Vandercook Universal 1

Our Universal 1 requires SAE-20w oil for lubricant (according to the ancient manual I have). Is it ok to use SAE-10w for a lubricant?

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I wouldn’t use SAE-10W because it is thinner. You should be able to find SAE-20W because Kendall makes it. has it but they only seem to sell it in cases so hopefully you can find a quart at a local auto store or elsewhere.

Ok, thanks. I will procure some SAE-20W

SAE 5w-20 is what is recommended. Read it here:

You can get this grade oil at AutoZone and almost anywhere.

I think 3-in-1 oil is 20 weight machine oil. ?


in the Uk I got 5 litres of vintage car oil by Halfords at the correct rating……..seems fine

The 3-in-1 that has the blue label is 20w, but not the original red label version.

Another product that can be used for lubrication is DuPont Teflon White Lithium Grease Aerosol. This is a light weight for general purpose or heavy-duty applications and works well.


The blue label vs red label thing isn’t exactly correct. I checked my stock just to make sure. The red 3-In-One cans that I’ve used, and still do, say Motor Oil SAE 20 quite large as part of the labeling. These are (or were?, may be discontinued?) indicated as a Special Blend, also on label.

Just a further note: I went over to my local OSH yesterday and saw that they have WD-40 White Lithium Grease Aerosol. Unlike regular WD-40, it is more than just water displacement, it DOES serve as a stick-around lubricant and rust inhibitor. Testing it out.

Also discovered Klean-Strip Industrial Maintenance coating thinner. Touted as a California OK replacement for good old MEK, toluene, xylene, naptha, etc. (for cleaning dried ink off the press without disturbing the original paint). It actually does have some xylene and benzene in it, and some other tasty stuff. Looks like it could be quite nasty. Is this the Holy Grail?

Next trip maybe.


@ Gerald, I looked up the MSDS specs on the Klean-Strip Thinner, and it is just as nasty as you think it is. Looks to be an effort by the company to sell off unrefined solvent, so they can make more money with less effort. You can always count on companies that sell petroleum products to have our best interests at heart, right?