I’m inclined to accept Paul Moxon’s declaration that New Roller Day is a High Holiday in a letterpress shop. New rollers recently arrived for the Vandercook #4. I wish I’d taken a picture of them before sending them off to be re-covered. The previous rollers exhibited the wear and tear you might expect, given the status of the press when I found it.
While I was waiting for the rollers to arrive, I gave the roller frame and bearer-bars a deep clean down to the threads of the screws. Interestingly, as I was disassembling the bearer-bars and the set-screw that locks the rollers in place when the height is adjusted, I noticed that the set-screw couldn’t be removed by backing it out. I had to drive the screw all the way through, at which point it fell out the bottom of the roller frame. I forgot about this until I was in the process of reassembling the rollers in the bearer bars and frame. I first tried to attach the top of each bearer-bar pair to the roller frame, and then add the rollers.
But, remember that set-screw? Turns out I couldn’t add the set-screw from the top as I’d planned. So, I removed the rollers in the bearer-bar pairs, and then used a long thin screwdriver to back the set-screw on each end up through the hole. I can’t remember this happening before (this is the third press I’ve recovered and restored); what I think happened was that these set-screws had been consistently over-tightened, and the ends themselves had flared a bit, to the point where they were wider than the threaded holes. That, or it’s a design feature I’ve never noticed (or forgotten). Anyway, once I reversed the screws into place, rollers went home.