13x18 impression problems

Howdy - We just installed a 13x18 windmill in our shop. We bought it for die cutting and it came in set up to cut with jacket, etc. I am new to this piece and have hit a snag on my first makeready.

So, jacket in place, die in chase. Start bringing around 14 pt board. Start with impression pretty low, like 3 or 5 and work it up a couple notches at a time. Takes up to about 20 just to get a slight indent, but looking good. Bump it up to 21 and as soon as it strikes the paper, it pops out of impression. It seems weird because even when it pops out, the cutting rule is not cutting through and the crease rule still isn’t showing.

I checked the shear pin. Still intact. I should mention that when it came in things were stiff. The spring rod/latch in the shovel handle/impression lever was completely seized out and would not latch in at all. After working it with WD, i got some spring out of it and it would latch in (up)

When this latches in, should the block be flush against the lever? When engaged at impression i have about a quarter inch between the block and lever. Maybe the little spring loaded latch shaft might not be extending far enough into the scale and “slipping” out of the scale as soon as it’s challenged?

Any ideas or comments would be appreciated!

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May be a silly question but the locking block is there you tighten it with the big T wrench /box spanner ? if you have a camera and dont know what i mean post a view of the D handle (impression lever) on here .

What height rules have you got in the forme ,you will probably need 22.80mm crease and 23.30mm cutting, IIf you are just getting a faint mark on the sheet is it at the bottom or top of the platen ? if you are getting mark at top of platen take the impression lever back to zero and put a sheet of the job behind the forme and try again. All you need to remember is this … impression at top of sheet /platen means you need reduce impression on lever and increase packing , impression on the bottom of platen means you need to remove packing and increase impression on lever . You should not have to be above 15 on the lever normally but it does depend what non standard machining has been done to it .

Does the chase have a leveller block down the left hand side of it ?

How much packing do you have under your diecutting jacket? I use .918 cut rule. Packing paper under the jacket. And very little impression is needed. Peter is spot on with his packing…more impression at top of sheet /platen means you need to reduce impression on lever and increase packing , more impression on the bottom of platen means you need to remove packing and increase impression on lever. I rarely use any packing behind the chase/forme, sometimes a piece of tape where the forme is low.

Thank you very much for your time and knowledge. It’s greatly appreciated!

I checked the plate to the packing guide on the delivery upright and it seems like the correct plate. (I thought maybe it might be thin for a .937 die?) I also have one sheet of an 80 lb cover stock behind the plate. Nothing on the back of the die, however, It did have some stock taped to the back of it for when it runs in a Miehle V50, but i pulled it all off to go into this fresh. The die is .918 cut and .909 crease which I believe is same as 22.80mm crease and 23.30mm cutting.

When I strike, the cut rule still doesn’t cut through the paper only faintly kisses it. It is slightly deeper on the bottom than it is on the top, but i’m getting it both places. I think it’s pretty close. If I go one notch past this though …. it pops out.
It should eat this type of work for dinner!

I have attached a couple pictures of the impression lever so you can see the gap that I’m talking about. This is my best hunch so far. If this was engaged fully i think it would not be so easy to pop out. I also made a short video. If your
interested let me know and I’ll email you a link

I looked at it to try and locate a leveller block, but not really sure if it has it. the left hand side of the chase has a raised area the length of it but there is no adjustment for it. both of the chases I have are the same. I attached a pic of the chase/bed setup so you can see.

Thanks again!

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Try adding more packing under your diecutting jacket with out increasing the impression and see if it still pops out. You are right, that should be an easy job for your press.

I have operated and owned many of these machines.
When you push down on the shovel handle it pulls a pawl out of a groove next to the impression block.

Check to make sure the groove and the pawl are clean.
If the pawl is worn you may have to remove it, have it welded and grind to refit.

If you have a parts manual you can contact Demers in Florida which is “all things Heid”

Call if you need more ideas

Like Doug was saying, it sounds like something is wrong with the pawl or the grooves.

When the impression on my 13x18 is on I can on fit 8 pts in the marked area on your picture. It looks like you have more space than that which would mean it’s not locking in place like it should.

Good Luck,

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Thanks everybody…i’m going to dig in today and see what i can make happen. I think maybe a little more packing and a little more pawl and i should be in business…

Quick question, so i should have about 8 pt gap on impression…if the lever is out of impression, should the block be flush or still have a gap?

When my unit is ON impression I have about 8pts gap. When it’s OFF it’s flush up tight.

Not stating that is the way it is supposed to be……just that is where my 13x18 is.

Good Luck and hope you get it straightened out…..these are great machines, we got rid of a V50 years back for our 13x18 and don’t regret it one bit.

Some heidelbergs have been ground deeper bed fffor special purpose , if you are cutting the surface heavier at the bottom than the top then remove some packing and wind the impression lever up some more , however you say it will jump the engage tongue in the lever ? it looks as though your lever has not gone fully home in the pic you show , try to have a tweak around and get it to sit properly then have anotther go . I dont have access to one of these at present , but have worked on them and can remember most bits . When you are taking pulls is the d ring
(handle of impression lever) moving gently up and down?
I dont pack beneath the platen plate i put it all behind the forme (not the chase) be aware that packing behind the plate reduces gripper clearance and causes matrix crashes . All bad news .
You have levelling blocks on your chases that means you have to pack behind the forme and not the chase or the cutting plate because the more you pack oter ways the block will always contact first sometimes marking the job.

D all your building up on the rear of the forme and this way you will get half an idea how low the forme bed is . my 13x10 has to have type high cutting and a 20 though plate +stock plus a few tissues behind that .Using standard cutting plate .

Good news and bad news today. Bad news is that the pawl shaft must be bent. It is pretty tight. I worked that thing over!

Good news is a tap with a rubber mallet makes it stay in
and i was able to pull some good cuts. It’s running at about 22 on the impression, and cutting good, and not leaving a mark on the plate. Feeling good about it.

Thanks again everyone! If any of you find yourself in Madison, WI, let me buy you a beer.


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Glad to hear you have her up and cutting!


22 is the max on impression. I rarely go past 10. I hope nothing else is being damaged. Good luck.

He may have a low bed ,Some are, the versatility of these and cylinders means all kinds of odd stuff gets put through them . Printing never made them pay as quickly as their ancillary use does.I have seens plastics and composites of asbestos as well as veneer woods ,thin brass and fresh annealed copper die cut on these machines ,not all using the normal dies for cutting . I like the ground out machines some dont !

Thanks guys -
I definately don’t want to be hurting the press. How should i try to get the impression down? Should i build up the back of the forme a little more?

It may be a deeper machine..when we got it, from the debris in the housing it seems the previous owner was cutting laminated cards like ID badges and such.

Is there any Way to get any history/info on the press from the serial number?

Have you pushed the shearing bolt out to inspect it? Its in 3 segments and maybe it’s halfway broken inside. Just a thought. I know Heidelberg keeps track of presses and serial numbers, might give em a call.

Yeah, the shear pin seems ok. Been working good so far, just really high on impression….

Where are you are Madison?