Western proofing press

Just taken delivery of a Western “The British” 4C, going through it all to check it out.got to derust the underneath and paint it yet, and work out how to lift out? rotate? the cylinder to clean all the surfaces etc. Here are 2 photos of it, here is another photo of the ink drum scraper bar mechansim, obviously missing bits, if I could find out what they are, would be fantastic. Apparently some people don’t think it is worth using, it is better to just clean the ink drum with solvent and rags?
Also a photo of cylinder racking operator’s side, you can see (I hope!) it is packed up some 3/16ths on the left part only, leaving the right section to float above the press bed and flex down (seeing metal bar bend worries me) when the cylinder runs back on to it. Is this ok? I find it strange the teeth are higher than the bearer rails, and that there is a bolt hole to hold it to the bed but no bolt, yet on the offside the racking is firmly fixed to the bed and not protruding above the bearer rail. I would be most grateful for thoughts, having not seen a Vandercook closeup, and understanding that this press is a licensed copy of a Vandercook No 4. Seeking a parts manual in the UK too!!
I do have the offer to go and see one at the Whittington Press -thanks guys.
Apologies if terminology is incorrect, Hope photos have uploaded, and it has been fantastic to check out Vanderblog in the past few months whilst awaiting delivery of the press and reading Paul’s book in our university library. Hope to hear from someone in printing letterpress land and thanks for even reading this post too.

Thanks very much for reply posts Paul-when have got rid of the rust etc will post a new photo.!

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Basil Head
Basil Head
11 years ago

Looking at the photo of the rack it would appear to have two shims at the back and there should only be one and a thinner one at the front, the same as on the Vandercook Model 4 Presses. The screws holding the rack in place are 2BA Allen cap screws 3/4″ long. Should they have any difficulty in obtaining these locally, I could mail some out.

Paul Moxon, Moderator
12 years ago

The Chicago-built No.4 does not has a wash up unit. I believe the first to have one was the 15-21. Wash up units require a plastic doctor blade to squeegee the solvent-diluted ink off the drum. The blade must be kept clean. A bead of dried oil-based ink will score the surface of the drum.

Paul Moxon, Moderator
12 years ago

The raised section of the cylinder rack is to original spec. It ensures that the cylinder is always in trip until the carriage clears the ink drum.

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