Paper gripper solution for Vandercook 0

I have a great Vandercook 0 proof press that I’d like to get more use out of for short runs and one-offs, and eventually multicolor block prints. The main obstacle is the lack of a paper gripper. Registration is only as good as my shakey hands when trying to carefully lay down a sheet of paper.

The entry at Letterpress Commons says paper grippers were an available option, but I’ve never seen any for this press, only on a smaller Showcard-branded version. Anyone know where I might look?

I’m also considering engineering something I could lockup with the form.

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One solution would be to buy a clipboard, take the clip assembly off it, and screw that to a long piece of furniture to lock up with your lockup on the bed. Then without dropping the paper onto the image, slide it into the open clip and then clip it, then carefully lay it down on the inked image and roll away. The clip needs to be positioned so it is outside the impression roller area, which limits how close to the top of the sheet your image can get, but the clip should hold the paper firmly. If you’re using full-size sheets, you might want two clips positioned so you can press on both of them with one hand..


Scott Moore at Moore wood type has developed universal grippers for machines like this.

Here’s a Vandercook register device from the 1936 ATF Machinery Catalog - offered as optional equipment for the No. 099, 01, and 03. Seems to be very similar to most register devices offered on other presses (Line-O-Scribe, etc.)

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