Update: Found —Wanted: Worm gear and collar

Hi guys,

I’m in the process of building a new oscillator for my SP15 and the machinist is already in the process of making the oscillator cylinder, and the shaft.

He told me though, that making the worm gear is out of his possibilities with the machinery he has. He said that it would probably have to be made by someone who makes gears with a 4 axle CNC, or a similar.

It would save me a lot of effort and trouble, and risk of having a non-working worm gear, if anyone had a one lying around gathering dust and were willing to send it my way.

Thanks for your help!


So thanks to a fine gentleman on this site I was able to get a worm gear for my new oscillator which is in the making right now.

Thanks everyone for all your help!

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Jonathan Jarvis
11 years ago

Enrique-are you still in urgent need of these?
I spotted a crescent and worm gear(thing with slots in it!!!!) in UK Saturday, they fit a Western Proofing 4 press, ie a licensed copy of a Vandercook 4. Paul could confirm whether they would fit. Anyways, seller is Geoffrey Hulett 11 Peareswood Gardens, Stanmore HA7 1NU, price £150, might still be available looked ok condition. He was quoting c £350 for new ones to be made but he hadn’t enough dosh to commission 10 minimum order from engineer.
Uk ,tel 00442089524092

Fritz Klinke
11 years ago

I’ve exhausted our supply of the DR-338 worms some time ago so it’s time to have some more made. These are lost wax castings in steel and the minimum order has stymied me in the past. The original Vandercook pattern still exists at the foundry and I’ll check into getting together an order. After casting, there is some minimal clean up of the casting and then they are hardened. The appropriate collars are not a problem and I think we have those in stock. I’ll work on these this coming week. This foundry also casts the CS-23 Crescent, also a lost wax casting in steel, machined, and then hardened. I can take on one of these projects at a time as the up front cost is substantial. Our last effort was another supply of the LB-7 and the X-11022 latch springs are currently in production.


Paul Moxon, Moderator
11 years ago

Yes, Yvon, tenacity is essential to being a 21st century letterpress printer.

The SP worm gear (DR-338) is the same part number found in the manuals for Universals, the No.3, No. 4 and 219 NS. I believe a few more models have the identical part, despite different numbers in the manuals. Reconciling 65 years of manufacturing specs requires an intellectual and economic incentive.

I know our dear Fritz keeps apprised of our activity, but stocking parts and fabricating special orders is a delicate balance for a niche business.

11 years ago

Yes, tenacity and a stubborn spirit are needed in large quantities here! You seem to have plenty of both.

11 years ago

Enrique, I feel for you man, that’s one important part you’re missing. Keep putting WANTED ads on Briar, you may even consider looking for an SP15 for parts, one that took a bad fall during a move perhaps, but that still has an intact carriage. I’m thinking the Hicks Brothers in San Francisco…ask for Norm. Paul Moxon on this site or Fritz at NA Graphics should be able to tell you if there are a few pre-SP15 compatible models from which you could recycle an oscillator. Alas, most presses come with only one.

Good luck in your search, it would be sad to sell your press if all else is operational on it.

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