Windmill Printing Crooked

Howdy folks-

I’ve had a 10X15 for a few months and it didn’t come with guides, so I’ve been printing with the gripper bars only. The problem is that it sometimes prints good and square and sometimes comes out a little crooked. What are the most likely problems? Do I need to be printing with guides? Are there adjustments that need to be made to the feed table/ front or side feed standards?

I’d appreciate any advice!


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Hi Matt !
With 50+ years experience on windmills, I would first ask the question, Are all sheets printing crooked?
If the answer is yes then maybe a slight adjustment of the front and side standards will help; but in my opinion it is much better to adjust the forme slightly by using a short lead or reglet between the furniture.
If the answer is no, then the problem lies with the setting of your feeder; maybe there is too much blow air, maybe your sheet seperators are too far in from the sheet edges,causing one edge to drop a little before the gripper takes it.
Hope this helps.

I would definately look into getting yourself some guides. I have always gotten the sense that the only advantages of printing without guides is that you can run the press super fast, or you can float the sheet higher up on the tympan in order to get more bleed with the reduced paper margin.
Otherwise, I see no advantages to not using guides. I have always thought of it as more of a crash and burn style of printing, where registration is not a priority.
With guides, you can acheive incredibly tight, and reliable printing on the Windmill, and you can make subtle position adjustments on press, which can’t be reliably acheived when feeding without guides. With guides, the sheet hits in the exact same spot every time, and without, you are just hoping that the air suction and grippers will pick up your sheet consistently, which is much less predictable.
Buys a set of brass guides, and look into getting some nickel guides for a higher sheet placement (handy for tight margins, scoring, etc).
Good luck :)

Thanks, fellas-

I haven’t had a chance to get to the press today, but I’ll see what I can do tomorrow. As Providence would have it, I happened upon some brass and nickel guides today. It does seem a little like a can of worms right now, as it’s a whole nuther thing to learn, and I have a deadline, but after I check the feeder settings, I’ll proceed in that direction.

Thanks again!

Hello Matt, The easiest thing to check is your grippers. when fully open they should be 17mm, also check the condition of the rubber, if you have worn spot’s, sheet could slip….if this is the case an easy temporary fix is to use electrical tape and cover the whole edge……john

p.s. Checkout Heidelberg