windmill restoration - inking arm shaft seized


I’m in the process of upgrading my old pre war windmill to a much newer ‘65 windmill that I recently rescued from going to the scrapyard.

The machine is in good condition, except the shaft on the inking arm on the paper collection side is seized up and wont extend to allow the inking arms to move up when the inking rollers have been put in.

Has anyone experienced this?

I’ve managed to get the shaft to extend smoothly about 4cm using WD40 and applying alot of pressure to the back of the shaft at the rear of the arm. However I need to get it to extend even further to allow the inking arms to move up and down when the inking rollers are in.

My next step will be to remove the inking arm to examine the shaft and remove any surface rust that may be restricting it’s movement.

Does anyone have any tips for removing the arm?

Any advice, experience, or insight would be greatly appreciated.


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I broke an inking arm on my windmill, i found a press that was being parted out, my good friend is a press mechanic, we went and took the arm off the parts press but it took us days to get the arm off my press, these presses are really put together well. Dick G.

Hi Dick, Thanks for sharing. I have a few questions about this… Do you recall how you got the arm off? Did you drill pin out? How did you find a pin to put in its place? Craig

Craig, it was a while ago, when we took the one off the parts press we drove the pins out (it was a black ball) they came right out, my press is a red ball, when we tried to remove the pins they wouldn’t budge. We first tried heating them, then drilling them, finally we cut the arm off, then just the shaft and pins were left, then we soaked them with liquid wrench and wd40, still they wouldn’t budge, every time i went by the press i would tap them with a hammer, after months when i taped them they fell right out. To get the arm back on we had to drive the shaft it sits on thru the press a little, to do this you have to loosen the bolts that hold the whole right side of the press. I ended up calling a press repair man to come put it back together. Here in Massachusetts we have a company that repairs Heidleburgs and are very good with windmills. Graphic Repair in Leominister, MA, i can get you a number if you need it. Good luck Dick G.

Thanks Dick, this is very helpful. That sounded like it was quite a process!

I think it’s just surface rust that has built up on the shaft in the arm of my red ball which is then restricting its movement as it moves through the collar.

Initially it would not move at all, but after hitting the base of the shaft with some wood for a while I got it to move half way. I will continue to apply WD40 and hitting the base of the shaft with wood to try and slowly get full movement of the shaft. I’ll also try some liquid wrench. I’ll keep doing this each morning and try and slowly gain movement of the shaft, hopefully this will avoid having to take the arm off.

Thanks again for your help and for the offer of the repair mans number (I’m afraid i’m in Australia).


Craig, don’t be afraid, Australia is not so bad. Dick G.


Good luck with the newer machine, what is to become of the pre-war Heidelberg?

I have one from the 1930’s with a broken and brazed arm for the rollers (left side).

Any chance of wiggling the arm of the old press?


I’ve managed to get the arm to extend fully now. Instead of liquid wrench I used 1 part acetone, 1 part automatic transmission fluid (according to a mechanics forum this is even more effective than liquid wrench or kroil).

The problem is that the arm sticks to it’s out position. I’ll keep working at it by extending it and manually banging it back once a day in the hope that it will smooth out over time.

Dan, the pre-war black ball is still in fine condition, it’s just more worn than the ‘65 model and takes longer on the washup. But until I get the new one running smoothly I’ll keep using the black ball. Once the new one is up and running I’ll probably sell the old one to someone locally to keep printing with. Good luck with finding a replacement arm, shouldn’t be too difficult.



I’ve just discovered I have a similar problem, how did you get on with this in the end? I can’t believe how solid my roller arm is on one side. It did move a little after a bit of WD40 and a gentle whack but I’m nervous about hitting the old girl at all.

Seems strange because my press is relatively recent and the rest of it is in such good condition.