Vandercook Model No.14

Hi there,

I have just picked up an old  No. 14 Vandercook Proofing Press, model no. 7459 from Wellington NZ.

The cylinder spent the weekend soaking in a bucket of diesel to un-sieze the mechanism and is now moving beautifully.

Judging by the off-set on the cylinder packing, it was possibly printing in South Africa, up to 1981, before moving to a commercial printers in Petone.

I have searched the site but cannot find an exact similar press.

I am trying to ascertain the year of the press, so as to determine whether or not I should have grippers on the cylinder (tend to think it may not have had them?), as depending on the year of manufacture, some did and earlier ones didn’t.

Any tips on what to do with out grippers, would be appreciated – does this mean the paper is placed flat over the hand-inked type and then the cylinder rolls over for the impression?

The next thing I need to know is how to measure the height of the press bed, with regards to acquiring a galley height piece of metal or not.  Lock-up bars etc, chases, steel pins etc.

I am also going to have to ‘reload’ the cylinder onto the press to get it in the right position.  I’m also assuming the flat stand is for a inking brayer?

Thanks in advance for any help,




Notify of
Oldest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Paul Moxon, Moderator
13 years ago

According to a circa 1928 sales sheet, the bed press is .968″. No info is given about the undercut. However, it’s .105″ on later 14s, which were originally supplied with a .028″ rubber blanket and a.065″ Tindeck blanket, a canvas-like material made by Tingue, Brown & Co.

This press was built in Chicago. Vandercooks built under license in Great Britain began after WWII. Before then Vandercook & Sons had a network of foreign dealers including Alex Cowan & Sons in Melbourne Australia.

Net weight without the optional cabinet is 525 lbs.

kyle van horn
13 years ago

The 14 is listed in the Models Index here. It looks like older models had no grippers, newer models had optional grippers.

It is nearly identical in style to a No. 1 or 2 (as well as many others I’m sure). In my experience, most people lay the paper flat across the form and roll the cylinder across for impression. However, grippers are probably attached to the cylinder when they’re available.

The bed should be stamped with a 0918 or 0968 somewhere. 0918 is Type High, and 0968 is Galley Height (.050 inches deeper). This may only apply to american-made presses, and there’s a chance yours could have been manufactured in Europe. Additionally, your cylinder will have an undercut stamped into it, probably 040, for .040″ of tympan paper to be added, or possibly 070. It is most likely 040 and 0968.

The serial number will tell you the date. The serial number should be stamped into one end of the bed.

As for editioning, it can be done. Hole-punch/pin registration can be attached to a piece of furniture at one end of the bed. Alternately, thumb-tacks glued down point-up will work. You can probably avoid using a chase if you fill the bed, end to end, with furniture, and lock in with quoins against the sides and ends.

As for ‘reloading’ the cylinder, you could simply lay your type down, then printing paper, then a buffer or pad (something thick like chipboard, etc), and then roll your cylinder over. By removing both the printing paper and the buffer (backing, pad, call it what you like), you should have enough clearance to ‘reload’ your cylinder and start at the ‘beginning’ again, without inking they cylinder. Additionally, if you DO, you have that extra buffer/padding to keep from printing on the back of your paper…

That should be enough… anyone else want to chime in?

Copyright © 2024 vandercookpress.infoTheme by SiteOrigin
Scroll to top
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x