Bed Plate for Vandercook 01

I have a Vandercook 01 gravity proof press that I’m getting ready to start using. I have a question about having a bed plate made, since this is a galley-high rather than a type-high press.
I think I would rather have a bed plate than try to add additional material to each job but I want to make sure I’m not ignoring any important considerations. The printable area of the bed is 15″ x 26″ I think (I’ll double-check but let’s assume that’s correct for this discussion). I was assuming I would want a plate just slightly smaller so that I can fit it in and remove it easily. So would a bed plate 14.75″ x 25.75 make sense?

Also, I contacted a couple of local places listed under sheet metal and they weren’t interested. I was told it should be cold-rolled steel. Is there an online source for ordering a piece of cold rolled steel this size? And is there a particular grade of steel that should be specified?


Log in to reply   3 replies so far

At my local junk yard i saw a sign that they can cut stainless steel or steel plates to any size, might be a place to check, you must make sure your plate is the right thickness, i think any steel should be ok for what you need, you could probably get by using a galley or two. good luck Dick G.

If you can’t find it locally, McMaster-Carr ( sells a huge variety of steel online. You may have to have it cut locally, but at least you can get the correct thickness…


Not sure why you would be having problems having a fabricator cut this for you, but get the best quality steel you can. Down the road you will be grateful. Don’t buy something like this from one of the printing supply dealers. Cheap product, high price. An acquaintance recently picked up a stainless steel bed plate for a 20” Vandercook for less than $30.

Slightly thinner than the printable bed size yes, but same thickness, parallel, and this is dead on important, as a galley tray or composing stick: .050.

Worse problem you have is finding a roller gauge, either .918 or .968. The stuff that is out there by current dealers is quite poor quality and yet quite expensive for what it is. Best bet is old in good shape gauges offered on eBay.