Vandercook 05 Hand Galley P. P. - How much is it worth?

Hi guys, I’ve been presented the opportunity to acquire a Vandercook 05 Hand Galley Proof Press (or at least from what I could identify from the photo I was given).

I am not directly buying it from the seller, but through an equipment seller who has provided us in the past with a Chandler & Price Craftsman (beautiful machine) which is for now, our main machine. But since one of our main goals is to also produce posters we are very interested in the proofing press.

So.. how much do you think it’s worth?

And: Is this a good Vandercook press? Will it be useful for posters? Anything I should take into care?

They haven’t said how much they want for it, that’ll be probably on Wednesday, but I wanted to have some opinions before we go into the deal.

Thank you so much.

I eagerly await your replies :)

- Enrique

PS: I am attaching a photo (it’s supposedly in very good condition, the galley moves smoothly on the tracks)

image: vandercook.jpg


image: Vandercook-05-Hand-Galley-Proof-Press-vandercook.jpg


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Looks like a glorified sign press.
Bed: 15” × 26”
Maximum sheet: 14¾” × 28”
Maximum form: 14” × 24”
Floor space: 1’11” × 5’4”
Weight: 800 lb
Price (1950): $960
“There are no adjustments of any kind for an operator to make.”
Automatic inking. Pushed, not cranked. Vulcanized rubber impression cylinder. Everything except the actual cylinder assembly looks the same as a 50s-era 15. 3” cylinder used on #15,931 (1952) up.


Thank you for your reply. I had already looked up the information from

Is there anything you can add as to how it would be priced these days and if it’s any good for printing posters with wood type or polymer plates?

Thanks again.

I guess what I wanted to stress was:
Galley proof presses have small diameter rubber impression cylinders as do sign presses. For poster work I would prefer a larger diameter steel cylinder with a rubber blanket for more impressional strength. Also more rollers for better ink distribution. I don’t know of a gripper system (on galley presses) for single- or two-color registration. Perhaps one of our Vandy guys can fill us in on this!

I considered buying this same model press last year. All the “experts” I consulted suggested that I not pay more than $500. The seller wanted much more, and I passed.

The fact that it has no grippers makes it far less useful in my opinion. I ended up with a good size Showcard press with nice grippers. Hand inking is a bummer, but I felt that grippers were more important.

So, basically this Vandercook, is almost a no-go ?
Do you guys not recommend it at all for poster printing? what sort of problems could I be running into?

Thank you for your replies.

- Enrique

It’s a giant heavy machine that lacks paper grippers. If you want more than 1 color, good luck!

My Showcard (Model B-Special) gives me the same printable size as that Vandercook, and has a pretty nice gripper system that helps a lot in getting tight registration. I paid about $300 for it, and it included a huge table with shelves that the press sits on, 2 big metal type cabinets full of metal and wood type and a bunch of other random goodies.

If you don’t mind the giant size/weight of the machine and it’s relatively low capabilities, go for it. But I bet a Showcard would save you money and headaches and give you pretty nice posters.

ok.. Where to get a Showcard now?
There are none, I think, in Mexico.

Close register work could be done with the Vandercook galley press if you equipped it with a bed-sized chase with a tympan and frisket hinged to the chase. You could then lock the chase in the bed, lock your image in the chase, and set pins in the tympan for register, with the frisket to hold the sheet in position. Set it up so the tympan and frisket open parallel to the long way of the bed and you could print in both directions, or if there is an impression trip on the cylinder you would be able to take advantage of the press’s inking system.



Thank you for your very informative answer. I’m sorry to be such a newbie, but most of the terms are still very new to me, specially in english. I will try to get all the terms right and see if I can understand it. Thank you again.

I guess I will only buy this press if I can get it for $500 or less.

I was told today by an old printer today that he had an “electric” Vandercook that he sold like 5 years ago.

I am onto that one as I suspect that’ll be a better fit for what I want to do.

I need to first find the guy who bought it, and probably instantly re-sold it, to then see who has it and try to make an offer.

Wish me luck.