Bed plate dimensions for a Vandercook 3?

I’m about to order some cold rolled steel cut to order for my soon-to-be-delivered Vandercook 3 as a bed plate. I realized that the dimensions for the bed on the Vandercook 3 are listed as 15 x 35”. Is this the size of a sheet I should it cut to? If you look at this photo of the current bed, there is a bar that runs across the width of the bed. I don’t have possession of the press yet, so I do not know if the bed plate can run underneath that bar or if the sheet needs to fit within that bar. If anyone has bed plate dimensions, that’d be extremely helpful!

image: Vandercook 3 bed

Vandercook 3 bed

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You don’t need to have a plate the full length of the bed. It should extend slightly beyond the tail bar. The bare portion of the bed will allow you to slide forms between bedplate and galley. Even if you are a photopolymer printer who never uses a gally, there is no reason to pay for extra bedplate beyond the tail bar.

Thanks Parallel_Imp. So it’s safe if the plate runs underneath that tail bar? Or should it stop just short of that bar? Either way, I need to know the dimension of where that tail bar is on the press.

This is something where you ought to order the plate larger (24X48), then when you get your press- measure it’s actual bed, mark the same measurements off on the plate, and take it to someone who has a cutter that can handle .050 gauge steel. Not too hard for a hydraulic shear, but a foot shear is not as easy to do this sort of thing with.

Steel is cheap, so buying a bit more shouldn’t be a problem. Paying the company who you bought the steel from to cut it down is asking for trouble, you may need to have it cut a second time if your dimensions are off. Be practical about it rather than theoretical, this is one of those cut it to fit sort of things where a 1/16th of an inch really matters.

I can recommend a shop in brooklyn, where you are, if you would like; Advance Kitchen, on Meeker close to Leonard, can do this for you for like, 10 bucks a cut. They’re a kitchen fabricator who works in stainless steel and mild steel. Your cold rolled will be no problem. This is not the kind of place I call (though you can try); it’s the sort of place you show up and drop the steel off to be cut. I’m just up the street from them so stop in and say hello when you do go over.

Good luck,