Hello! New Questions on a 10x15 Windmill

Hello everyone -

I am very grateful to have found this group. I grew up around a print shop and remember operating a windmill during my teenage years at my parent’s small print shop.

I run my own shop now, and picked up a 10x15 Heidelberg Windmill from a small outfit in town that was going out of business. We simply want to use it for die cutting, but I have some basic questions that I’m struggling to find answers on.

1 - The machine was supposed to have come with all the parts, but I’ve looked and can’t find the die cutting plate anywhere. Does anyone know where these can be purchased and what it actually looks like? Heidelberg wants $600 - I’m hoping that isn’t our only option.
2 - We’ve managed to get the feeding working, arms swinging and bugs worked out. We even able to get some dies mounted but the impression is completely slanted. The chase is locked in square, and the die is flat to the back but the top of the die is showing impression and there is nothing at the bottom. So much that even when I get the plate and do the packing I’m confident it won’t be enough. Is there a way to adjust the angle of the chase on the machine?
3 - Any suggestions on some good tutorial videos for die cutting operations?

Sorry for all the questions - thanks for taking the time to read this and I’m looking forward to your assistance!

image: Screen Shot 2021-08-18 at 9.46.26 AM.png

Screen Shot 2021-08-18 at 9.46.26 AM.png

Log in to reply   18 replies so far

try Barplate for a new jacket. Your packing is off. you need to back off the impression and add or subtract packing to even the impression. I suggest you find an operating manual online. This will explain the ins and outs of makeready on the windmill.

Hi there!

Yeah, I’d look at the impression. The rod in the bottom middle of the press..you pull it out to put the press “on” impression and lift and push it back in to take it “off” impression. It should have a collar on it that spins..twisting it to the right moves the collar up the rod and increases your impression and twisting it left brings it down the rod and decreases your impression. There should be markings on the rod, 1-4. Maybe your press came to you with the impression cranked up?

Sorry if any of that was way too basic and you already knew it, haha, figured it was better to explain it all the best I could.

What they said above. Also cutting die or printing die. Your said you wanted to die cut but it sounds like you don’t have a cutting jacket so assume printing. Make sure you have the correct depth base and proper printing plate. Before you try to do much you may want to find a training class and get the instruction manuals. You don’t want to break something. there are also some Windmill training videos on Youtube. Search for “Unique tips for the Heidelberg Windmill, boxcar” or try https://www.youtube.com/user/boxcarpress/videos

You add packing to even out the impression if the bottom if the platen is not cutting. If the top of the platen area is not cutting, you take packing out. Don’t try die-cutting without a jacket! The Barplate jackets are the best, but expensive. There’s a used jacket on eBay for $49 that looks like a deal. Make sure your die is .918.
Heidelberg Hints for the Pressman is a must-read,
The press operation and parts manuals are here…
Good luck.

Just my 2 cents
+1 on previous replies
if you don’t have a die jacket don’t even worry about
trying to die cut; you might increase your impression
too much and get in trouble that way

here is what is happening. this is inherent to all clamshell presses.

image: WindmillPlatenImp.jpg


the Heidelberg is a “Boston Principle” (same as Golding) and differs from a ‘clamshell type.

Repeat this phrase: “Pack adds bottom”
I’ve been running a windmill for a few years and mutter it several times everytime I run the press.
Make a simple sign and post it behind the machine.

Ditto for another phrase: “Don’t chase the mis-feed”.
There no job so important that losing a sheet is more important than a finger, wrist, arm or scalp.

Nick Howard, I am trying to find info on the “Boston Principle” versus srtraight forward clamshell. Any leads? I don’t want to give out incorrect info here. The basic results seem to be the same between my WM and other clamshells i have run.

If by the “Boston principle” you mean the mechanism of the platen, it is a “knee-joint” toggle behind the press, straightened by rotating the handle and the shaft it is mounted on. It is a very powerful and precise mechanism easily adjusted to increase or decrease travel of the platen. It apparently was invented by William Golding for his Official series of tabletop presses and widely copied. In Europe, mostly Germany, the “Boston tiegel” (sp?) is a very popular small tabletop hand press.


Nick has a page on his excellent website that explains the difference between clamshell and Boston principle.

Hello Everyone - sorry for not checking back in sooner. We ordered the plate and only found the time to install it this last week.

First off - thank you all for such great information. I was able to work with the press operator to better understand the mechanics of the windmill and we have the die cutting just kissing the plate now so it looks very promising.

We noticed that the plate does not sit perfectly flat against the platen though. This is resulting in one of the arms gently brushing up against it. It hasn’t caused any major damage yet, but I would imagine overtime it will breakdown the plate. Is the gap under the plate normal? Any suggestions on how to either adjust the arm so it doesn’t come in contact or somehow pull the plate in closer?

Image attached shows how to middle of the plate is touching the arm. Second image shows it rubbing and the mark it has left.


image: 20210914_083102.jpg


I can’t seem to upload the 2nd image for some reason. Here’s a link with a little video showing the high spot on the plate.


Hello friends - just a little bump on my last 2 messages. Has anyone else seen the jacket bulge and the scratching issue I was mentioning? I don’t see anyway to pull the jacket tighter so I’m not sure what to do.

Thanks again

I would consider that a normal fit for the cutting jacket. No worry.

Is this a snap on jacket or a screw in jacket? What is the make? Do you also print or will the jacket stay on the press? More info and will be able to help you make it flatter.

Agreed pdan, I have a small gap on all my jackets. Some of that goes away when I add packing. Over time, you will see where the gripper slides across the plate. Not to worry.
But..if you bought it from Bar-Plate or NA Graphics, call and ask them!

Thanks Everyone - much appreciated.

To answer Mike, it is a snap on jacket. The press is the 10x15. The part was purchased from Printer Repair Parts.

Cylinder Jacket - Die Cutting Jacket Windmill 10 x 15in (Steel) 26 x 38cm

My only concern was that it was just lightly touching the raised section as the arm pull across, so figured that maybe the arm could be adjusted or there was someway to get the jacket to sit tighter.

Sounds like neither may be necessary so I might keep slowly trying to put this sucker to work :)