Universal I owners - size question

I have been lucky enough to find and purchase my first vandercook - a Universal I. It is being crated to arrive at my house, but I will have it uncrated and moved inside by professional riggers. The vanderblog lists the press as needing a floor area that is 2’-11”. Can anything be easily removed to make it narrower to move it through a doorway? Any other advice about moving it is welcome! Thanks -


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That floor space width was copied from the hand cranked model and takes into account minimal clearance if it were placed parallel to the wall. I recommend placing it perpendicular if possible for better maintenance.

You will need to take you own measurements because of the power carriage motor which hangs on the far side. It can be removed if necessary. Be sure to factor in the gripped pedal. The tower may be too tall, but can be unbolted.

Also, If you need to take it up a ramp you can distribute the weight by moving the carriage to the end of the bed.

Paul- I have plenty of room to put it perpendicular once it’s in the house, but there is a gate in a courtyard wall that is only 2’-9” that it has to come through. If I remove the entire gate and frame I can get 2’-11”. After that I am cutting the wall to get it in or trying to have it dropped in over the wall. So I guess the question is do I need to have a concrete cutter on hand :) Leslie

But would removing the power carriage motor make it narrow enough without cutting the wall?

if you are using riggers to move the press maybe you could ask them if they have a crane to lift the press over wall. Dick G.

Dick G- The riggers have a crane, but cutting the wall and buying a bigger gate may be more cost effective? This is why I was looking for a #4 -it’s narrower! But my new universal does look pretty - this cutting of the wall may be a hard sell to the husband. No one has actually measured one for me though, that may help.

Just take the drive motor off temporarily. It’s no big deal!

I wouldn’t suggest disconnecting the electrics, just unbolt the motor and strap it down on the bed. Put a piece of plywood under it to protect it from scratching the bed and get a couple of ratchet straps on it.

Once you get the press through the pinch and safely indoors you can bolt it back in place.

Daniel Morris
The Arm Letterpress
Brooklyn, NY


Thanks - that seems easy enough to do, looking forward to the new press. Leslie


This sure is a beautiful looking press. I this “reconditioned” or “stock”?

I would certainly not recommend a No. 4 over this. Do whatever you need to to get this in place.


Gerald- This is actually a stock press. I have purchased it from the original owner who bought it in the sixties. I know it has an adjustable bed as well as an ink monitor and that it was in operation as recently as November. I’m thrilled to have found it and in such well maintained condition - I knew it would be worth it to have it moved ‘by any means necessary’!