Identify this “metal strap thingy?”

New to printing and I just brought home a beautiful 1973 windmill (see my recent “impulse buy” post in Discussions > General). The press is in great shape. The only thing the 20+ year owner didn’t know about was what this (see photo) below the printer [press] ever was.

Can anyone help identify what this strange metal ‘strap’ lookin’ thing is or went to?? It’s on the front left side of the machine behind the drawer.

image: IMG_1197.jpg


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Finally got the photo upload to work. Any thoughts on what this bent up metal strap thing is, I’d appreciate it. It doesn’t seem like it would have much to do with press operation it’s simply curiosity on my part.

It’s not called a ‘printer’, but a ‘press’. Printers are being sold by HP, Canon etc.

[response to Thomas removed for the sake of personal accountability]

Did the photo rotate when it was uploaded. Do you have a wider shot which might help give us a better idea where this is. I see it is bolted to wood which is also odd.

The photo has been rotated, his photo is the lower front operators side.The metal strap has been mangled, probably in a move. It appears to be a support for the rear of the toolbox. See photo attached. Check your toolbox to see if it’s loose, if not I wouldn’t worry about it. It appears to be a minor issue. The board should come off the press once it’s in place over your drip pan. You should have gotten a drip pan with the press, if not a local sheet metal shop should be able to make one for you. Mine cost $150… can’t find them at the auto part store anymore.
BTW, I am the printer, and I took a picture of my press.

image: IMG_20200407_140009405 (2).jpg

IMG_20200407_140009405 (2).jpg

I am sitting here laughing, I slide my drawer out and crawled on the floor. Got my workout for today, never looked around the side. Looks like you are correct. Might have been damaged in the move. Detach it if you can pound it out and put it back - 50 years from now it will still be working.

guide and stop (for two-up attachment at delivery) so you don’t hit the compression spring. It’s in the book too.

So according to the googler, “Personal accountability is the belief that you are fully responsible for your own actions and consequences.”

Wouldn’t personal accountability entail leaving whatever remark you made untouched, but with an added correction/retraction/apology? :)

Thanks everyone for the information and the photo of what this piece SHOULD look like and what its function is.

Keenan, you’re not entirely wrong. A quick Google search does net me similar results but I don’t believe being “fully responsible for ones actions” necessarily means we are not allowed to reconsider the efficacy of them and, if presented with the opportunity, choose a different path.

But, for the sake of clarity, and maybe even fruitful discord, I’ll go ahead and share what I had deleted immediately after posting it.

I was… disappointed (?), I suppose, in the wholly unhelpful correction of my perceived misuse of the word ‘printer.’ More so in that it wasn’t actually followed by any other information. It seemed snobbish, unnecessary and unwelcoming to someone who is excited to learn about their new press.

I understand for folks passionate about their craft and/or their profession, there is a semantic and emotional difference between the word, “printer” and the word, “press” but if one were to, again, Google the definition of the word, “printer,” depending on the source they might find, “a machine for printing text or pictures on to paper,” which is exactly what a printing PRESS does, thereby leading one to believe we could also call a printing press… a printer. In computing, it’s true, most printers are made by Epson, Canon, etc.

So yes, I deleted my original response as soon as I posted it because it was (mostly) equally unhelpful, unless, as maybe this will, it illustrates a need for a more open and welcoming approach to how we talk about our craft and/or profession.

I do appreciate the helpful responses and the congratulations on my new press.

My response was not meant to be snobbish or pedantic, but it’s very important to call the machines, materials and tools that we use by their proper name. Often we read that people are getting involved in ‘letterpressing’, when they’re talking about ‘printing’. As readers of this forum have probably noticed over the years, I’m someone who tries to give positive and informative responses…

Printer is more accurate than windmill. I dislike both terms for the Heidelberg Platen. I recall someone once called my Vertical Miehle a grasshopper. Remember you only get one chance to make a first impression. See how I did that?

Now more than ever we need to help each other. I don’t care what you call the big black machine thing that puts marks on paper, I don’t care what you call yourself or what you do or who your are. I cant spell and I don’t know what I am talking about. I do know that when I come to this forum I need help and those who arrive need wisdom from the wise ones or people like me who have broken just about every piece if equipment possible in ways you can only imagine. At the end of the day we must all be friends and use this forum for a hug at times and an answer to that which we do not know - not to be slammed or corrected since we did not word things properly. It is to early for a beer in California 8AM, but a little Baileys in my coffee is better for me than sweet and low or sugar so I tell my self. Be happy, be safe, smile, enjoy life and keep using this forum.

[clearly struggling with posting from my phone. Sorry for the double post]

Thomas & Mike,
I wanted to pop back in. Thomas, I understand, truly. Words are important. Terminology is important. Just the other day, ironically, my 9 year old said something about a friend not knowing what something was called, and I said, “well honey, if you don’t have a lot of experience with something, you might not know those things. For instance, do you know what this is called?” (I held up a cordless drill figuring it could lead to further conversation about the fact that she knew what it was called because I use around her often) and she said, “a screwdriver.” I said, “actually, this is a cordless drill. A screwdriver is the other one; the manual one. But, you’re right, this does still drive screws.”

The parallel of that to this is creepy.

So, yes, I understood where you were coming from, Thomas, and I immediately deleted my initial response because it seemed unproductive and something I should probably just sit with. I honestly don’t know if there is a more ‘polite’ way to correct someone on the nuances of the terminology, especially online. To me, personally, your remark seemed like I had offended your printerly sensibilities and you felt the need to correct my glaring mistake. But that may have just been my perception and not your intent. My comments are also not directed pointedly at you but more of an observation about the way in which things like correcting someone’s misuse of a term, whether that’s “letterpressing” or “printer/press,” especially when that’s the only interaction you have with them can leave someone feeling belittled or unwelcome simply because they haven’t yet learned the lingo. So, no hard feelings here and I hope likewise.

Mike, I couldn’t agree more. Also, I see what you did there. Ba-dum-bum. Well played.

Thanks again all for the information. I’m looking forward to tackling the 3 phase motor issue here in the next few weeks so I can get my press up and running. In the meantime, the cleaning and reading continues.

nathanegriffin, do you have the original manuals for your press? If not, you may be able to find them online, but I like having the original copies for my press. There were minor changes made throughout the years, and having the right Parts Manual and Operating Manual is a must-have. You should also have “Heidelberg Hints for the Pressman”, an invaluable help. I have a PDF copy I can forward, no charge. Good luck, Bruce

hello nathanegriffin, to give you an idea of what we’re doing with our association here in the Netherlands (of which I’m a board member), please check out our website:
and for manuals etc.:
scroll down to Heidelberg and you will be able to download the manuals and parts lists etc. (in English).
Happy printing…!

There are a lot of good videos on youtube. Here is one I liked

Good luck getting going, keep asking for help, be a little scared and smart at the same time. If not sure, ask.