Advice on purchase

Hi there

Please could someone advice me on whether all parts are seemingly present on this Van Der Cook proof press. As it is my first time purchasing a press, I could do with some advice. Does one need to purchase a type high gauge with this press?
Thank you

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Doesn’t look like it has any inking system, or it was made to have one. Might be one of the models that you just ink the form yourself with a ink applicator. Whats the model number and then google under images the #. Looks to be in bad shape.

Just a personal preference of mine, but if your planning any production in numbers, this is just a proof press. Nothing designed for production work. You’d be better off with a C&P which would give you better abilities.

I don’t think that press has grippers — it’s a “ink the type, drop a sheet on it, and roll the cylinder over it” proof press. No registration, no multicolor work, just galley proofs. Unless you want to rig up a tympan and frisket assembly for it on the bed.


This looks like a Vandercook Proof Press No. 2. As offered by Theo & AdLibPress, there are no paper grippers, nor any inking system. You hand ink your form with a brayer and lay your sheet on the form/plate. Any registration would require a frisket of some sort (there’s lots of ideas online).

Very little to this press in the way of mechanics; just a cylinder that travels along rails. And so, there is also very little that can go wrong with it. It does offer a very large bed size and print format. It’s excellent for relief printmaking, woodcuts, linocuts, etc. Check out details at

I wouldn’t hesitate if the price is right & the accessibility is easy.

Thanks for all advice. It is actually a Vandercook no. 14 - any advice on quality and availability of parts for these proof presses?

its a very basic press, you shouldn’t have to worry about parts, there are machinery dealers around that sell some parts for different presses, new parts haven’t been made in many years for these guys.

NA Graphics has the remaining Vandrcook parts and information, but don’t expect much left for this model. It really is for proofing type or plates, not production printing. Printmaking is more in the proofing area than in production.
If you’re ambitious, people have improvised friskets to position the stock accurately without grippers.Inking remains a manual task.
With no rollers, no need for a roller setting gauge. From my perspective, a type high gauge is always useful if you want to know how high type or plate are.

We recently had a gripper assembly made for one of these presses belonging to Vassar University. Parts are available and can be made. But this is a simple and very basic press. A visit to Paul Moxon’s Vandercook web site answers many Vandercook questions accurately as well as a call or email to Paul or to me.


Buy it. Buy a decent rubber roller and learn to hand ink. Also while you’re at it make/buy some type high inking rails if you wanna use type or read up on photopolymer and get going with that.
Learn how to print with it, learn the ins and outs of the physics of printing by using your hands, and then upgrade to something with inking when you’re more serious about the hobby and need to print more stuff.

Good luck.