Vandercook No.4

Hi  Paul and all,

I am new to this blog. I have a Vandercook No. 4,  Serial No 14637. My name is Michael McGarvey, Port Press, Port Republic, NJ.

I have been printing for some time, wood engravings and books. I have been using primarily an Iron hand Hoe 6027  for book work.  Apparently this particular iron hand  press is also a “proof press” due to the smaller amount of daylight between platen and bed. It has been a bear getting this one to work, but I have considerable control at this point thanks to Richard-Gabriel Rummond’s book.

The Vandercook needs attention especially the cylinder bearing. It is not printing accurately, and I have shied away from using it but now am emboldened by the technical information I find available here.  I plan to follow along the literature on the vandercook Press info site, especially on the cylinder adjustment, as well as all the other basic setup articles. This is very helpful.

Paul,  please let me know when the book will be available again. That is what I really need—a thorough reference source for the Vandercook. I hope to improve my skill with the Vandercook so that it too can be used for fine book work.



4 thoughts on “Vandercook No.4

  1. portpress - January 1, 2015


    Thanks for that information. I will look forward to one of your workshops, center for book arts would be quite doable this spring semester, but I can get to other places as I am on sabbatical working on next book. I would like to some full spreads in this project and hence my invigorated interest in the Vandercook.

    I also appreciate the email link to Perry, I am going to contact him pronto.


  2. Paul Moxon, Moderator - January 1, 2015

    Beautiful work on your site. I address packing in my maintenance workshop, I also do one focused on presswork as well. My 2015 schedule is still developing and will almost certainly do a few on the east coast—every year sibe 2001, I’ve taught at the Center for Book Arts in New York.

    I make a lot of onsite press repairs, but you’re fortunate to live near Perry Temeson a well known press mechanic. You can contact him at

  3. portpress - January 1, 2015


    The book sounds great I am looking forward to being able to access that resource.

    I have had the Vandercook for some time, actually before the Hoe. Aquired it around 1999- I got it from a guy named Carbone in Camden. I remember the date as I printed my first piece, a millenium card, on it. The results I get on it have been getting better, but really need to address some things to see if I can bring it up to the standards I am able to get on the Hoe. I have a website you can get an idea of what I do – Aside from the main issue of uneven cylinder ( I think is problem) there is the general issues of registration especially with makeready. I am able to sort of workaound with engraving blocks and minimal type, but again do the book work on the Hoe. Would like to try my hand at using the vandercook for book work to get imagery across pages, incorporate photopolymer and or magnesium plates etc. Plus I can print without having to have assistant.

    I have seen that you give workshops as well, that would also be quite useful for me. I will look out for some in northeast or mid atlantic.

    Alternatively do you do press repair yourself or know of someone good? I live in southern NJ just inland from Atlantic City. It would be great to have a knowledgable service person a look, be able to fix it or tell me if I might be better getting an upgrade for what I wish to do.

  4. Paul Moxon, Moderator - December 31, 2014

    Welcome aboard, Michael. I’m pleased that you find useful information here. I’m always mindful that it’s a group effort.

    I’ve been expecting that someone would ask me about the status of my book. It’s in the last stage before the interior goes to(digital) press. The cover will again be letterpress printed. As a teaser, I’ll say that the text is substantially revised with, at last count, thirty additional drawings and photographs. I will announce the price and availability very soon on this an other letterpress forums.

Leave a Reply

Copyright © 2022 vandercookpress.infoTheme by SiteOrigin
Scroll to top