Bed Height of a Vandercook No. 1 Proof Press

I recently acquired a Vandercook No. 1 and I am trying to determine whether it is “type high” or “galley high.”

I was going to have a base plate made for photopolymer and I wondered if I would need it to be thicker to compensate for the lack of a galley. I looked at the information on the Vanderblog page and they had every dimension except that. I’m thinking it’s “galley high”, but I would really appreciate someone confirming that for me.

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Put a piece of type on the bed next to the bearer. If the face matches the bearer height, it is a type high bed. My money is on galley-height.


ah, a perfect solution! I will test it tomorrow and report back. thanks

You may want to just order the base for standard type high so it will be transferable to another press should you acquire one. A Vandercook #1 will lead you to bigger and better things. Most of us on this list will relate to that mode of thinking. You can always put a shim under the base to use it on a galley height press, but it doesn’t work so well the other way.

John Henry

I would get a bed-plate. Like people are saying, you don’t want your base to be too high to put on a press with a type-high bed, and the bed-plate allows you to print from wood or metal type as well.

For my galley height proof press, I use a sheet of 18 gauge cold roll steel (0.048”), as recommended by someone here on Briarpress. Its also really cheap.

Galley height is .968, so with the 18 ga. that gets to .920, which is close enough.

The type was slightly lower than the bearer, so I guess it is galley height. I went ahead and had the regular plate made so it will work on other presses. Thanks for the suggestions.