i just bought a lovely vandercook 4, there is a vice grip spring loaded attached to the bar that runs across the width of the press under the bed…when i return the carriage, the vice grip engages and makes a clunking sound. what gives? the previous owner said he thinks there was some problem with the trip setting. just wondering if anyone has encountered this problem and has any advice! thanks
What I did was use small prybars to bend out the lip of the sheetmetal that conceals the pivot–you can feel inside the frame for the hex-head that is accessible, then open the area adjacent to it. A dental mirror can be very useful when trying to examine these areas.
Another possibility is that the vise-grip is there to limit the movement of the flipper. Once you get the locking mechanism on the pivot tightened, you may need to reposition the finger on the near-end of the crossbar so that the flipper sits correctly. Again, a look with the dental mirror and good light while you flip the handle up and down will demonstrate the actions and linkages. (Then look on the far side of the press while someone else flips the handle, and rolls the cylinder.)
thank you for that information, i posted a picture for further explanation, but i think i understand what you have described. the external trip/print knob is not functioning currently. i will try what you have recommended, and again, thanks.
The trip/print mechanism on the 4 has an external knob, and a hidden pivot. Push down on the knob, and the right end pushes up a finger connected to the near end of the crossrod you are talking about. The far end of the crossrod has a flipper that raises and lowers the cylinder on and off impression. There should also be a stop-collar on the cross-rod just inside the frame, to keep the fingers in line.
A common problem is that the pivot gets loose and will not hold position; the weight of the flipper is too much. So that vise grip of yours could be a secondary handle for trip/print, or it might be a counterweight to balance the weight of the flipper.
If the handle clicks into place in either position, it is working. But if it rises after you push it down, then the pivot needs tightening. On most 4s it is inaccesible and you need to pry open the metal covering it (or perhaps cut an opening), enough for a slim wrench to fit in, can’t remember what size. You will need to have a wrench on the external hex-head of the pivot as you tighten the internal part. In my experience just tightening the external head had no effect.
I’m not sure what you are talking about. I think a couple of pictures could really help here.
The Arm Letterpress