Vandercook #17 - with automatic inking system

Serial Number 2202
(see Vandercook census at

FREE if you can pick it up (see below)— need to unload ASAP!

When I bought this press it was in working order and the owner was regularly pulling prints. However, the person I hired (and paid!) to transport it from far upstate NY to south Florida and re-assemble it was incredibly unreliable; after working on it for a few days (see photo), he left the press bed in my carport and took all the parts, supposedly to clean and bring back for final assembly. Then he simply stopped returning my calls. It took me almost two years to get the parts returned, but because of his negligence the press was never assembled and is need of TLC. Because I recently moved, I simply don’t have the space for it anymore and would like to sell it as soon as possible.

I hired the fantastic printer Paul Moxon last summer to help me get it up and running, and we learned while assembling it that when the parts were shipped, one of the metal slats on one side had gotten bent slightly at one end. This means that the cylinder will not roll completely to the end of the press bed, which it needs to do. Paul suggested that it should simply be taken to a machine shop to be straightened, which would be relatively straightforward. (Fashioning a new one, because of the specific placing of the screw holes, would be riskier.) After that, we concluded that the press needs only minor tweaking by someone who is familiar with letterpress printing. Unfortunately, because this was my first experience with a letterpress printing press, I’m not that person.

The press has brand new Finzer rollers, and all the necessary parts, aside from a few screws that would be easy to replace at a hardware store. I have one set of type and a few small accent pieces/picture plates, as well as a composing stick and some other useful items that I’m happy to give along with the press.

The buyer will need arrange to pick up the press, which is currently housed in my shed. (The press weighs just under 1,800 pounds, so professional riggers/press movers are recommended. My husband and I have both had ankle surgeries recently and can’t provide much help.)

I will try to answer questions about the press via e-mail at [email protected], but as I have not actually been able to use the press at this point, my knowledge of it is fairly limited. (Buyers unfamiliar with this model can likely find useful information from Paul Moxon’s Letterpress Commons, as well as from other experienced printers.)

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image: Vandercook-17.jpg


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