Letterpress 201: The Vandercook: Maintenance, Adjustments & TLC

Not many would dispute that the Vandercook is a pretty special printing press. It is an eloquent machine, an irreplaceable piece of equipment and Spudnik’s more popular printing press. Yet, many printers feel a little uneasy when it comes to daily maintenance, diagnosing printing issues and making minor adjustments when needed.

This workshop is an open forum and safe space to ask all the questions you can in regard to the Vandercook Letterpress. What knobs and screws are okay to adjust? What sounds are healthy sounds? How do you use that tool that looks like a lollipop? What is the right amount of packing? Is there an easier way to clean this thing? How can I leave the press in better condition than I found it?

Spudnik member and accomplished printer, Lydia Evans, will guide fellow members and Spudnik Press printers through the finer points of the Vandercook, helping students understand the mechanical nature of the press and how wear and tear can be reduced through actively listening to the press, using a keen eye to spot and identify issues, and taking notice when the press doesn’t quite feel right.

Students will leave the workshop with more confidence troubleshooting frequent press issues as well as printing issues like uneven ink, too much/too little pressure or inconsistent registration.