Flywheel Key

Anyone know where I can get one of these, mine is missing. I do not want to just jam “stuff” in there if I can avoid it.

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Hi Paul,

You seem to have a few questions. Not unusual for a beginner. First, if you haven’t already printed out this oil chart from the Briar Press manual page you should.

It does not really show it but the roller hook rods need plenty of oil in both holes of the roller rack and it doesn’t hurt to get some on the rod where the spring moves against it. When we got our 122 year old Old Reliable press, most joints were so dry it would barely cycle and took a lot of muscle. Once I got a hold of the oil chart and applied same it moved by itself once the operator started it with a few pumps of the foot.

The taper pins can be bought at McMaster Carr. Here is the link.

If you do a search on Briar, you can find most of this information from previous discussions as I have done over the years.

Best printing,

Thank you Mike!! I do have an oil chart, though I am not sure by looking at it where the oil goes that would affect the roller hook rods. Most of the oil areas are painted red on my press, I think the rod is actually bent OR the shaft it moves in has a burr. I would of course love to solve the issue with oil. I am new to this letter press, printing in general I have been around the block a bit, mainly 4 colour web presses. Different ways of touching paper but in the end 485 is still 100 m 100 y and blanket wash still makes my skin itchy! Thanks again for responding, this is an awesome forum. I did look through and did searches pertaining to my questions, lots of great info.

A taper pin, which is conical, and the tapered keys typically used on the flywheels of Gordon platens, which are wedges, are entirely different. For tapered keys, try
Unless you tell what specific press you have, all you will get is misinformation.

P. I. with respect in the U.K. and one would reasonably expect in the U.S.A. the same holds good, taper keys or taper pins are just that, completely parallel into the slots in the shaft and the hub and the taper is only a specific slope over a particular length to a well defined formula, so it would seem, going into the date and type of the machine, is possibly misleading, surely the makers would have milled the slots, to suit the keys that were available at the time, and with an eye to the future for replacement when required. And as a perfect example of CONICAL look up “Madonnas” world wide well documented Bra, thats conical!!! So it would seem supplying taper key suppliers with information, about machines from yesteryear would achieve no results, surely quoting length of slot in the shaft available, width of key required, would achieve the correct result, the rake or the slope (pro rata) would automatically be determined in manufacture, occasionally the rake has to be modified by hand, even with a new key to account for past attempts at securing, this achieved by trial and error with engineers blue, or even printing ink to determine overall contact, in essence the same as make ready, for high and low spots.

I agree with Mick.
Not sure about the conical bra.
We call them gib head or ‘g’ keys over here in UK.
These keys can be flat or tapered. In fact on the Rochat etching presses they are round ended and boat bottomed so that they hold tight. They are the devil to removed without a bearing puller.
Most keys on flywheels have been battered in with a big hammer and are bent over/warped and distorted.
Also if they ever work loose the notch for the key to bed into can become rounded or mis-shapen.
We tend to use a new key and hand fit it. Once you have undertaken the key DO NOT bash it home until you are sure the flywheel is where you want it or indeed any other part. We tend to use a copperslip grease and tap the key home rather than really hammering it home. That way the key is biting rather than stuck in place.
Also makes removing it rather easier (often needs to be done!).

A.P. Thanks but you beat me to it, was just about to post the following:- yes I did drop the proverbial googlie in lumping tapered keys together with tapered pins, I have already been admonished off line Twice Already, so sorry anyway I was sitting indoors keeping warm and actually looking at a small box of old tapered keys, taper pins and roll pins, (steel and parallel also) and was too keen to fire of a post, I still stand by my observations about tapered keys which you seem to agree with, Thank You, it was posted a little while ago, that the addition of an Allen grub screw tapped and threaded into the hub, above the key way obviated the need to hammer the key in quite so hard, obviously only if there was sufficient blank hub to do it. And by the way get a grip man, Madonnas bra was conical, i.e. came to 2 distinct points, 2 or 3 of her dancers nearly had an eye out, on several occasions. >>>>>>>>Mick