Split Fountain on a Vandercook

Has anyone done a split fountain run on a Vandercook cylinder (SP-15 or the like)? I’m considering it for a project and wonder how difficult it is.

I’m assuming you put the two inks on different sides of the oscillating roller, let them blend a little and print away. I’m also expecting to have to washup and re-ink a few times over the course of the run.

Thoughts? Suggestions?

Log in to reply   7 replies so far

I suggest that after getting the ink worked up on the rollers you turn the press off. If you don’t, the oscillating roller will quickly make your split fountain fade turn really muddy.

If the inking system isn’t keeping up you can just click the ink drive motor on and back off every few prints to keep things even.

Daniel Morris
The Arm Letterpress
Brooklyn, NY


I have a SP-215 (No. 4). It has a second set of oscillating rollers with groves cut in the middle of them so that the two colors never meet or mix. It gives a 1/8” vignette in the center.


Thanks, guys.

Is there any way to lessen the movement of the roller to slow the mix, or even stop it once mixed? It’s mechanical, so I gather not without breaking something.


Where is the optimal placement of the inks when first inking up? I was thinking of starting at about the 3/8 and 5/8 points across the rollers, thinking they’ll slowly come together. Think the colors should start closer together?