Windmill guide problem

I was running Lettra 220 for the first time on my 10x15 Windmill and I kept losing the right guide (looking at the press). It kept getting kicked off the bar and, subsequently, getting a bit beaten up by the machine. See the photo. It’s clearly bent up. Is this thing dead and I need to replace it? Why wasn’t it sitting in place? I had no packing, just a single sheet of tympan in place.

Clearly I did something wrong. But what?

image: windmill guide.jpg

windmill guide.jpg

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The screws on the lower part of the guide come loose to adjust clamp pressure. Make sure they are set tight enough that they don’t get kicked off, but loose enough that you can get it off when you want to.

I bet that guide is toast, but no harm in trying it out again other than wasting very expensive paper and time.

Your guide bar might be coming up too quickly and hitting paper still caught in the gripper arm which hasn’t engaged, but you’d probably see this in the paper if it were so.

I did see some chinks/slight tears in the paper in a spot that looks like it was possibly hitting that guide on the way to delivery. Perhaps that was what was knocking it off the bar. I eventually ran it without that guide. Not sure if I’m going to be able to register my second color, though, which sucks.

Where would I find another guide? What’s the exact name for it?

I don’t really want to do the research for you, but it’s in the parts book, it’s got a code. If you want one in definite working order, and quickly, try usual heidelberg suspects, Whittenburg Inc, Demers, Hicks Bros, Don Black or direct from Heidelberg. Won’t be cheap.

I can’t tell from your picture if it’s a brass or nickel guide, but that’s the first thing to decide. Looks brass, but could just be the light. If you are unable to tell the difference between them this could be your problem as well, if the left feed standard is set to the wrong guide stop.

A wanted ad here might help you out, it sounds like Dick always has extra guides laying around.

I try to scrounge all the parts and little gadgets i can, i’ve been fortunate to get parts from 2 or 3 windmills that went to the junk man, but i’ve run out of extra gauges i think. Let me know if its a brass of nickle gauge and i’ll look thru my junk for one. Dick G.

Thanks, modernman and dickg. That’s enough info for me to go research it better myself. I’m not sure I realized there were different stops for the guides, which could definitely be a problem. I’ll have to compare it to some of the other guides to determine if it’s nickel or brass. I had thought it was nickel.

It does look like a nickel gauge, if you want i will look and see if i have an extra one, let me know. Dick G. ps nickle gauges are silver and brass are brass color, i myself run windmills daily, brass gauges are all i run, maybe once or twice a year i use nickle gauges, but i like the brass better. Nickle gauges cut down on the margin you need but are harder to set up.

I did a quick check around. Is it really possible a nickel gauge costs over $700!? I think I’ll be checking to see if I have brass gauges floating around! If you have another, dickg, and you’re willing to share, I’d be grateful. I’m going to look through my spare parts as well.

Buy from Don Black Line casting, Fair Price and top Service.

Jonsel, i checked my spare parts and i’ve already got rid of all my spare gauges. Dick G.

Stretching my memory back some 17 years, the gauge in the photo is definitely not a right hand brass.
Look in the parts book and you will see there are no holes for gauge pins: the paper rests in a U shaped channel.
To me it looks like a left hand nickel gauge.

I found my parts book finally. It’s part T 0242F, which is the right nickel gauge. There are holes for the lay pins.

The nickel guide has a much smaller print margin than the brass (3 pts compared to 14 or something?) If you have the left feed standard set to the stop for brass guides, the paper will be about 10pts too low in the gripper and may contact the guide before the gripper releases the paper. Just FYI, in your previous posts you made it out that you weren’t familiar with the differences between the two or that there were different feed standard settings. Make sure you’ve got it set correctly.


I have looked through my bits and found a nickel lay, but I am in the U.K. if you are interested please get back to me, I normally sell my items on e-bay, it is the same as in the picture but this one has 2 pins inserted in the end, regards John.

I think I’ve found one locally, but I appreciate the offer. Demers has them as well for about $180, so I may just buy a spare set.

Good to hear you have found one, 180 still sounds expensive to me and as for 700 from Heidelberg , I would want it gold plated, I recently let a friend have a spare brass lay because he had lost his, I would like to have seen his face if I had asked for £180, regards John.

hello again, if you want another spare I have just listed another on item no. 220897559495 I will post worldwide, regards John.

I bought two brass lays ten years ago they cost £200. for the pair , I am in the process of supplying two brass lays and 1 short tympan bar , the chap is offering $75 +posting or carriage , I feel that is fair ,yes they are expensive to buy but how do hobby printers find that sort of money . If you printing commercial i would charge the same as heidelberg even for second hand I would feel shitty to do that to somone who is only having a play as it were

If i were you i would dismantle that one heat it to the flame colours up and quench it ,once you have done that hammer it back to flat or squash it in a vice , re assemble it ,make sure it is quite tight on the lay bar and you will be ok. , I wonder did you forget to set the sheet release cam to with guages and that thick stuff you are printing on picked it off the bar ?
Forgot . try not to collapse the holes but if yo do get a small drill and open them back up. When you fitted the lay did you manually raise and lower the lay bar to check that the lay cleared all parts .

That thing was so mangled, there was no saving it. I haven’t had any trouble since acquiring my “new” set of gauges. Granted, I haven’t run 220 Lettra in there since! I’m keeping that stuff on the Vandercook for now.

Clean it up , mount it on something as a reminder to check everything you do twice before you engage the drive and push the feed button in !!!!

Heh, yeah lesson learned on that!