Vandercook SP-20 One Side Riding High

My former assistant made some adjustments to the press due to uneven wear along the tracks on one side. We then had the Vandercook lifted and leveled (placed on some shims along with some easy cut linoleum to keep it from walking, which I read about on here!)

One side is riding very high from the adjustments of one of my former assistants. I’m not quite sure what he did (or the proper terminology for it). What I’m concerned about is the amount of difference side to side as in the pictures.

The pressure isn’t level side to side.

I’m mechanically slow and don’t know all the terminology, so I apologize if this is a dumb post. Thanks for any help and advice you can provide.

Log in to reply   8 replies so far

I should say the adjustments were originally made because it was feeling tight when printing and because the press wasn’t level. After the adjustments, it still felt a bit tight to print—sticky. I plan to change out all the packing, of course, and see what I can do for that, but I just wanted to make sure there isn’t something else major I need to do right now.

My guess would be that the eccentrics have been adjusted. You might want to speak to the person that did it to see if you can find a path back to where you were. Outside of that, you might want to head over and post this question on the Vanderblog or consider a visit from Paul Moxon or Dave Seat.


I will be passing near on my way to and back from Ladies of Letterpress + Print Week

Thank you both for your comments! I am trying to register for your workshop at the very least, Paul Moxon! Our budget is super strapped since I am part of a state institution and there have been so many cuts with our new governor, however. I’m working on it! I would be interested in talking to you more. I would love to even be able to hire you to help out and will try to raise the funds if you can give me some idea of your rates. We are 2 hours south of STL on I-55.

I talked to my former assistant today, and it sounds like he was adjusting the cylinder carriage bearings. Said he loosened them all and then walked around and around gradually tightening them up again working for a printable level (with our press unlevel on the floor). He said the whole process took him about 8 hours.

At this point, after having our press leveled, and it’s not even sitting on the rails, visibly higher on one side so that a standard thickness mat board piece can be placed between the little white wheels and the metal railing (the little white wheels that ride on the inside of the metal rails), I am wondering what to do next.

I’ve been advised by a letterpress-knowledgeable friend that these are the kinds of adjustments one should leave to a professional, which I am not a letterpress professional.

Do y’all recommend I try to tackle this? Which I assume is ( Our budget is very low, so I try to do as much as I can myself.

Paul is not too expensive if you can catch him in the neighborhood, which it sounds like he will be - having him fix your problem and give the press a quick tune-up will make life better for some time to come


Thanks, Letterpress Dad!!

Paul does know what he is doing, and apparently the former assistant wasted 8 hours. Paul’s Vanderblog web site should be the primary go to source for Vandercook questions and problems, and believe what is stated there. I monitor the site and often talk to Paul directly about various problems that come up as I can research the original Vandercook documents, some of which are within reach of my desk. Paul has also been here to spend time in the Vandercook archives doing research. Even with all the original information at hand, I often defer to Paul on vexing questions.