Vandercook 4 repairing clutch plate

A prelude leading up to a repair question-
I am restoring a Vandercook 4, serial # 10877, that I’ve had for a few years now. I’ve been mostly removing accumulated layers of ink, grease/dust and mild rust, and lubricating moving parts. With a couple of exceptions nearly everything appears in order.

One of the first problems I noticed is insufficient clearance between the form roller gear and clutch block that I think is due to wear on the clutch lever, more so towards the feederboard, as shown in the first photo (the set screw is removed in this picture). I read the suggestions for shimming the trip lever but there appears to be almost no additional play to be gained there.

I also have 2 sets of rollers. Set “A” has what appears ( to me) to be a good set of clutch pins but the gear on the rear roller clacks slightly when the clutch is disengaged. The pins in set “B” are much shorter and don’t engage with the clutch at all. I’m pretty certain I need to replace the pins on set “B”. They don’t appear to be so much worn as to be perhaps the incorrect pins(?) The tips are concave. I think the pins in set “A ” will engage if I repair the clutch.

I have someone who’s a whiz a metalsmithing that I’d like to have braze some more material into the depressions in the clutch plate while I have the chance. However I’m not sure of the best way to remove it for this repair. I’m comfortable with disassembling things when necessary but I’ve tried to limit it to those parts that could not be sufficiently cleaned otherwise, such as the gripper and roller assemblies, and leave others areas alone in order to avoid decalibrating or mucking up anything that didn’t need fixing in the first place. It appears that quite a bit of the trip rack assembly has to be taken apart to get to the clutch plate, including knocking out a couple of pins. I started the process but as I got deeper and deeper in it occurred to me I might be missing something very simple and be smacking myself on the forehead in short order.

So that’s my question- is there a simple way to remove the clutch plate or am I in for a long sequence of disassembly? Any advice or commentary on this process would be much appreciated.


Clutch lever Roller Set A Rollers Set B

2 thoughts on “Vandercook 4 repairing clutch plate

  1. Yvonne Leonard - January 11, 2008

    Thank you Eric. Success! I’ve been cleaning this thing for 3 weeks now and I think I’ve been staring at it for too long.

    I’d looked at the pin earlier but couldn’t see how there was enough clearance on either side to knock it out so I was trying to come at it from behind to get to the pin. I went back and looked at it again after your post and I realized I hadn’t thought to raise the roller rack…………. That done I knocked the pin out with the butt end of an old drill bit held with needle nose pliers. The only casualty was that the spring snapped when I released the plate.

    I do have liners for use with the steel blocks but thanks for that comment. The press came with both sets of rollers in steel blocks and a 3rd set, of brass blocks. After cleaning I put one set into the brass blocks and I wasn’t sure if I needed to use liners with those. Happily to know I don’t since the liners I have only fit the steel blocks.

    I’ve got a couple of other wounded parts for a later post.

    thanks again.

  2. Eric Holub - January 11, 2008

    Removing the clutch lever should be easy. The way I remember it, you just remove an Allen set screw, then drive out the pin (on which the flipper pivots). Looking at your photo, the set screw might even be missing. All you need then is a pin punch and a hammer.
    I see roller set A has the earlier brass bearing blocks, set B has the later steel blocks. The steel blocks would need Nyliners, and those flat-ended pins would probably need to be replaced.

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