HELP! Can carriage be removed from Vandercook #1?

My new (1950s) Vandercook model 1 proof press just arrived from its former home near Chicago. It’s securely anchored to a pallet, but unfortunately the pallet doesn’t have open ends, so the shipper was only able to pick it up with a hydraulic fork *crosswise*, and it’s too wide to get through my gate, so he dropped it off and left. I hadn’t counted on this.

So it’s sitting on the sidewalk in front of my apartment building in downtown San Francisco, and I’m having to fend-off taggers, opportunists, dogs, etc., until I can figure something out: can the carriage assembly (crank, drum, etc.) be removed from the bed? I’ve separated the bed from the base, and taken off the inking platform, so it’s now about 300 pounds, rather than 425 lbs. Sadly, that’s still too much for me to lift. I’m hoping that if I can remove the carriage/roller, that will bring the bed of the press down to a manageable 200 lbs or so, and a friend and I can get it onto a dolly and roll it inside.

On the both outside ends of the carriage, there are two huge screwheads, as well as one at each end of the center / axle. On the *sides* of the ends there is a large hex-head; I have no idea what they do.

Anyone have any suggestions?

(NB: there is no inking roller assembly on this, nor grabbers; just the

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Your best bet is find two strong people to carry it intact. However, yes the carriage can come off, I have done it with my newer version of the same press which is a little different. The trick is when you put it back on that the crank handle should be pointing down with the carriage at the end of the track.

If you have a smooth path from where the press is into the house (no steps) you could rent a hydraulic shop floor crane on its own wheels from a tool rental and pick the press up with it and trundle it into the house. If there are steps I suggest a couple of 2x4s up the steps, move the press with the crane and set it on the 2x4s, move the crane inside, drag the press up the steps, then pick it up again and trundle it where you want it.. The cranes can typically pick up 2 tons, so I suggest it for its flexibility of maneuvering. But two people should be able to get it where you want it that way, whereas I would be reluctant to see three or four, much less two, people try to muscle it in.


Oh no!! What a bummer! Were you able to get the carriage off or find more strong helpers? That’s a beautiful press, hope its safe inside now!

Check out vanderblog website…yes carriage can be removed….mark with a paint pen where teeth register if it is in correct position now.