Vandercook #3 Cylinder Carriage Removal

Any one have any recommendations on removing the Cylinder Carriage from a Vandercook #3. I have a #3 that sat outside a closed print shop for about 5 yrs under a tarp. Surprisingly it is in good shape only surface rust on everything. I am fully refurbishing it. I first got the cylinder moving back and forth about 12” freely then i removed the bumper blocks and springs and was just going the roll it off the end. (it is hooked to an over head sling to catch it at the end of travel). I moved it about 20” towards the end and it has locked in the rack gear now. No movement backward or forwards. Side note I dont want to drill out the dowel pins on the cylinder assembly if I can get everything off without doing that would be the best scenario.

Log in to reply   4 replies so far

It would be better to run it back in the direction from which you were coming. Make sure you can’t see any debris in the rack or on the bearers. If you got it caught on some crud it might require a ratchet strap.

If it were mine, I would do a bunch of de-rusting before trying to run the cylinder off the end of the press. WD-40, light Scotchbrite pads, and some EvapoRust will get you pretty far. Wear gloves and protect your hands.


Also if you are running the cylinder back and forth with the packing removed, keep an eye out for the tympan reel rod’s ratchet pawl. On some Vandercook models, it can flip down and get caught if you aren’t careful.

I suggest you post this problem on the Vanderblog site:

There are suggested ways to remove the cylinder (if required) so that the timing can be reestablished when putting it back. Don’t start drilling out anything on the press to remove parts—that’s a good way to screw up a valuable machine. The cylinder bearings on each side of the cylinder may be jammed and those can be loosened, but get some advice first and the Vanderblog is for Vandercook owners/users.

Thanks for the info ill head over there and post. And I don’t want to drill anything out just looking at doing a complete tear down and restore and know that with this rusty of a machine it will probably be inevitable with at least a few stubborn screws.

Fritz while I have you here you wouldn’t happen to know the diameter and tolerance of the feed and form roller cores. Mine are pretty pitted from rust and didn’t know if I could still use them or if I need put them in my lathe and turn them down a couple thou. The manual I have doesn’t give those dimensions.

Landon Asberry