I'm especially glad that I've got my 219 now that I've read all these
posts. Seriously, I adjust my roller height maybe once or twice a year
and there isn't much variance in the bed either. I have new rubber
rollers which help tremendously, I believe that the new rubber
formulations are very close in durometer and ink distribution
characteristics to the composition rollers without the associated
problems of summer/winter sets, humidity, etc. Here in northern
Michigan we get the full range of temperatures believe me. The rubber
rollers are remarkably stable and give good coverage through the entire
length of the bed as I've just recently pulled impressions from 12 x 18
inch forms of type (handset, mostly 14 pt.) though admittedly in this
case, dampening the sheet is pretty much a necessity for dependable
I've never regretted giving away my old Challenge 15MP as it had the
absolute worse roller height adjustments in the world. Never bothered
to the check bed and bearer differences as the rollers were always the
obvious culprit. It's been a while since I've looked at any of the SP
models but it seems they had a similar sort of adjustment for the
As you say, the longer walk makes for slower work and I do wish my 219
had the short bed trips I've seen on the newer versions of the press, I
kind of like the dance though. There are good and bad points to all
makes of Vandy's I suppose but good ink coverage and impression are
Good luck to all you SP owners, hope someone comes up with a good
Deep Wood Press 231.587.0506
On Sep 20, 2005, at 9:40 AM, Dave Wofford wrote:
> I too have noticed the variation in roller pressure on the SP-15.
> I often end up running more work, even small sized work on my SP-20,
> because it inks a lot better, though the longer walk obviously makes
> for slower work and I often end up looking at the 15 shaking my head
> and wishing it'd ink better so I could use it with confidence more
> Against the advice of a few and with some trepidation, I played for
> hours and days adjusting the cylinder bearers on the SP-15.
> Ultimately I improved the inking slightly but really not that much.
> (at least I have a better understanding of how they work)
> What I'm wondering is has anybody been in this same boat, hired a
> "true Vandercook mechanic," and did their work improve things
> noticeably/barely/to what degree, who was it and how much did they
> charge? Were they able to pass on their fine-tuning skills/teach you
> how to do this yourself should you come into another press that
> required this?
> And also was the measure of improvement much different between a
> SP-15 and an SP-20? I'm guessing a slightly out of whack SP-20 could
> be improved significantly by a mechanic adjusting the bearers, but am
> a little skeptical the same mechanic could get as much improvement on
> the 15.
> I'd be interested to hear if others have had experiences with this.
> Dave Wofford
> H O R S E & B U G G Y P R E S S
> Letterpress printing and more--for the jet age and beyond.
> 2016 Englewood Avenue
> Durham, North Carolina 27705
> 919 949 4847
>> The short term solution for your specific problem is to use roller
>> supports and to cock the far end of the support up a bit with underlay
>> material. This won't affect your impression.
>> The long term solution is to have your cylinder bearings re-adjusted.
>> But that is something you would want a press mechanic to do for you.
>> A number of folks (including myself) have tried to figure out a way of
>> locking the rollers down but that actually won't work because the real
>> problem is that, given the engineering of proof presses, the bed is
>> just too long (and the cylinder movement untrue over that length) for
>> effective edition printing.
> [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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