Windmill bottom guides

Hi everybody,

First, sorry for my bad english.

I bought a 10x15 Red Ball Windmill and I have only one bottom guide (see the picture). I have to buy the absent pieces then and I don’t know witch guide is this. The brass or the nickel guide. And I don’t know a right hand or left hand guide is this.
It would be the best if someone would be able to show photograph from both guides (brass and nickel).
I can’t see it in the press manual because the quality of the pictures is bad.

Thanks for the help

image: Windmill guides.jpg

Windmill guides.jpg

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That is a right hand nickel lay.

Also, I believe the guide is painted red to indicate it is below the regular guide height, this allows one to add an extra lay pin.

The good news is that you can print without the guides on a Heidelberg.


Hi, Attila V—

Ordinarily, two kinds of guides are used on the Heidelberg. The brass guides place the sheet about 14 points or so below the platen and the bottom of the opening in the chase—there’s probably a scribe line on the chase below the opening showing about where the sheet will be using brass guides. The tail guide has two pairs of holes to hold the guide pin which helps the sheet remain on the guide while printing. These pins are now quite expensive—$9.00 each from NA Graphics I think. I use some Goody brand bobby pins which are much cheaper and work for most jobs. The rear guide should go about 3/4 of the way back from the gripper edge of the sheet. Make sure that the guide pin clears the printing elements in the form. The front guide usually has no holes or a single pair. The front guide ordinarily goes to the right of the mounting post holding the guide bar, and takes no pin ordinarily. The brass guides are the “everyday” guides for the press, are clearly made of brass, and have a little lip on the back side.

The nickel guides raise the sheet to coincide with the bottom of the platen and the bottom of the chase, roughly, allowing for bleeding a score for instance, on stock that has been trimmed to final size. They are nickel-plated brass and have no back lip. The rear guide has a single pair of pin holes centered on the body of the guide. The front guide is typically extended on the left so as to be useful for printing single business cards. Because the nickel guides ride up over the packing slightly, they will sometimes catch or pinch the stock between guide and packing, causing mis-register. To avoid this, I cut a few nicks in the tympan near the edge of the guide to hold the bottom of the sheet out. Nickel guides seem to be a little trickier to use.

The feeder side standard must be adjusted for the guides used with the sliding gauge at the bottom left of the standard.

Your pictures appear to be of a “dummy” guide which is lower than either brass or nickel and is not intended to be used as an actual lay gauge, but rather to hold a pin if it is impossible to get a pin into the brass or nickel tail guide because of the placement of the type. That is why there is only one—to be used at the tail. It is lower so as not to “compete” with the real guides.

Hope this helps. It’s not really as involved as it seems when written. If you can find someone to show you, it will be easier to understand. You may be amused by the pictures of some of the “special” guides shown being used in the press instruction book.


Thanks to everyone.

Dan J.: I want to use an expensive stock for small cards so I want to print it in final size with hairline register. Therefore I can’t print without guides because the grippers are not accurates enough. Or even so…?

Brian: Thanks for the detailed info. I think I understand it but seeing would be better. Nobody uses Windmill for printing on my neighbourhood unfortunately. Everybody use it to die cutting only and they use with “gripper-register” (without guides). You would be able to send pictures possibly from that how they look?

So, I don’t have brass- and nickel guide. I have to buy them.

Does somebody have guides for sale possibly?

Thanks for the helps!

You’re right about all the guides, and I believe those little slits are called “sharks teeth”. Most of everything I run is on nickel guides and they can be a challenge. I’ve never heard of the dummy guide before, but that would explain why the extension is to the right (in the picture) rather than to the left as the front guide is. When using them with a die cutting plate the guides they can hit the “tangs” on the bottom of the plate that holds the plate on the platen. I found that paper clips work good as pins too. Ron

I use the brass guides for every job. They give excellent registration. I put the tail guide just inside the tail of the sheet. Also, besides the comments already given you need to make sure the gripper cam is set properly so the gripper will open at the printing position to allow the sheet to drop into the guides. They are pretty easy to figure out using the manual. The clips need to go behind the mounting bar. You simply put the guide down against the bar allowing the lip to catch the front of the bar and rock it back to make the clips click into place. Like Brian said, make sure you set the stop on the left hand feeder side guide so the sheet will be in the proper position for the guides you are using.

Hi, Ron and others—

Using brass guides, I’ve sometimes ground off the back lip on the tail guide so that the guide slides the full length of the rod when in printing position and doesn’t catch on the tangs of the jacket. Stock is very seldom so curled that it would fall of the back of the guide in printing position, so I’m not sure that the rear lip is very useful anyway.

I took some (bad) pix today and will try to post them for Attila if I can figure out how.


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I’am glad that I found helpful people like you.

Brian: thanks for the pictures. I see it already now, that what is needed let me be searching. :-)
My Windmill’s previous owner find a big box full of parts. We found all of missing guides (and more) in it.

Thanks for the help to everybody!


Quite often the stock on jobs comes in exact size so nickle guides have to be used. Usually I try to run the stock before it’s engraved or thermographed because it warps and it becomes impossible for the stock to lay flat.
Quite often it’s DC government and White House jobs and they can be pretty demanding. Ron