Windmill bottom guide/ retrieval issue

An evil demon has inhabited our sweet Windmill with a new and dark possession, can you help friends of Briar Press?

The arms are dropping the paper onto the guides correctly, but, after impression, the arm does not retrieve the sheet and it gets sucked into the black soul of the Heidi. I have changed the packing, cleaned and generously lubed all parts of the bottom guide mechanism, cleaned the inside of the arms with alcohol, and cleaned the platen regularly to inhibit static, which I thought may be causing this problem.

When I print without guides, the paper feeds and delivers without issue and the grippers are grabbing consistently at 18 pts. This leads me to believe that this isn’t an issue with the press’ arms but something more mystical.

Anyone have any tips?

Thanks much!

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Hey Natalie,

How big are the sheets you’re running? Quite a while ago we were running some pre-trimmed business cards and they were shorter than the side guide. The card would drop in the bottom guides but not jog up against the side guide causing it to end up out of reach of the gripper and like your doomed paper, ending up in the oily black soul. There is a side guide extension (you may or may not have it) for running tiny sheets to eliminate this problem.

On the other end of the scale, if you’re running a heavier stock you can sometimes get a bounce off the side guide which again positions the paper out of reach of the gripper. You can see if slowing the press down changes anything otherwise adjust the position of your side guide to be mid way rather than the furthest position in.

Google “Good-bye to Misfeeds With a ‘Flying Dutchman’” too as you might be able to experiment with that technique to see if that may eliminate the problem.. It’s not a permanent solution but gets you through jobs when you’ve got no more hair to pull out.

Good luck and let us know how you go!



I once saw a press where the left paper stop on the feed table was not adjusted for guides. The paper should not “drop” onto the guides, the bar should come up to precisely meet the bottom of the sheet as the gripper lets go. It is also possible to adjust the left stop too far left, resulting in sheets getting “pushed” up against the paper, bending it and releasing so that the gripper cant pick it up.

Thanks for the help!

It was deduced that the side-guide was pushing the paper too far left when it came up since we are using a very hard, rigid sheet. Adjusting the side guide to it’s furthest-most position and adding a flying dutchman has made our printing a dream.