Press Repair for Windmill

we just purchased a 10x15 Heidelberg Windmill and it is caked in ink and gunk. We would like to clean it up, especially under the sludge trough where the central inking system hides, along with the gears that alongside it. We are afraid that if we take it apart, we will never get it back together again. #1 How crucial is it to have the machine really clean, inside and out, and #2 does anyone know of a good repair person in Austin, Texas or nearby? If you know of someone that is just stellar to work with and meticulous that travels, that would be good too. Thanks for your help once again!!

image: windmillcentraloil.jpg


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It’s not as complicated as you may think, you do need to be mechanical inclined.

This is a before and after pic of my windmill, email me, I walk you thru

She was completely caked in ink. just lie yours.

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image: BOB printshop 004_2.jpg

BOB printshop 004_2.jpg

Your question is answered thus , where are you keeping it , what humidity levels will it be in , does it pick up filth on the diss roller from old jobs ?
The filth protects it from damp to a great extent , it is usually a problem for the engineers not the printers , the wash up blade channel gets build up that is best removed and towers of old ink buid up beneath the disser you can get the ink towers with a long tool to break them off from the front with the ruled plate removed .
If you want it to look good then fine but keep all bits cleared before exposing oilways etc so you dont block something with a lump of muck .
a lift or block to raise the top is important and you must have patience . Gallons of cleaner for your hands and many items of trashed clothing , heavy duty gloves will help but some small parts require you can feel what you are doing , dont drop anything , trying to find a dropped nut or bolt can take many many hours .

Typenut, that is astounding!! Thank you for the photos. My husband would rather it look like that, but how do you keep it looking so pristine? Does it eventually get all crazy again? I was looking into the ink fountain liners. Are those helpful? I will email to get more info on cleaning. Thanks so much!!

Peter, it will need to be in my garage for a year or so until we get more business. We are in HOT Texas, where it has been pretty humid lately since we have actually received some rain. It fluctuates from 100-90 during the day and 78-82 at night. Humidity is in the high 40s. We are going to install a window unit soon to help with humidity. What would you say about no a/c? I have the blue rollers from Whittenberg. I believe rubber rollers are not supposed to give too much with humidity, is that correct? I hear composition are worse. Thanks for your help!

Chances are whittenberg will have supplied rollers much to the heidelberg spec and they are stable in most environments dry or damp they stand up .
I was asking about the environment more for the press itself ,when you have wiped ,scraped and chemicalled the crap off it you will be exposing every nut bolt and pin ,as well as shafts to the atmosphere , here in the uk if you dont have a cosy environment for it you watch them rust to hell .

Protection from the Humidity and Temperature change Demons, (the little b******s) that rust up your nice shiny exposed steel overnight even!….Got severely peeved with temperature change etc, that sweated and rusted my lathe overnight, 3 solutions, sprayed the body of the chuck, (big as a football) with ordinary car/automobile Aerosol Lacquer, still virtually perfect 2 years down the road….oiled up the bedways and parts that would be required to move, 24 hours, 2 days or 2 weeks later, with chainsaw oil, by its very nature sticky, but wiped off at the drop of a hat with virtually any normal spirit…….. that crucified the overnight demons……Long term Mothballing or Work in progress, some time, maybe, eventually….Nothing better than spraying with, or even hand jollaping car/auto, cavity wax protection on to everything, except the rollers as per P.L……Will last and protect indefinately, petroluem based wiped of with spirit fairly quickly…..In the oil channels, NO problem as its name implies Wax/Oil will mingle and lube en route? …..If it lasts 1,000,000 miles through, hell and high water protecting the cavities, in /on your autos, on your platen, for a few months, or a year or two, or three, will be a cinch, even in glorious “dodgy climate” Texas, Hopefully and possibly. Good Luck

Regarding the ink fountain liners: the ones I’ve seen only cover the easy bits to clean. It is under the plate, where the buildup is likely to get ignored. (Like under the sludge tray.)

I’m currently cleaning up a 1959 10x15 to operational status. The ink fountain took a good day of scraping, brushing and oiling just to get all the bits in working order.

On this fountain, the pivot bar had to be removed to free up the action, as ink had crept into the joint and gummed up the pivot.

image: back in service

back in service

image: midway


image: ossified ink

ossified ink

image: stuck keys

stuck keys

you are meant to remove the duct keys before removing its blade …. the gunk beneath the blade area comes from poor wash up practise , some from a worn duct blade allowing ink to bribble , the mess beneath the wash up unit is again caused by sloppy wash up practise and probable over flows ,no one ever keeps them properly clean and often they have a rag entombed in crap in the tray !
I wont show you how rough my beast is , certainly shameful .

No shame in letting sleeping dogs lie, if they won’t bite for the neglect… I’m not cleaning up the oiling system which is just about as caked as alisaphoto’s picture up top, but still working fine.

On the other hand, the sludge tray and its holder were packed and unusable.

image: There is a Bolt in there.

There is a Bolt in there.

image: Goner.


image: Crusty ink in the holder.

Crusty ink in the holder.