Vandercook No. 3 Carriage Help

l1120818.jpg l1120816.jpg

l1120817.jpg l1120820.jpg

Hello. I recently had my Vandercook No. 3 overhauled with a new paint job. While the press looks beautiful, the carriage with the cylinder no longer “locks” in place. I think something mechanical was painted over that should not have been, so if anyone has any suggestions about which part on my press is affected, and how to clean, I’d very much appreciate your advice. I attach photos as best I can to show what is going on.

Thanks very much,

Brittany Sanders

Bonnie & Morgan Press

(310) 428-0105

Notify of
Oldest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Fritz Klinke
16 years ago

This has been pretty well covered, more than once, but make sure the press is level in both directions. For Chris, there should be a cylinder catch on your press, and missing, there will be 2 holes, one in the bed for the spring and the other in the side rail for the screw. These are not inexpensive parts, hardened steel, special screw, but the spring’s not too bad.

Alex has probably been breathing too many lead fumes lately.

Chris Jackson
16 years ago

Sorry to keep this going, but I was soon to ask the same question. I appreciate the wealth of info, but unless I am having a difficult time seeing, my press does not have a cylinder check, or at least it is housed in a different spot. Is it possible that the old style No. 3s were without this feature. I found that the previous owner (though he never used the press) was given a piece of leather to stop the carriage from advancing when not in use.

Thanks again.


Eric Holub
16 years ago

Yeah, that “cam”–cylinder check on the parts list–is pushed down by the lower cross rod of the cylinder carriage, and then rises to hold the carriage in place. It ‘s just light spring pressure that does it. Some Vandercooks have a nylon collar on the cross-rod at that point, but I’m not sure if the 3 is one of them.
But there are things that should have been left unpainted–bumper springs, bolt-heads in the gripper trip wedge–and the paint will interfere with adjustment and movement. I hope no oil-holes were filled.
To start, I’d work the press back and forth and look for signs of contact or rubbing, then carefully scrape them with a razor blade if flat, or a wire brush if not. Emery cloth can be torn into strips and used to clean off round surfaces. And there’s always paint remover.

The Arm
16 years ago

At least she isn’t going to have to ask for a second opinion…


Alex Brooks
16 years ago

we are dorks

Alex Brooks
16 years ago

I can’t tell because of the size of your picture, but it’s probably the flipper in your first picture. There’s a spring underneath which pushes the flipper up and holds the carriage at the feed board. It doesn’t look like this part was painted, so it’s probably the spring underneath, which often breaks. Sometimes the spring breaks in two and the halves still work marginally. Fritz at NA Graphics has replacements.

Hope this helps

The Arm
16 years ago

Easy! See that cam at the end of the gear rack in the first photo? Take out the screw and check to see if the spring is broken. If it is call Fritz and order a new one. If it isn’t then you probably just need to clean up the assembly, add a little 3 in 1 oil and you will be good to go.

Daniel Morris
The Arm Letterpress
Brooklyn, NY

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