Help with Windmill Packing

I just purchased a Windmill. It will be another month before I put in in service. While anxiously waiting I have been reviewing the manual on packing the Windmill.
Right now, on a C&P, I pack to even out the impression.
Then, if the client is looking for a noticeable debossing effect I will add a layer of mylar over the packing (under the Tympan) and work to get the desired bite.
The Windmill works on a different principle than the C&P and it seems like you can’t just add or subtract packing like you can on the C&P.
I am a little confused here because the manual indicates 1/25 of an inch packing, including stock. Some of the stock I run now is that thick?
How do you control the bite (depth of the impression) while keeping the impression even across the frame?

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A.Verbatim quote from an original H/Berg Booklet *Hints for the Pressman* from about mid to late 50,s issued with H/Bergs supplied in U.K.
The prescribed theoretical Tympan packing for the Original Heidelberg 10 x15” is 1M/M (.040) >>>12 x 18” also included, YES! 12?? x 18” not a misprint.!!

Correct packing on both the 10 x 15” and 12 x 18”?is extremely important and can readily be corrected when taking the first pull.
If the impression is found to be to heavy at the bottom (near the lay guages) but light at the top, too much packing is being used . Removal of one or more draw sheets and increase of the impression at the control lever will even up the impression; likewise when the impression is too heavy at the top of the forme but light at the bottom, correction is made by adding one or more draw sheets to the packing and reducing the impression at the control lever.
Correct packing is also important with the Original Heidelberg Cylinder, but it is first extremely important that the blocks and/or type matter be gauged to the correct type height (.918). If, after gauging the blocks to .918” any slight alteration is required, the tympan packing is then gauged to .047”including a sheet of the stock being printed.

***************Author,s note, there is as much again from the original entry, There are 80 factual pages, dealing with virtually every aspect of the production process on the 2 Platens, as above! Given the request I would be happy to reproduce/post any section, may be of help to the New ones.?

Published by Heidelberg AG, Printed on an 21 x 28” Original Heidelberg Cylinder, Western Germany 1957.

(Text in 2 colour, Cover in full colour) Bound with hard cover, thread sewn sections. Making photocopying fairly easy if required, original, possibly to be offered on B.P. once copied!!.

Good Luck. Mick.

Thank you Mick on Monotype. I have this document. It is understanding of it that is lacking. Perhaps it is as simple “as pack to an even impression and then adjust the pressure up or down to add or decrease the depth of the impression to the desired bite.”

Dwallen, thank you for your response, I think/beleive that the principal/concept can best be described thus:-
Because the Heidelberg comes into the *Clamshell* category the impression overall, is obtained with a fine balance of the amount of packing, in relation to the (Although wide but limited) variation from the Adjustment Collar, that situated on the impression handle.,

As I understand it, the Axis/Fulcrum at the bottom of the massive PLATEN proper, will only accomodate realignment of the AXIS and the approach of the platen, within certain limits, hence the quoted Paragraph (as above!).

This only gleaned from long association with British Thompson Auto Platen,s. >> Still Clamshell.!

One distinct DISADVANTAGE, as compared to Parallel Approach = Colt Armory, Auto Vic, Vickobold etc. etc.

One of the volunteers, in our Museum Print Shop (where there are Heidelberg Platen, C.& P. and Vickobold all working,!) would if, practical and possible print everything on the *Vicobold* for the very reason above , i.e. with virtually no attention to the packing, go from Bible Paper, Onion skin, Air Mail etc., to thick card with a tweek of the impression adjuster. Perhaps just a sheet of stock in use, under the Tympan,?


Thanks so much Mick. That is really helpful.
So where the manual says Adjusting Impressional Strength it could instead say “realigning the AXIS of the approach of the platen”
Now given that if the impression is heavier at the top of the platen than the bottom I would need to add packing and remove pressure to even the impression then when I remove pressure I am really moving the Axis of the platen slightly toward the front of the press.
I think I understand?
I have attached a diagram, not sure how it will show on this post.
Thanks again…

image: tooheavy.jpg


Dwallen, (Just my own personal opinion, nothing more!) but 9 out of 10 for your Graphics,??

Hope it gets retained in the back posts for a while, because even some of the longer term Members/Contributors may find your resume enlightening!!!
Newer Younger enthusiasts, surely will.!!

From a technical point just one little blemish, if You take a quick peek in the inspection door at the rear, with the M/c. just ticking over, With SAFETY paramount of course,! there is almost as much body, >Aft< of the Axis and connected to the Crank Pin/Mechanism as there is >Forward<??

**** With just a little addition to your schematics (side view) to incorporate the curvature of the base of the Main Frame, (Inner aspect), would act as a very useful *line of Sight & Approach* for decontaminating the area under the Arc of the Platen, which, always and eventually, attracts a build up of surplus oil, paper dust, knock outs from die cutting, etc. etc.

Operation, Usually achieved with a conventional *VAX* machine, with warm to hot, detergent solution.!!!

Thanks Mick.
I would give myself quite a bit lower mark on the graphics than you. I think I actually misstate the direction the axis would move in my post above.
Unfortunately, the press is sitting in a warehouse waiting for us to get things ready for its installation, so looking at it in operation and capturing the curvature of the base to make the diagram more accurate will be delayed for now.
I have gone over the video done by boxcar and it makes reference to the amount of the rotation of the platen being changed which from what I think I have learned here is the result prompted by the change in the axis.
I have updated my diagram to include - packed right - over packed and under packed scenarios. I would like to add it to this post and would appreciate your comments.
I intend to use it as a cheat sheet.
I think from what I learned here and from what I have seen elsewhere that I understand how to pack the platen and how it differs from the presses I use now.
Again comments are much appreciated.

The file does not seem to have attached, I will try again.

image: Heidelberg-platen-model.jpg


Windmill Packing == AS REQUIRED

the theory is correct, the drawing is commendable, but that big shaft the platen pivots around is going to settle differently in to the bearing depending how much oil is in the bearing, how big is the impression force and where is the centre of the impression force. The platen will even rock from left to right if the impression force is off centre, and most of the times it is. To complicate things further, the delivery side bearing is always worn more than the other side. My home made magnetic base has a paper “wedge” between two layers of aluminium to compensate for this uneven bearing wear. Of course the form rollers are adjusted to the wedged base, not to the standard .918” gauge.


To illustrate what I am talking about: if you print a fairly large heavy coverage form, you won’t be able to make a very deep impression. Then leave the settings/packing the same, and you change to a small single letter form, you will punch the single letter trough the stock.

Most of the factory settings would still apply if we would use kiss impressions with lead type, for which the press was built and intended for!

Start with the theory, but keep an open mind that YOUR particular Heidelberg might require a different, sometimes uneven packing.
It is a solid built press, but under the heavy loads of deep impressions it flexes. Larger the load, more it flexes and further away are you from the manual’s suggested make-ready parameters.


Great comments, this is something I will keep in mind. This press is quite a bit younger than the one I spend most of my time on now, but it is still OLD. As you recommend I will try to remember to keep an eye out for its particular quirks and how to adjust for them as I go along.

You have the gist of it correctly. You have to balance out the packing with impression strength to get it even. If you find it too heavy on the top, back off impression slightly and add some more packing. If it’s too light on top, dial up impression and possibly remove some packing.

I don’t pay any attention to that packing guide slot. The machines weren’t intended to do deep impression way back when, plus we print with much heavier stocks now.

As Louie said, each machine has its own peculiarities. You just have to keep adjusting until you get the machine set right. And it does change for each job, depending on coverage and plate location.