Vandercook packing question

I have a vandercook 320G. I am using a mylar sheet as tympan with a lot of sheets of a paper packing underneath. I have cut all the packing so that it can all be wound around the reel rod. It is very difficult to get all the sheets around the reel rod at once and get it started so I can get it tight. Then is is very hard to get the packing tight around the cylinder without wrinkles. Is it necessary to have all the packing sheets around the reel rod or could I cut all the sheets except the outside (tympan) sheet short so they do not go around the reel rod with only the mylar long enough to go around the reel rod. Then I could tighten it all with just the outside mylar layer. It seems like that would be easier. Would that work? Any suggestions?

Log in to reply   8 replies so far

Only the topsheet needs to wrap around that rod. This is how i pack my cylinder (pardon the terminology gentlemen) :
have the tympan sheet attached to the cylinder and laying flat on the feedboard.
Add the packing under the tympan until it measures to the correct thickness.
make sure all of the packing sheets are pushed up flush to where the grippers are.
then while holding the sheets tight to the cylinder (in trip mode) advance the carriage, wrapping the sheets around the cylinder. Until you get half way around, then you can wrap the tympan around that rod.
Be sure to use the correct amount of packing for your press.

yes agree the mylar can be stiff and unco-operative trying to reel round, on the Western Press I have the reel rod has a slit cut down the length to slot in the mylar, this makes it much easier than just trying to rely on friction and or tapes to hold the mylar.

Right, only the tail of the topsheet goes around the reel, all the packing should be “hangers” which stop at the cylinder gap. This is harder on 320 and 325 because they were designed to use a pinned clamp bar and die-cut top sheets with precisely positioned mating holes, typical with Vandercooks that use an overhand turn to the reel. If you don’t have the clamp bar, you’ll need to tape the tail onto the reel and hope it holds the tension

Thanks to all for the helpful comments. I am going to make good use of this advice. I sure wish I had a reel rod with a slit in it as jonathanjeclipse describes. It would be so much easier. For now I’ll have to use lots of tape. Thanks again to all.

One good thing to use with mylar on the reel rod is actually a bit of clear scotch double stick tape on 2 opposite sides of the rod- one to catch the initial tip off the tail, the other to reinforce the hold once the mylar wraps around 2 sides.

The other benefit is that it’s easily removable with a straight edge razor blade and then can be replaced with fresh tape periodically.

One little gimmick, from a long time back, with a strip of coarse cloth backed emery, (abrasive 80 grit or similar) cut to length and Super glued, Araldited, Epoxy Resin etc atattached as a complete wrap around to the tensioner shaft as a permanent fixture for tensioning, the tympan or Top Sheet!!!
Observation from a long long time ago. (NOT first person,s idea) but adequately borne out, by our BETTER!! Graphic Suppliers, suggestions that, Roller stocks, DO NOT, have to be presented, (for recovering) pre-knurled for adhesion of the compound??
In essence 21st century, Chemical method of adhesion to a round shaft, just retro application!!??
This trick was put to good use by a few Big Cylinder minders, when the SQUARE unslotted bar/tensioner, became a little polished, and began to slip the tension, The Minders just stuck abrasive on one flat of the square with D.S.A (double sided adhesive)
Crafty B*****S probably put 45 mins on their time sheets for Maintainence etc??
But it is rumoured (so we believe)!! that Monotype operators also employed the wrap around trick with 24 inches of punch tape wrapped around the air Tower, as a loop, to run around the clock, galley after galley of folio blanks or running headings, of course that was ONLY for the devious Keyboard Operators benefit. The fine upstanding Caster Op,s would not stoop to those levels, although it is rumoured that One un-named Caster Op had to MARRY the Time Sheet/Clock card info processor, from the office to buy Her Silence!!!
Provable, and I rest my case *Your Honour* allegedly!!

The previous owner of my 325 didn’t have the pin bar for the clamp, and his solution was to drill and tap the existing holes of the reel. A piece of flat aluminum stock was drilled to align with the new holes. Screws now hold this against the tail of the drawsheet. Works, but awkward.
If you could remove the reel and ratchet and dog and reverse the orientation, it would work much better. Every autocylinder I used has an underhand turn to to the tail of the tympan, so that friction is all the hold needed. Why Vandercook used these pinbars and split reels is a mystery.

I just use a single piece of blue scotch masking tape to hold the mylar to the reel rod so it doesn’t slip on the first few rotations, then once it’s tight it holds into place fine.