Windmill Side Guide

I was running with guides all day today, and suddenly my press decided it wasn’t going to register properly anymore.

I think the problem is that the paper is only making it to the end of the platen, and not reaching the guide.

Things I have already checked:
1. That the gripper arm was in fact releasing the paper. [Tightened the nut on the gripper head]
2. That the paper was sitting in the brass guides.
3. That the bottom bar was moving properly. [Played with the knurled knob]
4. That the side guide was coming up when the platen was closing.

Everything seemed to be working as usual.

I don’t think that the paper is bouncing off of the side guide - I don’t think it is ever making it there.

I tried slowing the press down and speeding it up, bending the paper, and changing the stock. I don’t understand because it was working correctly with the same set-up and mid run stopped working.

Maybe I am missing something simple?

I’ve read the forums and also the manual, and can’t find anything that says what to do when it is not reaching the side guide.

Any Suggestions?

Log in to reply   19 replies so far

Try turning the press off after the gripper picks up the sheet. Then slowly turn the flywheel by hand and watch what happens to the sheet. You may have to turn the parallel guide or move the paper guide over. Good luck.

Check the left side standard to be sure it matches the type of guides you’re using. In other words the side standard moves to match nickle guides or brass guides. A little sign indicates which way to move it.

@ Dennis Brian Turn the parallel guide? What does that mean? And as far as moving the paper guide over, I’m assuming you’re talking about the side guide? In which case, it is all the way in.

@RREEBB I am using brass guides, and the side standard is moved all the way to the left, as the sign indicates.

When the stock is not cut at right angles, the parallel guide needs to be adjusted. You said it happened all of a sudden, so maybe some stock was cut different(?) The paper guide I was talking about was actually what RREEBB was talking about. The side guide is that little screw where the paper hits and can be adjusted only about 2 pts or so. If you have that guide all the way in, maybe the stock is hitting it and bouncing out. Then adjusting the parallel guide would help.

Have you tried putting a sheet through with the press off and slowly turn it by hand to see where the sheet gets released?

Wow, I haven’t been on this site in years, but how amazing that I decided to log in today! I had the same problem on one of my Windmills about 2 years ago. I was running with the brass guides doing hairline register die-cutting with the stainless steel jacket on when this started happening. The sheet would go into the grippers fine, but was never reaching the side-guide and thus remained in the press and wasn’t picked back up by the grippers. Since no one in this area does letterpress anymore, who ya gonna call?? I tried several on-line sources to no avail so I tried checking every adjustment I could think of. Finally I hand fed a sheet through the press and watched the sheet as it approached the side guide. As the gripper let go of the sheet, it literally bounced back about half an inch! How peculiar I thought since I’m hand feeding this and not running up to speed. Static my friend…the printers worst enemy!! I shut the press off for the day, started up the humidifier and let it go until morning when the humidity was up to around 50%. I started up the press and pulled a few inpressions and it ran fine. I did have the same problem again on another ocassion while printing, but I couldn’t wait for the humidity to come up. I ended up changing back over and using the grippers traditionally and running the press slow to keep tight registration. More than likely this is the problem you’re having, at least it sounds exactly like what happened to me. I try and keep my shop 70 degrees F and the humidity around 45-50% from now on.

Sometimes when having trouble with static, I tape light stock (usually NCR) on the stop of the tympan so the left edge of the NCR is taped down s the gripper doesn’t hit it and the right edge is loose so he air from the stock moving past causes it to raise up a little. That breaks the static charge. Of course you have to vary the size of the NCR depending on where your printing is hitting. I use NCR as there’s always a lot of extra sheets around. Whatever you use the point is for it to light enough to flip up a little. You can also tape it on to the platen or the metal cutting plate. You can use some before the impression area and before it. Hope this is not too confusing. RREEBB

Redo on last post due to some errors.
Sometimes when having trouble with static, I tape light stock (usually NCR) on the stop of the tympan so the left edge of the NCR is taped down so the gripper doesn’t hit it and the right edge is loose so the air from the stock moving past causes it to raise up a little. That breaks the static charge. Of course you have to vary the size of the NCR depending on where your printing is hitting. I use NCR as there’s always a lot of extra sheets around. Whatever you use the point is for it to light enough to flip up a little. You can also tape it on to the platen or the metal cutting plate. You can use some before the impression area and before it. Hope this is not too confusing. RREEBB

Hi, [email protected],

The front standard of the feed table can be turned slightly about its vertical axis. To do this, back off the two bolts at the bottom of the standard slightly—not so much that the standard rocks on its base—and use a screwdriver on the two screws at the base pointing out towards you. Back off one of the screws and tighten the other, watching the index scribe on the rod that projects outwards from the base of the standard on the right side. You can see the index move against the scale on the press. This has the effect of moving the edge of the stock slightly towards or away from the side guide as the gripper picks it up. Correctly adjusted, the stock will reach the side guide and not bounce back off. Useful for stock that is not entirely square.

I generally leave the two bolts snug but not tight so that I can make this adjustment without loosening them. I find that most jobs register when the index is about one line towards the press past center, and that most jobs run without guides are square when the index mark is about one line towards you from the center of the scale, but presses vary. You may also get better register by slowing the press down.

Hope this helps, Brian

Another possibilty is something sticky on the grippers causing the stock to not release correctly. RREEBB

Hi, I wanted to ask about the side guide. I am trying to print on A6 size paper and have lined my plate up the side of the platen. Problem is that the side guide leaves a huge gap and I only have about 4-5mm on each side for my design to fit. Is there anyway to get the side of the paper to line up with the side of the paper? I don’t have any room for bleed on the paper, The only thing is I don’t know what a front brass guide and a tail brass guide look like if you have to use these to register. Sorry I am very new to this.

The gripper margin is not affected by guides. No matter how you are printing there is an 18pt margin on your sheet that hides in the gripper arm as it is printed. If my math is right, 18pt is about 6mm and you will need at least that much of a margin on your paper to print your plate.

You can cut that margin down just a little by using cheaters on the feeder and a extended finger on the platen, it will pull the stock out of the gripper about 6 points. Dick G.

If your windmill did not come with cheaters you can always use 6 point slugs.

For a girl with a Kluge you seem to know your way around Windmills. DickG.

You can also cheat on a cheater by sliding chipboard behind them just to get that extra bit.

that’s with no guides.

Thank you for the comments! My machine didn’t come with any cheaters so I have no idea what they look like. As for slugs again I don’t know what I am looking for. So basically from what I can gather is that whatever I print, I will need 6mm for the grip each time.

Not sure if you’ve got a copy of the manual, but lots of details like that are covered it in. You can download it from the Boxcar Press site.