Vice Automatic

The last two machines that I have visited have not had vice automatic even close to being adjusted.
A question I am going to throw out: are other people keeping their vice automatics in-tune, and is anyone else running into the same thing that I am seeing?
My thought on this is that if the vice automatic isnt adjusted, you are almost guaranteeing a front squirt, sooner or later. Not to mention busted bottom lugs on your mats.

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It important to pull the pin and plunger, for starters.
I grab a pair of seldom used mats and start with the fine adjustment of the first elevator.
Pull the clutch and let the machine advance until the first elevator drops, then throw in the clutch before lock-up.
The vice can be opened and the two mats can be inserted at opposite ends of the first elevator jaw, just inside and flush with the left and right hand vice jaws.
With mats in place, advance the machine to lock-up then throw-in the clutch. Grab the first elevator and shake it to see how much free travel there is. Shouldn’t be much - the an adjustment screw at the top of the first elevator head. governs the play. That is the first step, prior to adjusting the vice automatic.

It appears that no one is is interested in a vice automatic. They probably think it is illegal. I know exactly what you are talking about. I installed INTERTYPE linecasting machines from 1957 till 1980. The last F-4 was installed in Concord CA in 1980. The Last Monarch was installed in Albuquerque NM and the last G-4-4 was installed in Waukegan, Il. I am just entering my second childhood. In just 72 more years I will be 150 years old. From 1980 til 1999 I transferred to the bindery division of Harris Intertype. Installed a lot of Newspaper equipment such as inserters and conveyors. Also some bindery equipment that made magazines and books. I would like to talk to anyone out there that is interested in the printing industry.

Clint, there are currently six linotypes and intertypes in Houston that function to some degree, to my knowledge. Three of those operate commercially. They are all conventional straight matter or display machines. I have not run across a Monarch or Elektron…yet.
Sounds like Harris took care of their people; working on bindery equipment is important and exacting activity. Check out the UK Metaltype page, there is good general discussion about Linotypes & Intertypes, there too.

Updated. Thanks for the plug Dan, for anyone interested here’s the URL:
You’ll be made more than welcome Clint!

I think the first step is working on a vice automatic is to remove it from the vice to see if the sharp edge is rounded or not. Then there is a small replaceable shoe in the vertical rod that you can just see the tip of through a hole in the top of the vice. This rod should be removed. Easy if you remove the first elevator first. Then 2 screws holding the retrun spring and the rod may try to fall out or you may have to remove 1 screw holding the lower angled piece to get to this rod. Inspect the replacable piece. Some are reversable. It is most important to have sharp surfaces on both the repalceable piece and the mold safety. When you have either replaced or found the parts satisfactory, then notice if the top of the safety rod is rounded over and worn. If this is the case some careful work with a sharp file will restore its shape. It may be nesessary to remove some metal below the vertical round rod to allow the rod to go back to its original height. After re-installing all parts, look to see if the new sharp edges of the safeties are missing each other when the 1st elevartor is flush on the vice cap. Also check that all the screws on the bottom of the first elevator front jaw are tight. Adjust the screw on the top of the first elevator to just allow the two safeties ot miss each other. Test with a matrix you are not fond of as its possible to damage it when or if you place it in an unfrendly place on the vice cap. This adjustment is one of the more important machine adjments to prevent a tight line squirt, and to prevent smashing the toes of the matrix.

Hi, guys!
I feel like a ham radio operator tuned into a faint and remote signal coming through all the noise. I’m a 62-yr-old pressman that bought (and sold) a shop that did forms imprinting with a vertical and a lino. The shop I’m at now also has a lino—there are probably 6 - 8 machines around Portland, Oregon in various states. One shop, run by Young People(!) has even got its hands on the parts of a Monotype.
I’m pretty much self-taught or not-taught and am glad for expert advice in addition to the several books we have. The vice automatic is all very nice, but I think we’ve got more basic problems. Sticky escapement pawls, e.g. And some sort of mis-alignment (from a botched service call by an old local guy that probably didn’t quite remember all his stuff because of a motorcycle accident)
that stops the second transfer. Sometimes I have to “rattle” the second elevator as it’s seated to effect the transfer, and even then it may drop the matrices. No bright wear spots on the teeth of the matrices though, it seems.
Well, we don’t use the machine much. Turn it off on Friday and on when we need it—once or twice a week.
Dave Seat came through last year, and we’ll see him again soon I hope. Still, it’s a blast to hear from people
who love these wonderful machines!

Thanks, Brian

Well, I guess I have a project for this weekend now. This information has come to me in a timely fashion as I am having some trouble with play in the first elevator that I’ll be working on anyway.