Vandercook 219os upper roller assembly weight/hack

I’ve discussed my frustration with adjusting the rollers on the 219os many times in many places, perhaps even here, perhaps in person (or via email) to some of you. For those unfamiliar, the upper roller assembly, which is comprised of the oscillating roller an two rider rollers, sits on top of the lower roller assembly without being attached to anything. The handle that lifts the rollers also lifts the upper assembly off the rollers like in most Vandercooks.

To adjust roller height, you have to grab onto the thin tie rods on the upper assembly and shimmy it out of the lower roller unit by first leading it all the way to one end so it clears the lower roller unit, then you can pull it out. I’m guessing that somebody realized this was a pain and eventually put handles on the upper unit to more easily grab hold of it, like on the 3 and 4? Then eventually attach it and keep it on a hinge (i.e. SPs)

The next issue is when you then adjust roller height, you don’t have a true sense of the weight of the entire assembly. You can adjust it, then put the upper assembly back in, use the roller gauge, take it back out, adjust it again. Seriously annoying. The person who sold me the press suggested physically leaning on the entire unit to try to recreate the weight of the upper assembly.

Today I tried something which was sort of helpful, which was to carefully hold the upper assembly so that it was on the very top of the roller unit, which put weight on it, while still leaving the screws to adjust roller height just accessible. It was very awkward but a step in the right direction.

So what I’m thinking is to weigh the upper assembly and have some kind of weight made, something I could attach to the roller assembly when the upper assembly was removed so I could more easily make adjustments to the rollers and check my gauge.

What do you think? Stupid idea? Does this make sense? Is there some other obvious method that I’m not thinking of?

This does beg the question though, shouldn’t the rollers distance from the bed be constant and consistent regardless of the weight of the upper assembly? It clearly isn’t.

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