Vandercook 4 trip lift arm problem

I’ve got a Vandercook 4 trip problem. I’ve checked out the other two threads I can find on this topic here, and they don’t quite answer my question. I’ve checked the bolt on the pivot point that is hidden behind the sheet metal, and it seems to be tight.

The trouble is with the lift arm that holds the rod that goes across the press to the trip wedge. There’s a set screw that holds the rod in place on the lift arm, and when I just finger tighten that set screw, the trip clicks into print and trip beautifully – until the screw backs out. If I tighten that set screw any tighter than a loose hand-tightening, the lift arm becomes too tight for the lift handle to lift it. Keeping the set screw just hand-tightened only works for so long until the set screw loosens and backs out completely.

Am I missing something? Could this still be a pivot bolt problem even though the trip and print clicks into place and holds, just as long as the set screw is adjusted to just the right “looseness”? I’ve not bent the metal back to access the pivot bolt with a wrench, but I have gotten my fingers in there enough to feel that it seems pretty tight. This is the Vandercook 4 at the Oregon College of Art and Craft, by the way.

Thanks for any help!

4 thoughts on “Vandercook 4 trip lift arm problem

  1. Clare - November 17, 2011

    Thanks Paul,

    After double checking everything you suggested, and then tightening the set screw down fairly snugly, things seem to be working. I’ve made these adjustments before, getting it to where I think it’s working with the set screw tightened snugly, only to have the trip wedge get stuck while a student is working.
    I’ll keep my eye on it.

    I also need to cut away some metal to access the pivot bolt, because seems it’s likely that if that’s too loose, it wouldn’t provide enough tension to lift the lift arm, could that be correct?

    Thanks again!

  2. Paul Moxon, Moderator - November 12, 2011

    Clare: earlier today I made this repair. The sheet metal had already been bent back so I was able to get a wrench on the pivot bolt head and the more accessible nut. The lift arm had been removed, but luckily it was found in a box of parts.

    Enrique: removing the bed is a project. It may be easier to cut a hole in the sheet metal, this way if the repair doesn’t take the first time you can more easily try it again.

  3. Enrique - November 12, 2011

    Oh boy.. My no.4 has a worse problem than this, I suspect.
    Which would you recommend? Remove the bed or cut the sheet metal? :(

  4. Paul Moxon, Moderator - November 11, 2011

    Amended: Besides the pivot bolt needing to be tight, the short bar that this bolt passes through must be level for maximum tension for the handle arm.

    Make sure that the lift rod (MR-169) is all the way through the lift arm (MS-276). The set screw should contact a flat spot on the rod. See if the set screw is stripped. These are easily replaced. The spec is 5/16-18 x 1″.

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