vandercook 317

The vandercook 317 is a big one and has been called “an odd duck”. I am interested in contacting others who own this unusual press and perhaps getting a group together to share information and ideas. Any 317’s out there that want to talk? For those who may not have seen one, the press prints on the return and the grippers are out of view underneath! Thanks for any feedback, john adams

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Hi John,

I have Vandercook 317 in my studio. I haven’t got chance to print with it. Do you own one too?


Hi John,

I have one (#7638), and think an organization of 317 owners/operators would be cool - as long as we get Tshirts, that is…

Bill Whitley
Pandemoniuum Press
Holliston MA

image: V317.jpg


Hi Bill, yours looks to be in great shape. I have an ink well extension that I was thinking of taking off. Have you ever thought it would be good to have one since this unit does not have powered rolls which are so easy to ink? john


I would be very happy to have one. Can we discuss off-line? Do you have my email address?



Aw man! I need an ink well too… perhaps a rental system could be figured out. John, I have one as well and have figured a few things out. Bill, perhaps we could all take detail photos for reference for the tee shirts and to help each other out to make sure all the parts are set up right?

The problem with the Vandercook ink well is that it requires a specific size of can, less common than it is today, and for example the ubiquitous Van Son can does not fit. Plus, I think a correct gasket is needed, or you’ll end up with ink flow all over the well base and feed table.
The well is used to puncture said can in the base; then when installed, the can can be used as a dispenser of ink in toothpaste-sized doses, with minimal skinning. Good idea, left behind by the industry’s packaging standards.
Vandercook also used two kinds of ink fountains, one based on the regular fountain tray, the other on the punctured can feeding to the ductor roller. Have yet to see one in practical use, same with the ink well.