May I get your thoughts on removing the auto paper feed feature on my newly acquired Vandercook 325 A. It is fully operational, with no missing parts. I will be printing multi-color woodcut posters on it. It seems to me at this early stage to be a whole lot of fuss for not enough gain. Though it is a delight when the paper is sent to the delivery tray without touching the cylinder, I already foresee a few issues. First among these is the need to have the casters that move the paper come in contact with the impression side of the page. Even if I work “clean” with clear margins the chances of these casters getting gummed up with ink and marring an image is high. Also, an issue is cleaning the tympan in the very likely event I accidentally print on it. Other issues are the extra space the delivery tray needs, and the visual clutter over the top of my block.
After a good look at the manual, I see that the trip wedge would need to be replaced, (am I right about this?), and I am concerned there might be other mechanical necessities that would need to be addressed.
I am not married to the idea of removing it, and will try to make friends before I commit.
Some things I would be helpful are some pro tips if anyone has experience with the A or G with this feature. Any resources like instruction on how to calibrate this feature when setting up for a job, and lastly any good pro or con thoughts on why this feature was desirable. Since I’m already walking to the end of the bed what am I gaining by not touching the paper? I’m interested in the original reason for this costly add on. Did it significantly improve operation?
Thanks in advance.
Sorry, I left off one dimension. The middle section is 3/8″ high.
OK, here’s a layout of the front trip wedge of my 325G.
Thanks for looking into it. Much appreciated. I saw that NAgrapics has blueprints for parts. Perhaps with These part numbers I cold track down the original drawings.
Right. The wedge that comes with the auto feed is on the inner mount and releases the grippers early for the for the auto feed to take over. It is shaped like a triangle so that the grippers open then close again. The front trip wedge is shaped very differently. My press has threaded holes at the end of the bed to take the manual style trip wedge. Is it too much to assume all corresponding parts on the carriage are compatible with the farther position of the wedge?
OK, I take that back. In the 325 manual, the parts diagram on Sheet No. 63 refers to the NS-19 Front Trip Wedge; that’s what is on my 325G. I also have production drawing N-100, and it states the front trip wedge NS-319 is for Auto Delivery Only; here neither NS-19 or NS-319 are shown entirely. And production drawing N-63 for the Power Press shows the whole NS-319, which is short and I am guessing it is equivalent to just the lead section of the longer NS-19.
When I have enough time there I will take measurements.
I only had a few minutes to look at the wedge, but it and the wedge on the parts sheet have two positions to raise the grippers. I would assume the first stretch is for the tape delivery, and the second is for manual use.
My 325 can’t be cycled right now to confirm that, but I do vaguely recall grippers opening earlier, and using that with short sheets.
Thanks Eric! Yes, the press does have all the bells and whistles. It even has the lifting delivery tray, i took it off as I don’t have space for it. I love that fountain. It was a big reason for getting this particular press. The hanging fingers to gripper is functioning great. It’s the casters on the paper feed that are giving me some trouble. Where is their ideal placement? How much margin should I plan for? How and when do I adjust the tension. How tight should the tape be. I’m finding it difficult to get my hands on that type of information. I’m going to run an edition on it this weekend to see if I can fiddle enough with it to figure it out.
As I understand the auto-fed 325, you set the sheet to the overhanging fingers, and the cylinder grippers grab that as they come back to the feed table and close. The fingers then swing away as you advance the cylinder.
Does this press have the adjustable guides? If so, you can remove the hanging fingers and slowly move the cylinder back until the grippers raise, then feed to the guides before closing. Otherwise consistent register will be difficult.
Mine is the G model with foot pedal for gripper action, but the grippers still follow the automatic open as they near the feed table, then close before rest. Then I can use the pedal. But I suspect the overhanging fingers may have been on my press originally for either function, rough or tight positioning.
I think the auto feed and delivery were for high volume environments like newspapers and commercial composing rooms where multiple proofs were needed of any give form.
Your press does have the flipper for moving forms on and off a turtle, and it looks like the fountain is present. That’s clearly for proofing in a plant with high volume.
Thanks Erik! Thanks for pointing out the stop before the deadline. I’ll investigate. If you felt inclined, and if not to much of an inconvenience, a tracing of your wedge with dimensions and notes on bolt placement would be really useful both for me and the previous commenter from Cooper.
Hi! Thanks for the comment and info. Yeah the trip wedge is the thing. I spent some time this week printing with the feed. Then a day polishing all the parts that come in contact with the paper. I don’t hate it. But could use some pointers. For instance the paper doesn’t feed neatly. It makes it, but kind of drunkenly from one end to the other. A drawing Of the wedge on the non paper feed model would be convenient as I can’t imagine it’s a difficult part to fabricate.
My 325 is the G model, no delivery, but with any 325, I’d point out when you do the longest possible form, the rear form roller stops behind the dead line, on the form.
Next time I’m at the press I’ll check the delivery wedge for you.
I have done this on the 320 that lives at Cooper Union. We removed the tape delivery apparatus and cut the end stop that incorporates the hinge at the end of the bed. One other thing worth noting is that the wedge at the end of the bed is different on the versions with abc without tape delivery. Yours releases earlier to present the sheet to the tapes. It would be best to swap to the other style of wedge. Maybe we can borrow one for a drawing and have some made up. I’d take one for Cooper too!