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Moving a Vandercook

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  • Anthony Archer
    Hi David- Having moved half a dozen Vandercooks, from an SP-15 to a 232, and several Uni s in the middle, I d recommend- Don t do it by yourself. I m sure
    Message 1 of 2 , Jan 5, 2004
      Hi David-

      Having moved half a dozen Vandercooks, from an SP-15 to a
      232, and several Uni's in the middle, I'd recommend-

      Don't do it by yourself. I'm sure someone on the list would
      be willing to help if they are within a reasonable distance.
      I'm in Utah for two more weeks, then driving to Connecticut.
      If you're on the way, I'm available.

      Use 2x6's for skids. Get some at least six to twelve inches
      longer than the holes in the feet of the press are apart.
      (Lengthwise) It might work to have the lumberyard cut a ten
      or twelve footer in half. Get a good one with out any big
      knots, you might have to spring for a number one grade.

      Get four 3/8 inch diameter carriage bolts two and a half
      inches long, with nuts and washers.

      Buy a 10' piece of 1 1/4" pvc pipe. Don't use some you might
      have had laying around a long time, because it gets brittle.

      Use your crowbar, tanker bar, Johnson bar or hand truck to
      tip the press up enough to slide one of the boards under-
      neath the legs on one side. Make sure your helpers are
      holding the other side to keep it from going over. (I did
      this routine by myself once, but it was pretty tense-not

      Repeat the process on the other side, so the press is sit-
      ting level on the boards. Now take a pencil or pen or nail
      or whatever and mark the board through holes in the feet.
      Make some more marks around the feet on the skids, and write
      "Up" and "left" or "right" on them, so you get them back in
      the same place.

      If I am going to truck the press very far, usually I slide
      the skids more to the outside so the stance is wider and more
      stable, but since you aren't going far, just centering the
      bolt holes in the boards should be good.

      Now carefully tip the press enough to take the boards out.
      Get a drill bit larger than the 3/8 bolt, say 7/16 or 1/2
      inch, and drill through marks you made. Now turn the
      boards over, and with a wood chisel, claw hammer or a larger
      drill bit, cut a clearance on the bottom of the boards so
      the head of the carriage bolt will not stick out below the
      surface of the bottom. This is so the pipes will not hit
      the bolt heads as you roll the press.

      You might want to take a big rasp, belt sander, radial arm
      saw or whatever, and put a 45 degree chamfer on the ends of
      the skids on the bottom, so they will roll up onto the pipes

      Put two of the bolts into one skid, heads down, carefully
      tip one side of the press up, and slide the board under,
      lining up the bolts with the holes in the feet. Be care-
      ful, use a screwdriver or hammer handle, or pliers, or such
      to get the bolts into the holes-if something slips, your
      fingers can get squashed--we don't want this to happen.
      (This is why you should drill the holes a bit bigger than
      the bolts, it gives some wiggle room if things aren't just
      exactly the right length.)

      Drop the washers onto the bolts, screw on the nuts, tighten
      them and repeat the whole sequence for the other side.

      Now get your hacksaw or crosscut saw out, and cut that PVC
      pipe into ten pieces of approximately equal length.

      Have one of the helpers pry up the front or back end of
      the press, and drop a pipe under each skid. Now push
      the machine along, and keep dropping pipes in front of
      it until they're all used up.

      Aim it in the direction you want to go, and keep pushing.
      When one of the pipes rolls out, carry it to the front of
      the skid, and set it down to be rolled along again. You
      can turn the machine by tapping the ends of the pipes to
      change the angle they roll in relation to the axis of
      the skids.

      The secret to using PVC rollers is to make sure you have
      plenty of them, and spread the pressure across a wide area,
      thus the 2x6's. You can't horse a flat base Intertype along
      with them, unless it's on skids.

      Some of the advantages--they are cheap, remarkably strong,
      easy to cut, and they won't mark floors. They also flex
      enough to roll over small obstructions, like floor joints,
      or from a hard floor to carpet. You might, though want to
      lay some plywood down if the carpet is very thick. Carpet
      can be hard to roll on.

      You can also use lag screws to hold the press to the skids,
      since you are not going far. In that case, you would mark
      the skids as above, and then drill about a 1/4 inch (for a
      3/8" lagscrew)hole inthe boards, and screw the lag into the
      skid from the top of the press foot. (Lag screws are like
      big wood screws with a hexagon head, the threads screw into
      the wood, not a nut.)

      I have been in on equipment moves where we almost lost the
      machines, in one case a 12x 18 Craftsman, and the other a
      a Ludlow when a lagscrew pulled out of the skid. We were
      moving them on the skids that were already on the machine.
      That's why if there is forklifting involved, I like make
      sure the skids are going to stay on.

      The Vandercook 232, which I think weighs over 3000 pounds
      went quite well with PVC rollers. I used 2x8 skids, and
      had to brace the center of them to the bed of the machine
      with 2x6 pillars, so they wouldn't push up in the middle.
      It also took some creative rigging with a hydraulic jack
      and miscellaneous blocking to get it up and down on the
      skids, but it went well. I also used 20' of pipe, and cut
      the pieces about 15" long.

      Big prybars, chisel pointed and about five feet long are
      usually available for $18 to $25 at farm supply stores or
      good hardware stores like OSH in California. They are
      really great to have when moving equipment, and if you are
      going to do much of it, it's well worth it to have one or
      two around.

      You can lift one end of a press to get blocking under the
      feet by putting a short length of 2x4 under the cabinet on
      the end, and prying up to lift it. You might have to put
      another piece of wood on the floor for a fulcrum, a lot
      depends on how your bar is built. The wood under the press
      to pry against preserves the finish, and spreads the weight
      to not dent the cabinet. You can also use a stout 2x4 to
      lift the end of the press, a piece of straight grained fir
      or oak, not a 79 cent econo-stud!

      I hope this is helpful. Usually it's better to have bit
      more information than not enough, and if this all seems
      elementary, it's for that reason. Everything here described
      I have done several times, and I know it works. Just go
      slowly and carefully, and you should be fine.

      Success to you!

      best regards,

      Tony Archer

      Message: 7
      Date: Sun, 04 Jan 2004 13:37:37 -0500
      From: Nancy and or David <gettinby.1@...>
      Subject: Moving Vandercook

      Soon I will be attempting to move a Vandercook Universal 1 proof press. It
      not be far; one room to another, (garage to basement), all on one level on a
      concrete floor. I plan on placing two 2"x6"s under it, to serve as a skid,
      try to move it on 1" iron pipes. It will not matter if I can only move it an
      inch at a time. I will be attempting this on my own.
      I would appreciate any and all sound advise members would like to offer.
      My brother tried to move a similar press a few years ago: with disastrous
      results. As a result of his experience I will be very cautious.

      Best wishes,
      David Gettinby
    • Gerald Lange
      A PPL member has notified me that there is a long thread on how to move a Vandercook press on the Letpress listserv; trials and tribulations, etc. I think the
      Message 2 of 2 , Jul 13 7:14 PM
        A PPL member has notified me that there is a long thread on how to
        move a Vandercook press on the Letpress listserv; trials and
        tribulations, etc.

        I think the URL here is correct, so if you are not a member you might
        want to sign up to take a look.


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