Some Vandercook issues….

A few questions in one post….

There is one gripper that is a little “stuck” on my Uni III. When I go to feed the paper and press the pedal to lift the grippers, they all go up, but then on the way down there is one that sticks. I don’t know what and where to oil. Do I need to take anything apart?

Carriage Return
Also, the carriage is not returning all the way….I have to give it a little “push” for it to go all the way back. Is this an oiling issue or something else that I’m not doing? This press hasn’t been used in about 6 years so could that be part of it?

Here is a video I took of it all (at the end I show the gripper issue—it’s the second gripper from the top):

Oil holes
I’m not sure how many there are….I’ve found 3 on the operator side by the cylinder and two on the other side. I’ve oiled as many spots as I can see.

Thanks in advance. Your help is very much appreciated by this newbie (me!)…..

Log in to reply   3 replies so far

Hi Carmela!

I can’t speak to the other stuff, but I’ll try to help with the grippers. When I was cleaning my press, it really helped to take the whole gripper assembly off, take it apart and really give it a thorough cleaning. We used white graphite powder at first, as that is what is recommended, but soon switched to 3 in 1 oil because the grippers were sticking. Just be sure to not over oil and wipe it down good. You don’t want oily residue on your paper!


Thanks Carrie—boy that was a quick response! I figured I should just take the whole assembly apart but thought maybe there was a way around it. That’s probably what I’ll end up doing.

For Vandercook grippers to work correctly, they must be clean and also free of burrs. They need minimal lubrication. I polish them with flake graphite, but a very small amount of light oil can be applied with a cloth or fingertip before you reassemble. Squirting solvent and working the grippers up and down could flush out some of the dirt, but the loosened dirt may keep working up to mark the paper.
I think the Universdal and SP models have a thick shaft, and dirtiness is the common problem. Older models have a thin shaft that will bind up if it is bent. And a sticky gripper can get damaged if it stays up when the cylinder is in motion.
The cylinder is held at the feedboard on hand Universals (4s too) by the cylinder check cam—that little spring-loaded flipper under the feedboard next to the bed bearer, far side. A weak or missing spring lets the cylinder inch forward.