Heidelberg windmill packing

Hi. New to this. Heidelberg windmill 10 x 15. Impression set to a couple turns more than 0. Photopolymer plate that I had made mounted to type high on MDF. 100 gsm paper.

If I make the packing 1/25th of an inch the impression is too much, even at 0 impression, if I reduce packing to just one sheet of the stock with the manilla typman sheet then impression nothing at 0 but when I crank it up a couple of turns just two small areas of the form make a heavy impression and no where else. Should I just go ahead and make the packing up on the rest of the form or does this sound like a more fundamental problem?
Just wondering if anyone see needs to use less than 1/25th of an inch packing? It seems the manual is quite adamant about keeping it 1/25th.

Thanks to all.

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I don’t see the word MAKE READY anywhere in this post.

It’s a chapter heading in the hints for the Pressman by Heidelberg.

More description please, but sound like packing is required as 100gsm is too thin to require you dispense with packing at all .Is the image showing at top or bottom of sheet ?

Hahaha great. Exactly, thats what I need advice on. Read both the hints for pressman and the manual. What I don’t understand is that if I have packing at 1/25th of an inch and remove a sheet to compensate for the thickness of the makeready then the impression is too much even at 0 on the impression dial. From the manual I understand that the packing + makeready + typman should be 1/25th”, however to get the impression even I am having to have almost no packing (just one 100gsm sheet) and on top of that several sheets of tissue makeready around the edges and sides of that sheet. The form seems to have one deep impression spot in the middle and nothing at the edges and takes a lot of tissue to build the rest up. As soon as I dial uo the impression this central spot is too heavy. I guess its really a question about the trade off between packing/makeready and how far I should go.

Great to talk about this, been confusing me for a while. Thanks.

The image is not too heavy at the bottom or top, it is in the centre of the form, an area of about 2” square. It is too heavy even with one sheet of 100gsm as packing and no makeready. This is obviously considerably less than 1/25th” hence confusion. The form is horizontal lines and some text approx 8” wide and 5” high, located in the bottom right hand corner of the chase.

In an attempt to make it work I just used this one sheet of 100gsm as packing and added a load of tissue makeready around the ages but it is very time consuming and difficult to get even. I’m probably making some really basic mistake and appreciate any help.


Just how accurate is the bit of MDF you have ?? is the adhesive you stuck it down with covering the whole of the rear of the plate as it should .? You need to attain .918 .Take readings from as many points as you dare but you must have the height .
Am i safe to assume you are printing on a beer mat or similar ?
I seriously distrust blocks on mdf , it was never supplied in the trade we used plywood at a pinch but proper base cant be beat .
What sort of area are you working and have you tried preparing tissues to lay directly beneath the polymer cut away in the high areas and use a paste adhesive to stick it to the base before re laying the poly back down on it ?As referred to previously “Make ready ” Accurate makeready is important with polys and some care goes into it as too much in the wrong place will exchange the impression problem with an inking one , once you have added one tissue beneath the poly itself you have to add all others beneath the tympan , if you have impression in the middle area of the platen then as you said its pack the edges with make ready beneath the tympan .
Having said that i would look for anything else you can put beneath the poly and try that as a base first ,i have never encountered a polymer that was quite so bad as you describe from the impression view , inking is a different matter they are notorious for needing good set up with inking train and decent roller surfaces.
Your packing should be that with a sheet of the job fit snugly in the packing slot on the delivery stanchion , then remove the job sheet place up the packing and take a pul l
that should be your base point ,if you only get impression in the center of the platen you must makeready .

Ok thanks, so its maybe its the plate. I’ll check it is typehigh all over. I ordered it from http://www.centuriongraphics.co.uk/ and they glued it to MDF for me so not sure about how much glue but it looks like its well stuck down. Was a bit unsure about the MDF when I opened it, I assumed it was going to be on plywood. As its glued to the wood there isn’t mush I can do about makeready behind the plate but I will keep it in mind for future problems. I do have an aluminium base and some of the adhesive tape so maybe I’ll get them to make an unmounted plate and try it on the base.

The advice is much appreciated, thanks.

I prefer that before a die is stuck to the base they put a tissue in first to make removal for storage easier as some of the double side tapes are extremely strong so you then get the paper thickness to tear it off the base without damaging them !

I would try to get around with what you have if not for more than a training exercise you will get there in the end , the experience while frustrating will be worth th while .
You didnt say you are printing beer mats but it seems a good guess , put a little more impression on and look closely to see where you have to patch up , do the patches and wind the lever back half turn and try another pull, just keep going add a bit of tissue and take half a turn off each time and you will find the ultimate point that prints all over with relatively even impression .

Sorry didn’t say, not beer mats, I am trying to print 100gsm stock, not looking to get a deep impression as its obviously not achievable on a stock that thin. Some areas however are showing a slight indent that doesn’t show through on the back and looks great, just need to get it like that all over! I’ll keep adjusting the makeready on this and go for a different base setup next time. ‘Relatively’ sounds like the goal.
Thanks for the help.

You don’t mention anything about how the plate is inking. Is it also inking in the middle but not at the perimeter? I does definitely seem as though the problem is with the mounting of the plate without seeing any photos of examples.

If the plate is inking properly, you may be able to rectify the problem with makeready, but if not inking properly either, re-mounting would be the only recourse.


I haven’t gone with any ink on this one yet as I was trying to get a uniform impression all over before trying it with ink as I guess if it doesn’t impress the paper properly then even inking would be even less likely. More makeready and perhaps a thicker stock and I will report back. Thanks for all the help on here.

You are kind of going ass backward here, you will remove most of the options for finding your problem , i have been assuming you have good inking but an impression problem, get some ink on the job .
You are probably going to find the middle inks just like your impression at that point you may realise you need to remount .

dont know if youve solved it yet but i have a 13 x 18 windmill, not very experienced at all but try use a sheet of asotate (clear binding covers) underneath around 200gsm bond paper as a top sheet and some bond paper as packing underneath the asotate. I was printing on 120gsm and was able to get a crisp overall impression.

on most redballs there is a slot on the tall flat paper guide on the feeder that has a small slot with a hole at the bottom. that slot is the correct packing thickness for the platen, which includes the stock being printed on. On clamshell platens the golden rule is if the impression is light on the bottom, add a bit more packing and reduce the impression via the screw, if heavy on the bottom reduce the packing and increase impression.

you wouldn’t just happen to be trying to ink with the die cutting plate on there?