Heidelberg Windmill 10x15 - Packing questions

Hello :)
I’ve read page 51 of the Heidelberg manual, and I’ve understood I need to make a packing of 1mm to make a good indent (included the sheet i’m printing)…I still need to understand the composition of the packing, however :

What about if I have to print sheets with thickness of 1mm? Do I need to remove all the packing?

I can’t understand also another thing of the makeready: they suggest to apply the “thin rubber blanket the size of the plate in the form”, but some sentences beyond they suggest that “the packing always cover the entire surface of the plate, no matter whether the printing maximum paper size or not”.

..so do I need to cut the thin rubber 10x15 or what!?

Is there anything I can use instead of the thin rubber blanket?

Thin rubber blanket is used just for halftones? Why this helps printing halftones photographs?

Thanks :)

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Hello Fabio,

The packing of 1 mm assures you that your type or your plate (if it is mounted to the correct height) will give a ‘kiss’ impression on your tympan. You adjust the pressure on your machine according to the thickness of the paper you want to print on. As promised some photos of photopolymer plates and Duplofol (the double sided adhesive used for mounting) just behind it, you can see two of the aluminium blocks that you assemble to the correct size desired. Another photograph is of a set of these blocks, that Georg Kraus sells.

image: plates_1.jpg


image: 16320_unterlegstege_rot_sortiment.jpg


The blocks you refer to in your second photo are all actually metal furniture (i.e. spacing material) and all will be made to em units, and certainly were never intended as mounting blocks for polymer plates.

thanks for the replies :)

okay so, to print with indent: I don’t need to exceed the 1mm packing (included the sheet I’m printing) and I raise the pressure or what?!

about the base, shouldn’t be perfectly flat? using furnitures like a base don’t you create some areas of more impression and some others with less impression?

I’ve read on Boxcar they are paranoic with the flatness of their bases, to have a better print.


Bern, these blocks are common in Europe, and not furniture at all. They exist in different colour-coded heights, red, green and blue, depending on the thickness of plates you used. They come in sets in typographical sizes and once assembled to the correct size (like Lego blocks) will be covered with Duplofol and the metal or photopolymer plate will be stuck onto them. After use, we used to put them on the radiator to soften the adhesive and remove the plate. See the 2 pages from a German catalogue from the 1960s.

image: Utensilien 22.jpg

Utensilien 22.jpg

image: Utensilien 21.jpg

Utensilien 21.jpg


Sorry to disagree with you, Thomas, but I live and worked in the UK, and I still maintain that the items on the galley in the photo are metal furniture, and until I can see the colour coding you mention, my view will not change.

The metal furniture doesn’t look like it exceeds the height of the chase. That could be a big problem smacking the rails of the press trying to get an impression. Plus you need about 3 pics on the lower part of your chase so the plate doesn’t hit the lay guide pins and 3 picas on the right side of the chase to avoid the grippers from biting into your image or type. This enables you to trim that crease off.


I don’t have expierence but they seem to me simply metal blocks to create spaces in the layout (the so called furnitures: http://www.micaprintmaking.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/10/furniture.jpg)!!

Perhaps the seller is collecting them and re-selling like a good item to make bases.

Perhaps the old lead furnitures where made of the height of the type without the type symbo, so they can be used to make bases.

The thing we need to understand is the correct planarity and so the correct impression (same pressure in every area of the base made with furnitures)

However, can anybody answer to my enigmas please?!

Thanks :)

Casey and Fabio, I have been in the printing and publishing business for 40 years now and am always glad to share out information, as many people using this site will have noticed. I’m trained as a typesetter and printer in letterpress, have been working in offset and work as a professional bookdesigner. I am in the possession of a printshop (right now in storage) and also in the owner of aluminium furniture and a full case of aluminium bases for blocks. Maybe they never made them in the UK, or maybe you never did see them, but from the pages of the catalogue you can clearly see, that these blocks were made to accomodate different thickness of plates and stereos. I’m trying to give good advice and get sometimes annoyed and tired with the disbelief and ignorance I meet. The seller of the material is a retired ‘Meister’ typesetter and sells the highest quality materials and is not at all trying to sell furniture as bases.
A quick translation from the book I had to use in 1969 when I trained: ‘Aluminium is used a lot nowadays for mounting blocks. The typefoundries sell them in different sizes, enabling the user to create a space that will accomodate the block or plate. The material is manufactured to the correct height, i.e. type height minus the thickness of the plate.

I have, by no means, been in the industry very long, but the man who trained me on his Heidelberg used this system for mounting his steel-backed photopolymer plates. I do know that he spent a fair amount of time in Germany, so he may have picked up the idea from his visits there.

furniture or metal blocks, looks like elrod material to me, no matter what it is, .918 is what your overall height must be, Dick G.

Sorry Dickg, .0918 will do in the USA, but Fabio is based in Italy and needs 23.56 mm. If he decides to use 2 mm photopolymer plates, he will need a base or blocks that are 21.56 mm high. In other words: red colour coded blocks.
Italy, Germany, France, Switzerland and most parts of Belgium are all working with the 23.56 mm.

keep forgetting that, thanks Thomas, Dick G.

@thomas gravemaker:
i truely believe in what you said and I didn’t want to be unpolite, but how is the planarity using those aluminum blocks like base?

A thing is lighting my mind, perhaps those aluminum blocks where used like base for the metal plates in the past?!

..and for this they can be used also with photopolymers?!

Can you please send me the catalogue files privately? I can’t red them (i’m sending you my email)

However the typography where I worked used those block like base (I can confirm this thing also for Italy).


Fabio, I will send you the address of the supplier to your e-mail, as well as the catalogue. I have succesfully used and will continue to use aluminium blocks myself. I have to admit, that I use metal backed 2 mm photopolymer plates, Duplofol adhesive and that the accuracy of the blocks is perfect.

Hello Thomas,
thanks for everything.

Just a thing I can’t continue to understand:

What about if I have to print sheets with thickness of 1mm? Do I need to remove all the packing?


No, you adjust the pressure on the press, i.e. more or less pressure, depending on the weight of the paper that you will print on.

Thanks Thomas,
I’ll check when I’ll have operative the windmill :)