Purchasing a windmill

Hi one and all. I am considering the purchase of a windmill 10 x 15 with a serial number of 105533. I have always wanted a windmill since starting my offset company 24 years ago. This one is being offered at $2300.00 and owner claims that it is in good shape. Where do I begin? Is the price good? Is the serial number good? Will the rollers lock out for die cutting? I have some old copper engraved plates from 1910 that have great historical value. Will I be able to use the on the windmill? Obviously you can tell from my questions that I am a complete novice when it comes to a letterpress. I would appreciate any and all help and/or suggestions before I consider this purchase. Thanks.

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Price seems anywhere between average and good depending on condition. I don’t think the 105xxx would have lockout rollers, but I know several printers who just remove the rollers when necessary.

Hi dicharry, Thanks. Do you have any addtional thoughts on the rest of my questions?


You may want to start on this thread:


It goes over the pros and cons of a Windmill as a 1st press. However if you’ve run offset for 2+ decades I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend a Windmill like the one you have found.

Regarding the copper plates: were they once used for relief printing? I would assume so, and maybe they are 1/4” copper. They may even me mounted on a wood base? If they are not mounted on a base this is easy enough to do with some Sterling (or similar) toggles and a honeycomb base. Not having seen the copper plates I would guess that they could indeed be printed on the Windmill.


Thanks folks. We’re on our way. I can make minor repairs on my 2 color 600 Hamadas. They’re built like tanks. I suspect so are the windmills. The copper engraved plates are approximately 1/16 ” thick mounted on wood blocks that are approximately 7/8” thick. The date on one of the blocks indicates it was used in 1910. I appreciate the help. Am nervous about this decision. How much of a working footprint will I need to have in my shop, for this press and its related furniture, etc.?

Those copper plates sound ready to go… .918” is considered “type high” and that sounds like what you may have there.

The press itself will take up about 25sq ft… 5 feet on any side. In addition to that you’d want enough space to get beside and behind the press on any side.

Thanks for the info on the foot print and on the plates. They both will have a large impact as to whether we pursue this purchase or not. Does anyone know the age of this press based on the serial number I provided?

Hy dandydon,

the windmill is of 1955. Not a bad Year.
If you buy it, make sure - or better let it be done by an electrician - that the switch which is at the end of the gard-holder is in working condition (backside of the machine). The machine should switch of when you lift the gard - it’s important for your own security. I don’t know if this was also a habbit in the states, but in Germany many printers blocked this switch, which is making the machine unsafe.

Good luck with it

P.S.: Please have patience with my english -talking is easier the writing;-))

Thanks Hans,
I was trained on my Hamadas by a German mechanic. The Germans build great presses and have good mechanics. I will save your posting for sure.

Buchdrucker…why would German printers block this switch? I don’t understand the “benefit” it would allow them.

Hi wildmh2000,
this was in most cases done by printers who had to work on paper where the ink is not propperly drying and you had to put paper between the prints (I don’t now the propper word in english, but I hope you know what I mean). I think the “advantage” was easier accesability. This habbit vanished nearly totaly when the new powder sprayers for the dry powder came up.


We called it “slip sheeting”. We used fools-cap/newsprint slip sheets about chase size. When dry, mangeable stacks were jogged to one corner then the foolscap was pinched on the diangonal corner and the work was shaken out.
We also used drying racks in rack cabinets for really special work where we didn’t want to risk slip sheeting.

Hi Dick Holme,

thanks alot for giving the propper translation. In german it is called “einschiessen” (shoot in).
The jobs where a driying rack was required or - even better - bronzing had to be done came usualy on friday afternoons;-))