13 x 18 Windmill Impressions Issues !

Hey Guys,

I have just started to try letterpress with my 13 x 18 windmill. I have successfully die cut a number of jobs with no issues with regards to impression (usually have it on around 5). When it comes to Letter press though i cant seem to get the impression im looking for, even with impression on around 15 its just printing with almost no impression. I tried looking at the shear pin but mine does not have a bolt i can remove to remove the pin as stated in the manual. I live in South Africa so there are very few people that can help me with this issue.

Any thoughts ?


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I think i may have found the issue, firstly whoever refurbished my press thought the bolt holding the shear pin was a oiling point…so there was never a bolt there, secondly they beat it up to get it in there. Ive attached a photo. Please tell me i havnt destroyed my press :(

image: IMG_2002.JPG


1 last thing, i have a order for die cutting envelopes coming up would it be safe to continue die cutting or rather wait till i can replace the shear pin ?


I don’t have any hands-on experience with the big platen, but I’d be a bit leery of diecutting until the pin is in good order. That pin protects your investments in equipment and time.

I took a peek at the manual… I’d see if a grubscrew was installed where the bolt goes.

I’d get a couple of authentic shear pins. Then I’d drill & tap whatever’s in there and try to extract it with a slide-hammer.

Hopefully some 13x18 folks will chime in and give you better info than I can. As Mick would say: “apologies if rubbish”.


Hey guys thanks for the reply, the guy who sold it to me is going to come have a look as its been like this since i received it. I had a number of guys including an operator who worked with me look at the press and none of them said anything…south africa for you haha.

Is it normal that it would still die cut decently with a broken shear pin ? I would only guess its because it doesnt require alot of pressure ?


It looks like your shear pin hasn’t been removed in quite awhile with all the crud around it. After cleaning the end, you can slide it out with a screwdriver and see if it’s broken. Usually, if it breaks completely, you wouldn’t be able to put it on impression at all. The impression lever would be very loose.

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image: P1050713.jpg


Thanks for the pics man, gunna order a new one and one spare. I think someone tried getting it out before because the end is completely torn up. What effect would it have on the impression if the bolt wasnt there ?


There is a little bolt that screws in to the pin to keep it in place. If the pin is not in the correct position, it might not shear when it needs to and as Anonymouse mentioned, you can ruin your investment.