanket (I think it’s an old offset blanket – Paul, can you confirm?) and a top-sheet of mylar. Floating, unclamped between them are some sheets of tympan to make up the rest of the packing.

    On the right side you can (almost) see that the blanket is pulled taut on the bottom reel rod, and the mylar is pulled on the top reel rod. In our case, the tympan floats in between the blanket and mylar, held in place only by the tight top sheet, though it could just as easily be clamped in the left-side clamp bars.

    The undercut for a #2 is pretty deep, .100″ if I recall. The blanket eats up most of this for you. If you don’t have one, you could use red board or just extra sheets of tympan.

    As for the pegs, I can’t explain that. If you can’t resolve it, or if another answer doesn’t pop up, I can take ours apart to investigate.

    Good luck.

  5. Paul Moxon, Moderator - June 26, 2015

    You’ve guessed correctly on the first and second questions. It’s been awhile since I’ll seen a No. 2, so on the third I’m not certain, but doubt that it sits at an angle. I’ve asked a couple of No. 2 owners to comment.

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