Heidelberg Windmill ductor roller

I’m considering the purchase of an early 1970s Windmill that seems to be in fairly usable condition - a bit dirty, but I’ve seen it print, score, and die-cut, and it seems to work pretty well. Asking price is $1200. My one concern is the condition of the ductor roller, which has a 2 grooves running around its circumference. Neither is extremely deep, but I wonder how they will affect the inking function. The current owners don’t/haven’t used the ink fountain for quite some time, so aren’t helpful sharing their experience. Any thoughts would be appreciated. It looks like replacing it would be a very expensive proposition.

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It will not affect your ink distribution at all, unless you are doing some small coverage area work with varnish tints and even then I would think that could be worked around. Even with the grooves, you will attain a much higher inking consistency than if you are just “dabbing” the ink train to avoid using the fountain.

which roller are you calling the “Ductor”? the quick indicator would be, how do the form rollers ink up?

mikefrommontana - Thanks. The fellows who own it use the dabbing approach. I’ve read here that even with short runs, using the fountain can be a better approach, hence my concern about whether the grooves would cause a problem.

ericm - May be the wrong name for it - I got it from a parts manual for an older version of the press. It’s the polished steel roller that draws ink from the fountain.

I’m not a mechanic so I cannot give you any info on how difficult it would be to replace, but I’m sure I may have a good used one in stock. Give me the page # and the part # in the Windmill parts book and I can check out my stock position. I’ll also ask mechanic how difficult the change out would be.
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Larry Lionett

That’s a really good price on that press, especially if it feeds and registers well. That roller can be replaced if it becomes a problem.

I agree with Mike, those score marks will really not affect your Ink flow that much if at all. A 70’s windmill at $1200 is a real good deal if it’s all there and registers

If it’s the metal roller at the ink fountain, then it’s the fountain roller, not a ductor roller.

If the previous operator(s) were careless enough to allow grooves to wear into the fountain roller, what other parts of the press may have been mistreated?


Michael’s (Nickel Plate Press) identified my concern, although I’ve committed to buy it. Having watched (and listened to it) for a while as it’s been used for a variety of work, nothing jumps out as a problem. It’s in a family-owned business, with 2 60-something sons having taken over from their dad, so whatever happened is lost in the mists of time. They’re pretty adamant about keeping it oiled on a regular basis, so with any luck there will be no big surprises.