which screws to loosen for cylinder packing on Uni III

Well the subject sort of says it all. If you look at the attached photo, I’m not sure if it’s A or B. I feel like it should be “B” but nothing loosens up after unscrewing them, and the screw (B) on the far right is totally stuck. I’m trying to loosen it to get the top mylar sheet and packing in. Thanks,

image: packing.jpg


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Not sure about the Uni III in particular, but I am guessing the packing is held in place by that gear on the bottom right of your photo. Pull back on the little lever that ratchets against the gear and the packing should come loose. Tightening will cause the ratchet to lock into the teeth of the gear.

Hope that makes sense.

The reel rod ratchet is already loose in the photo

The screw B is the one that will loosen the packing gripper bar. Loosen all filister head screws to pull packing out and to replace.

Inky Lips Letterpress

Thanks! We figured it out. I guess I didn’t clarify what I was trying to do—the packing/mylar was completely pulled out and we were trying to get it in. I had already attached and twisted the one end around the reel rod and I was trying to get the other end in (by the grippers). Turns out I just needed a little manly help from my husband—one of the screws was in there too tight. Once we got that end in we went back and locked the ratchet.

Always start the packing from the gripper end; for one thing, the packing will probably not lie flat if you start with the tail end. You will need to move the side guide all the way out and clear the feedboard so there is room. Some just butt the edge of the topsheet to the bolts, then tighten the clamp. However, the topsheet should be notched at the bolts so there is a longer hem in the clamp; the fold must be made straight and square, so scoring it first will help.
After it is clamped in, arrange the underpacking against the fold, and advance the cylinder slowly so that it pulls the packing along with it, smoothing it with your hand. Check that all remains centered and that nothing rides over a bearer before you wind it around the reel and tighten. Tighten until the stretched tail can be tapped for a tight “drumhead” sound, while pushing the pawl into place. Then feel the lead edge and see if either side is loose; if so, the tail hasn’t been centered correctly. Loosen the pawl, and see if the reel has any side play, which may let you re-center. Other wise, back up to where the packing was flat on the feedboard and try again.
Once you get the hang of it, it is a simple thing, but it takes some repetition. And different models have different reels: overhand, underhand, slotted, plain and with clamp, so switching to another Vandercook can be confounding.

someone kindly put up photos of the whole process


Thanks. What a great community this is! I feel silly asking these questions, but I guess this is how we learn.