The tympan does not even touch the type when I roll the cylinder over the bed of this press; it’s about 18 points too high. It works when I add a wad of paper on top. I suspect that the solution is rather simple; there are no other problems with the press.
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Sounds like you need a .050 bed plate. This is likely a galley press.
What is your packing like? Various presses occasionally had undercut cylinders for different needs. Sometimes custom undercuts were done by the press manufacturer at the request of the printshop.
I know on some Vandercooks, the undercut data is stamped on the cylinder somewhere. They may be some info there somewhere, but maybe not. Could be that all you need is the galley plate, as Gerald says.
Looks like a galley press. You could try to add packing to your cylinder but be wary of dimension changes.For example if a heidelberg cylinder is over packed because the plate is less than .918 printed objects can be distorted,circles not round,line lengths going around cyl. longer than the type etc.Best bet is probably a bed plate.
… or just place the type or block on a galley.
That model Vandercook originally came with inking rollers that were independant of the cylinder, just pushed by hand from one end to the other; that’s why there are ink plates at each end. Any chance the inking parts are still around somewhere?
Plus, it came with a thick underpacking made of heavy canvas, which could probably be replaced with a rubber offset blanket today.
I’m in a rather strange situation in that I have access to this awesome shop but not access to anyone who knows much more than I about how to use it.
The press is indeed a galley press. I see what that means now.
Merely putting the type in a galley did not work, however. I’m not sure what packing looks like, but I don’t think there’s any on it. What am I looking for, and how is it likely to be stored?
I did find a sheet of metal as tall as a galley that fit perfectly into the bed of the shop’s Challenge Proof Press. Is this a bed plate?
I found some inking mechanism that looked like it could fit on the Vandercook Roller Series but had silvery, cylindrical protrusions sized like thumb screws (but they weren’t) that prevented it from fitting. It may be for the Challenge; I’ve never turned it on, and I didn’t really look at it, but it seemed like it was lacking a few rollers.
I use to have a press like this one. You need a ,050 bed plate and a 4 ply offset blanket (,077) under your tympan sheets. There should be 4 bars in your cylinder, 2 for your tympan sheet and 2 for your rubber blanket. Then you will need either holes in your blanket to stap it to the bars with ropes or have a strong fabric sown at each end to roll it around the bars. .