Vandercook 4 Cylinder Problem

Hello, I recently bought a Vandercook 4 from the Hick’s Bros.

Everything seems like it’s in working order except the cylinder needs to be adjusted – the rail on the operating side is bearing down hard and there’s a gap on the non-operator side where you can see daylight between the rails. I think as a by-product of this issue the press is printing heavier on the operator side and lighter on the non-operator side. Also, the teeth are starting to have tiny specks of metal get shaved away. I’ve stopped printing as soon as I noticed this, but am in a deadline to finish my first job with this press and feeling the crunch…

Can anyone give me a lead-through on how to fix this? I know that it’s something to do with the ball bearings in the printing/impression cylinder, but I haven’t got a clue where to start.

Help? Friedrich Kerksieck

2 thoughts on “Vandercook 4 Cylinder Problem

  1. Friedrich - March 2, 2010

    Thanks for the advice, Paul, and for the follow up advice today.

    I was lucky enough to have Terry Chouinard visiting Memphis at the precise point of needing a hand with this.

    There turned out to be two problems – the metal shavings were actually brass and coming off the blocks for the form rollers. The form rollers were set incorrectly to make up for the fact that the cylinder was off.

    Terry took off the trip/print mechanism and adjusted the eccentrics as recommended and after a little back and forth we got that fixed up and the form rollers placed correctly.

    I’ve been printing for a couple hours now and it seems to be going well – everything is staying in place with no more metal shavings.

    Quite a successful little venture.

    Thanks again to Terry!

  2. Paul Moxon, Moderator - February 26, 2010

    This is one of the trickiest adjustments one can make on any model and will take a few tries to get it right. What you want is a .003″ gap between the under rail and the top of each of the impression bearings when the cylinder is in print mode and the carriage in the middle of the bed.

    Loosen the large lock nut on the eccentric with a 1- 1/8″ open wrench or socket then turn the rectangular bolt head of the eccentric with a smaller wrench. This is what raises and lowers the eccentric, and thus the cylinder. Insert a .003″ feeler gauge shim (available from an auto store) or .003″ strip of paper and tighten snugly, then roll carriage to remove shim.

    Three bearings are accessible, but the rear bearing on the non operator’s side requires removing the trip rack.

    Detail is from Sheet 106 of the manual.

    I am traveling for workshops, but will try to give you a call.

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