0 vandercook proof press

Hi, I’m looking at a 0 vandercook proof press. I am wanting to start to print with a letterpress in the worst way, but don’t know where to start.

I have been looking for a table top press, and came across the vandercook. It is from the 50’s and does not crank, but pulls a roller over the paper.

Any opinions on this would be appreciated — I think the owner wants $100 and I’m not sure how heavy it is and whether I can move it without paying for the moving.


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I can appreciate how much you want to get started in letterpress, but I think the Vandercook is not for you. You
must be sure of what you are doing. I suggest you start with a tabletop, no smaller than 5x8. Pilots and Craftsman presses are the best. If you have little knowledge of letterpress, buy yourself a good book for beginners and get off to the right start! Good Luck.

Vandercook Press Info has a very complete listing of the Vandercook models, with descriptions and weights.


I’m assuming that the attached pic is the Model O that you are referring to. If so, it’s a great machine…… and if it’s in any sort of repairable condition, it’s worth $100.

As far as whether or not it’s the right machine for you, it all depends on what you want to print. If you are going to do mostly cards, invitations and smaller work then Sal is probably correct. It’s not the best machine for that sort of work. (It will work for that, though.)

However, if you are interested in printing larger work like posters, artwork, book sheets and so forth then the bigger machine might be perfectly applicable.

image: 0.jpg


Frankly, it’s an easy place to start, and in many ways rather more forgiving than a platen press for the beginner. I say go for it, and expect to pick up a platen press later on. You can always sell it for $100 later if you decide printing is not for you.

Thank you so much for your input!

I’ve been researching and have been told that you really can’t depend on any kind of registration on this press. I get that you couldn’t do any tight registration. I’m wondering about how crisp the print would be since you put the “plate/type” down, then ink over the plate, then paper and run the roller over it all? Maybe I don’t completely understand how it will work, but I was concerned about slipping and crisp printing. I could use oversize sheets and try to hold them in place then cut them down — do you think that has possibilities?


There is a lady in Dallas selling a Vandercook 14. Contact me off list.

Casey McGarr
Inky Lips Letterpress
McKinney, TX

I think a $100 is a good price for one of these., unless it is in really bad shape. I’ve sold them for more than that. The most important thing about the press is that the roller be in good shape.

Experimenting with this can’t hurt while looking for a more versatile press.

You are really worried about spending $100 for a press? If you are new to printing, why not spend less than a month in electricity to at least get your feet wet, and learn the basics. I can tell you that this press is much safer to learn on than most. Besides, you arent going to print with much quality for awhile anyways, and this press will have a special place in your shop(and heart) for years.

After you get acquainted, buy a vandy or a smaller C&P platen and grow from there.

good luck.