Interchange carriages on Vandercook presses


I have been looking to use a Vandercook 4 on a project that I am involved in but because it has been next to an open window in a salty mediterranean climate the impression cylinder and ink rollers together with the motor are absolutely in a word “shot”. The rest of the Vandy is ok which leads me to my question.

If I couldn’t obtain a straight swap of the carriage from another #4 would a carriage from another Vandercook proof press be interchangable (ie the gearing and the impression roller size) even if it was from a manual version ie impression roller and manual inking and movement of whole carriage.

Thought at least one of you guy’s would know.

Look forward to any replies


Rob Pashley

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Really good question for the Vanderblog.

Hello Rob,
The motor can be replaced, but you will want to use the existing gearbox. Try to find one that runs the same speed as the original.

If you need complete Vandercook #4 upper and lower roller assemblies, I can supply them, but it wouldn’t be cheap.

Are you sure the ones you have are totally beyond repair? Where is this press located?


It looks like you are working on a #4 which was made under license in England. We would need to take very careful measurements to be sure that the roller assemblies from an American Vandercook #4 would fit your press.


Looks like you have answered the question. They are not interchangeable at least between the American originals and the UK ones built under licence.

The press is located in southern Iberia Europe in an old building very near the sea near a smashed window for about 20yrs.

I will investigate further in the UK.

Thanks for your reply


You might want to try to find a product like Evapo Rust that you can use to remove the corrosion that is there. If there is serious pitting or damage that will remain, but it will take the rust away without requiring the use of abrasives that would otherwise damage the good metal. This will allow you to get a good sense of what you have in front of you.

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St Brides museum in Fleet Street London can put you in touch with a retired Vandercook Company engineer for advice. H e looks after theirs. Lives Brighton I think.

Basil Head is the guy, yes in Brighton
London Centre book Arts recently hosted a vandercook maintenance class by him.