Windmill 10x15 - Help Required

Recently set up my 1950 windmill. however ran into a few problems.

A] I ordered a boxcar base and a photo-polymer plate, I installed the base in the chase… I put silver ink in the ink basin and watched the magic happen. Everything went great… for a while, until I noticed that the rollers were mashing into the plate and was inking the entire surface! I asked on the list however the response I got was… “You did read the manual didn’t you?”

Of course I read the manual, I still don’t know how to calibrate the ink rollers to 0.918 so that they lightly kiss the plate. Could someone please help me with giving me a walkthough guide on how this is done? I don’t have a gauge to tell me the appropriate height of the rollers.

B] There was already a sheet on the platen and I’m scared to remove it… I don’t know about packing but I do know that the impression was stronger at the bottom of the platen. Therefore I need to remove the sheet and pack another piece of paper under the top portion of the platen to account for the lack of impression strength? Does this sound accurate?

C] The windmill sometimes “paper jams” between the feed bar and the suckers. I’ve adjusted the sucker angle and attempted to position the tray according to the weight of the stock. (300gsm) However. It still bends the lip of the paper and gets stuck.

D.] When I pull the lever to start the press I found that it auto-shuts off after the paper mis-feeds and fails to achieve suction. I’ve adjusted the angles, put on rubber suction cups and have cleaned the air filter and the blow holes, I’ve toggled the auto-shut off screw. All with little success. If The suction valve is tripped then the press will run indefinitely.

D] I spilled paint thinner over the pump and that side of the press. I don’t have access to (or know of any) other type solution and I was using that Thinner to remove ink from the rollers, type and in this case, the plate. I followed up with warm soapy water, then a light oil to preserve the rubber.

I decided to filled the solution basin for the first time. I filled it with the thinner and was applying it when the rubber hose snapped in two pieces spilling all over the pump and side of the press (I now smell like diesel fuel as well despite several washes and hand washing my jacket). I used a nail to plug the hole and wept a bit over the outcome of my disastrous attempt at cleanup. How bad is paint thinner for the heidelberg? Did I ruin my machine?

image: letterpress card.jpg

letterpress card.jpg

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There is a packing gauge on the delivery end of the press, what i would do is get the paper feeding before you even add ink to the press. Your rails are adjustable onthe windmill, you can raise or lower your rollers easily. That advise about reading your manual was good, you need to start there then try printing.

I think your first step should be to learn how to feed paper reliably. Make sure all your hoses are tightly connected and not leaky, and that the filters are cleaned.

Then play with the tilt / lift dials, and make sure you can get the press to drop a sheet in the same spot every time. Experiment with rubber suckers, the plastic sucker slides, and no suckers at all. The idea is to be able to intuitively know how to set the press for a variety of stocks without having to experiment every time.

Once you’ve mastered that, put the base and plate in.

If you accidentally feed too many sheets with too much impression, you can blow out the shearing collar on the back of the machine. That will wreck your day.

Properly adjusted, the Windmill will feed the entire job without tripping. Ok, ok, maybe a few times.

Thanks guys, I had it feeding reliably in the beginning. Which is why I moved to the ink with shaky confidence… but then things went sideways on me and the darn thing just failed to grab properly… it then missed a paper feed with the impression stick on and it stamped the typan. I squawked like a chicken and removed the ink from the paper and it’s been sliding down hill since. My only wish right now is to have someone show me a few things.

The manual doesn’t explain clear enough for me to understand how to adjust the rails. If it does I’m missing that page.

The 4 bolts with dials on each side of the chase bed. Loosen one at a time with 17mm wrench, adjust, tighten.

Scroll to bottom - “Heidelberg Windmill Tips”

I’m running home right now… HOLY CRAP it’s THAT OBVIOUS!

I feel a- how to- book coming on !!!!
The two must have books , both a parts manual and operators manual for the platen and the little magic book called Hints for the pressman , all heidelberg pubs .
Do remember when running cards or heavy stocks that to get the extra blow at the feeder you have to shut down all the unnecessary blowers around the delivery . Especially with recycled pulp boards .
Too many people jam these presses with six sheets of pulpboard on a miss feed , mainly because they have no seperator springs in the back of the front feed board and no side springs at the feedboard . It is a rare job indeed that requires no springs at all

Oh and your paint is fine with thinner if washed off quickly enough , your heidelberg if of the age you describe is a hardy beast with paint to suit. strippers however will damage it and later models were baked hard paint that not much will hurt it at all if quickly wiped , although i saw a cylinder wrecked by a stripper that slowly dribbled down it over a weekend un seen , was not pretty after.

A very helpful tip to understand how things are going is to film it and look at it freeze frame a good solution with a pick up diagnosis especially if you suspect poor transfer from suction to gripper through a bend in a gripper to poor timing on the release cam at the vacuum valve on the front of the feeder unit ,

Please please please read the manual.

There’s a helpful index at the front and near enough everything is explained, roller height, paper feed etc. It’ll take hundreds of hours of practice, reading, asking questions. Best of luck

The adjusting of the rails is on page 85 of
“Windmills of your mind”
to see the book go here and scroll down.