Windmill Tips

I’m by no means an expert and really only very recently getting my feet wet printing on a Windmill (10 x 15, 1962), but just recently completed my first job on the press, requiring 100,000+ impressions, and thought I’d share a few things. Most of this will no doubt be obvious to the experts but I thought I might share my (random) observations:

Hairline Registration:
I sought help here for a registration spindle that wouldn’t budge, and ultimately never managed to get the guide mechanism to work before getting started on this job (turns out we need to make a repair that won’t be a snap). The project required 3-color hairline registration on some cards, and this was achieved by simply turning off the blower that ruffles the feed, picking a margin and either the left or right guide, then keeping this consistent for each color. If you have a poorly functioning guide bar and can feed consistently without the blower you should be all set.

Cleanup is a snap as long as you apply fairly heavy pressure to the washup blade, and be sure to clean it afterwards.

Automatic Stop and Ink Transfer:
Best of course if you have the automatic stop adjusted properly, but I found it helpful, in case of a misfire, to apply packing tape to the tympan, covering any area the plate may contact. The ink transfers off within 4 to 5 impressions (as opposed to ink that’s been absorbed into significantly less coated tympan).

Boxcar Base:
No reason not to use a Deep Relief base with the Windmill, just adjust your rails to accommodate the height.

If this helps anyone, terrific. I’ve been printing on Pearls for 5 years now and the Windmill is a whole new ballgame. It’s an extraordinary piece of machinery but I have loads more to learn.

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That is silly, you can NOT get hairline register without the guides…..IMO this is a phony story.

I realize it may seem implausible but it can be done — again it’s a matter of preventing the sheets from ruffling in the feed by disabling the blower. The sucker bar should pick up and deliver the sheet to the gripper in the same place every time. Adjusting feed is a bit more difficult but it’s not impossible.

Why not just use the lay gauges as they were intended? Any small variation in the sucker bar will ultimately misregister sheets printed in the commercial mode. I work on these machines daily and have never found a machine with a vacuum bar that did not have SOME wear in it after 50 or so years.

After 50 years of operating Heidelbergs, all I can say to Pearl is that she was just lucky.
Just how does she define hairline registration?
Could she literally print in a different colour a 3pt rule into a 3pt space between two other rules both in the vertical and horizontal? I doubt it!
As for adjusting the tracks to accommodate a deep relief base; the windmill was designed to work with a print forme of type height 0.918 inch, so its the forme that should be adjusted for height not the roller tracks.
Any experienced operator of windmills in the real commercial world knows that the most important element for consistent feeding is the separation of the top few sheets of the pile by the air blast from the front blower.

Boston is a major city there should be no problem getting your press fixed so you can use the guides. 3 colour hairline must be thick hair. If your client is happy that’s all that count$. Without working guides and claiming hairline registration you run the risk of having your work rejected. Even when diecutting unprinted stock I use the guides as it makes stripping(waste removal)easier. your tips are okay for someone whose press is damaged but only as temp fix until repairs can be made. Also think resale value every day more and more presses are leaving our continent.

pearl, i live near boston, there is a man that fixes heidleburgs that is excellent, he fixed my windmill, if interested i will post his name and number i have it somewhere just can’t find it without a major search. dick g.

Hairline registration is defined as 1/4 point (0.0034” 0.086mm) trap on the windmill. This feat can only be attained consistently with use of the register bar in the best working order.