I have just acquired a Vandercook 4 and am working on getting it in printing shape. As it sits, the pedal-operated grippers aren’t working properly. The pedal, in its resting state, is pretty low to the ground, making it impossible for the chain to pull far enough to open the grippers. When I push on the level on the non-operator side of the press (I’m sorry, I am new to Vandercook maintenance and not mechanically inclined), the grippers do raise. When I crank the cylinder to the end of the press bed, I can see that they are releasing. It seems to me to be an issue of too much “slack” in the chain, but when I gingerly pull on the chain to see if that will raise the grippers, nothing moves.
Any thoughts on the best approach to troubleshooting?
Elana @ Proof Public
Is the problem that the pedal contacts the floor and doesn’t open the grippers far enough
does it NOT hit the floor and doesn’t open the grippers far enough?
Is the press sitting flat on the floor or is it on wood to lift it off the floor. If it isn’t you should consider putting it on something as thick as a 4″ x 4″ which will also lift the press up some to relieve your back while working on the press.
It could be that the taper pin (#4 × 1.25″ long) on the pedal shaft is broken. There is one on the outside to align the pedal and one on the inside of the foot casting for the arm connected to the chain.
If you can pull the pedal way up you’ll know it’s broken.