Printing double sided on a Vandercook

Any tips for printing the second side of a double sided project where registration must be tight? I’ve printed on SP Vandercooks where a galley magnet was used to keep the same registration edge…when the paper is flipped over we just used the magnet as a side gauge instead of the normal side gauge.

Problem now is I’m printing on a 219OS with a wooden feedboard, so I can’t use a magnet. I imagine taping down a quad, but foresee difficulty in registering if I have to keep lifting and taping it down.

Any thoughts/hints?

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I tape a piece of tympan along the feedboard, one long edge free, and use a Double-grip gauge pin clamped to the edge. It is easy to adjust position. You could do something similar with other styles of gauge pin.

It has been some time since I have seen a 219, but my recall would tell me that the feedboard has a metal strip at the cylinder edge to which could be taped a quad or other contact point for registration. It is into that metal strip that the normal side guide is set in.

The key would be to position the quad, then run the first side against that guide. That would make it possible to use the adjustable guide in registration of the second side at the normal feed guide side.

Perhaps I am thinking of a later 219 design.

The side guide on the feed table should keep your paper in line and when the paper guides are set correctly you shouldn’t have a registration problem. I would suggest trying to print in the middle of the sheet. Check with your pica gauge (ruler) that the image is centered and adjust accordingly. When you print on the opposite side and your form is placed in the same area on the bed you should be lined up. Put the sheet on a light table to see if both sides are registered or trim it out and of course your pica gauge always should works.

Inky Lips Press

Casey-my understanding is, you can’t be 100% certain the paper is all cut perfectly square and with completely consistent width, especially if it comes out of the box. Whatever side you print with first, up against the side gauge, becomes the registration edge, so you can be sure that is consistent. If you flip the paper over and register, don’t you run the risk that the paper can shift?

I suppose if the paper is perfect and the first sheet is set-up to print dead center, and all sheets after that also print dead center, you’re fine, but what if the paper is perfect?

jhenry…my 219 does have a metal lip…but it’s not magnetic! Printing the near side edge first is a good tip. As is using paper guides taped to tympan.

Will use one or all of these tips, thanks again.


For a more permanent trouble free solution take a look at this:


I’ve seen that (care of your link I think) and have that in the back of my mind, thanks.

how do you stick it on the press?

i see they sell tape.


These are expensive enough without buying the tape as well. Most double adhesives will work, even the double sided tape that Boxcar and Elum sell.