Press power - testing a Vandercook 32-28E

I am bringing home my Vandecooks this friday. The Universal III is going in my garage but the 32-28E needs to go in the storage unit for the time being. I am going to be cleaning up both over the next 2 weeks.

The 32-28E is powered 220-60-1. I would love to do a check on the press to see if it will cycle while it is in storage. I have a portable generator that will put out 220. Would it be safe to try and get it wired up with a plug to work with the generator?

I can work my way around a 110 circuit but I have no experience with 220 power. Any opinions and feedback are greatly welcomed!

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The National Electric Code requires ground connections on all generators (portable and permanent/standby). You would need to have a ground rod.

Other than that, yes, a properly sized 220V generator will work to run your press. Check the rating plate on the press and the generator.

I will double check the generator to make sure how much power it can output.

Aside from the voltage rating having to be the same for the motor and generator, the main thing is that the generator will have to be at least 150% of the rating of the motor. Otherwise the generator regulator will collapse/stall on startup of the motor.

Hugo good point. I was not thinking of the initial power surge to get the motor started. I will probably need to consult a local electrician so I don’t do any damage to the press or generator.

The motor spec plate will give the operating current and may give the starting current as well. If your generator is capable of providing the starting current plus a safety margin (maybe 25%) you should be OK, especially if the motor starts under no-load with the press stationary. If your inking system isn’t engaged and drawing power that should help too. I am assuming that the motor drives the cylinder through a clutch but maybe there are two motors, one for the inking system and one for the carriage? Also, the motor is sized for maximum load plus a safety margin and would not draw that much current under minimal load.

Also, I would not worry about a ground rod for a test if you have the 220 wiring hots and neutral correctly connected. Since the generator isn’t connected to electrical ground there should not be a return current flow to a ground path.


Thanks Bob. Yes there are 2 motors on this beast. I am going to see what I am able to do this Saturday to test the motors and see if everything on the press is functional.

I just opened up the press’ side box to get to the wiring. there are only 2 wires in the box. The motors say they are 115/230 on both of them. Could it be possible that the press is wired for 115? If so, that would make it very easy for me to do a motor check on Saturday.