The rollers on the SP 15 are notoriously fickle — badly designed block (s)holding rollers in position fail to do the job.
I’ve tried: wrapping dental floss, plumber’s tape, and stickem around the adjustment knobs themselves, to slow down the movement inside the block; changing the set screws for industrial grade screws; taping the top of the knob to the adjustment block; and deep prayer.
Nothing seems to stop these rollers from falling out of position — and quickly.
Anybody got any ideas?
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Eileen - First of all, I can’t agree to bad design of the roller blocks on the SP15. Vandercook began making proof presses around 1910 and earned their reputation over the years by their excellent engineering.
But I do agree that adjusting the rollers can be an issue.
On my model 4 (precursor to the SP15), I have two sets of screws to adjust - one set pushed the rollers up, the other pushes the set down. Make sure that both sets are tight to the block and shaft and see if this helps them stay in adjustment for your.
If that doesn’t work, you might try adding a few drops of ‘Locktite” (tm) to the threads, or a single drop of rubbery silcone glue beneath the screws and see if that keeps them from loosening up.
I last adjusted the rollers on my Model 4 about two years ago and they have not moved a bit since then, although I do use the press frequently.
Please let us know if this helps.
I too have experienced the slipping of the roller height on the old, SP15. I own a #4, but have access to an SP15, and i can second Alan’s opinion that the #4 has a far superior system, and holds steady.
On the SP15, there is a little allen screw that is a lock nut, which realeases the set screw for hieght adjustment. Sometimes this is not tightened properly, and allows the set screw to shift. Overall, it seems like the hardware on the SP15 is just a bit light for the amount of work they are put through, and i suppose they tend to wear easily.
If you are not in a position to be replacing parts, an easier fix might be getting a set of roller bearers, which are sort of like slim pieces of furniture, but they are set at type high, and they are locked in next to your form, running along the length of the bed on each side of the press. They support the ends of the form rollers directly, keeping them running at type high.
Check out a photo and some more info at:
courtesy of Gerald Bieler
Nope. All you can do is get on your knees every time the inking looks off and check the roller height - and pray to the printing gods. Been at the SP15 for 32 years now. There ain’t nothing else that will work, and I have tried to imagine and apply everything imaginable. Knee pads are best.