Oiling the rails on the Vandercook
- Several have suggested oiling the rails, and I've seen others do the
same. But that isn't the best practice. Any bearing wheel is meant to
turn, and if you oil the bearing surface, the wheels can slide rather
than turn, and eventually you could get a flat spot. (Look at any
neglected C&P and the wheels for ink-dog, grippers, and rocker arm may
all have flat spots from oiling around the wheel instead of oiling the
hole that leads to its axle.)
What all the Vandercook manuals say quite specifically is to wipe
the bearers and rails with an oily rag, daily, the point being to
remove any foreign matter and leave only a slight residue of oil.
20-weight oil is pretty standard press oil, but if 30-weight or 3-in-1
is what you have, it won't hurt to use that either. What hurts is
dirt, or not oiling at all.
The other needed lubricant is vaseline, and that's just for the
worm-and-crescent in the oscillating distributor. Vaseline won't
liquify and drip into the ink.
--Eric Holub, SF