I’m hoping someone out there may be able to offer me some advice with packing my Vandercook 320G.
I’ve got a piece of cold rolled steel, 18 gauge/.050″ to make up for the galley depth. I talked to a few print shops in my area about packing, and one printer I talked to only uses Mylar, (and swears by it) I thought I’d give it a whirl. So I have 18 sheets of .004 mylar on the cylinder, and still it doesn’t seem to be enough. I used that amount because I read that my undercut should be about.070″. My undercut is not stamped anywhere on my press (it must be too old), so I’m left with trying to figure it out on my own… If my measurement is right (on my calipers) it seems like my undercut in .110″. Isn’t that rather large?! I read that the 325A has an undercut of .105, and I’m thinking that mine might be close. Any recommendations for doing a hard-pack on such a large undercut? If I used .004″ Mylar that I can find locally I’d need 28 sheets! Is that too many sheets? What would be some downsides of running so many sheets?
Amazing! Thank you all for the advice and info! After much deliberation and research and talking to printers, I am using 0.05 millboard with about 11 or 12 sheets of mylar. It seems to be working great! I might end up trying the rubber blankets eventually, but to be honest, millboard is dirt cheap and readily accessible to me, so I’ve started with that and it’s worked fantastically! :) Thanks again for the help!
Amanda’s press was shipped 4/28/36 to the Mono-Lino Typesetting Co. in Toronto. It was sold through Sears, Ltd. The manual for the 320 in our file has E.O. Vandercook’s “OK” written on the cover dated 5/23/56, and the last change dated 11/21/66 was to eliminate the L-26 Celluloid Holder as being no longer available. The undercut for the 320 cylinder is not stated in the manual, but is for the 325G (.070) and for the 325A (.105). Their instructions state: “The packing is made up of one draw sheet, two undersheets directly under the drawsheet, one blanket and one or more sheets next to the cylinder, to make the total thickness of the cylinder cut.” Rubber blankets were typically around .065, the same as modern offset blankets, though they also furnished blankets .030 thick, which we still stock. Any current brand of press packing will work and especially the .016 is recommended to replace several thinner sheets. We stock 25×38 master sheets of SunPak and we can cut it to size for this press. Press board can also be used but is somewhat difficult to wrap around a cylinder, so the packing paper is preferred. The drawsheet, or top sheet, or tympan sheet (all the same item) secured by the gripper bar was specified to be .010 by Vandercook, and we still have a supply of that thicker tympan in stock.
These presses were generally intended for proofing newspaper pages, usually in either regular chases, or the type high stereotype chases. There was an option for automatic sheet delivery that enabled the press to produce multiple copies quickly. Advertisers would frequently order a quantity of sheets of just their ad to have in advance for in store use.
On the original brochure for the 320, additional equipment furnished with the press included “built in steel paper cabinet; complete tympan; galley thickness bed plate; one set of cast form rollers, one set extra roller stocks; . . .” and misc, tools. List price, without adjustable front guides was $745.00 FOB Chicago.
let us know what ends up working for you!
Thanks everyone for the helpful advice! :)
An easy and consistent way to approach packing is to use as few sheets as possible. A calipered .007″ Mylar (PolyPak) top sheet attached to the clamp and underneath that a .021″ Kimlon sheet and beneath that as many sheets of .006″ Drumhead or Lithpak II as needed These are treated and will prevent cylinder corrosion. Minute adjustments can be made with various calipers of Riegal below the Kimlon or as an anti-burnishment sheet attached directly to the top sheet (aka, LA makeready). Riegal is available in a number of thicknesses as is Kimlon.
This will provide a hard, yet resilient packing. Mainly think it through systematically and use industrial material rather than concocted paper makeups and that will provide you with consistency.
Some of the packing sheets should be under the clamp, as fixed “hangers”, but not all of them. On my 325G I use a .030″ rubber blanket as the bottom sheet, which makes up the difference between the normal .040″ undercut and .070″ as o this 325G. I also use .010″ Duralar, avalable in rolls from the local art supply store (.004″ also available) and though not quite as durable, still cheaper than Mylar.
Pressboard is another possibility for thick packing, but not right for putting under the clamp. Can’t have any bulge at the bend which is just at the printing line.
Too many sheets can be difficult to manage and creep back from the gripper edge. Generally, thicker material should be closer to the cylinder face.
NA Graphics can look up the serial number card for your press to confirm the undercut. They can also supply a .030″ blanket. I have a .070 undercut on my No. 4T and like to use .016″ Sun Pak packing sheets.