Heidelberg T Windmill AU

Hey there Briar Press community! i’ve been lurking for a while but finally need some help.

I’m after some advice with purchasing a Heidelberg. Me and my girlfriend are planning to start up a letterpress studio, and we were planning to start with an Adana and eventually work up to something bigger, but seeing as the Adana’s we’ve found seem to go for close to a grand, we thought we might as well jump on something bigger!

I’ve sourced this windmill press pictured below, and just waiting on some more information on it’s condition/workability. For some reason it seems to have tape on the top plate thing which is weird, and ink on the rollers (not sure if thats a good thing!?). It’s residing in a printery, tho i havent heard if it’s been used recently. They are asking for $1300.

I would have to get it from Tamworth to Wollongong (6 hours drive), so i was wondering what courier/freighting companies fellow australians have used with their windmills/other presses?

also any issues i should look out for with this press? the contracted seller (not the owner) said its around a 1965 model, does this seem right?
i plan on trying to get some work experience on a windmill in Sydney to learn the machine.

any info would be much appreciated!

image: Heidelberg H222.jpg

Heidelberg H222.jpg

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The tape on the top plate seems common, from years of use these plates start to come apart, my windmills have tape there too. Someone didn’t wash up the press, dried ink is hard to remove, but with a little elbow grease it should come off. The only way to tell its age is by the serial number, i think this press is from the 1950’s. The serial number is located on the top right side of the table that holds the delivery and feeder, on the delivery the right hand delivery follow it down to the table and the number should be there. Good Luck Dick G.

Thanks for the info Dick! I thought it might either be dried ink, or (hopeful thinking!) that the pic may have been taken after being used, and was just wet ink before being cleaned…. I guess we’ll soon see!

I’ve asked for a guarantee of it’s working condition before I drive 6 hrs to check if i wish to purchase it, so hopefully it is! Still awaiting quotes for possible transport for it. Hopefully not tooo expensive.

On another note, are there any known Heidelberg mechanics/servicemen available to fix a press in aus? Or has everyone just learnt how to fix the presses themselves?

*Sorry double posted*

Looks like a nice machine and looks like it still has the original hoses on it also!

You might find someone local but I think most people repair them selves. Any person with a little mechanical ability and advise/info can do most of any repairs that these presses need.

My advise to you should you buy it would be… oil it, oil it, oil it. You keep it well oiled and don’t push the limits of the press you will be fine. Especially if you can avoid accidents to the press from rushing and not paying attention……..make sure chase is locked in place, make sure die jacket is firmly snapped in.

And if both arms on the press are true to each other……make it a point to not bend them in any way.
We oil our presses the way they are recommended by the plate the back side of the machine and have had very,very little repair needed on them.

Repairs that I can remember since 1995…

A bowden cable or 2
A sealed bearing in the top steel roller.
An electrical motor needed a rebuild.
Replacing a worn feed table gear.
And the “lever for the pump drive”…..that was fun!
And that is about it.

Good Luck to you!
Dave L

I’m in Tasmania and we work with Adanas and with a grand old Heidelberg. This one is a 1950’s as is ours. I love it. The guards are often if not always like this- because of bored printers leaning against them (dreaming of the car, the surf, the girlfriend etc). Thats not a worry at all. They are tricky to lift, but have holes through which bars can be passed and you can fit a lifting hook by removing the chase lock catch. They are a great press. As to condition, judge it by any sign of smashes (brazing, etc) and get the platen close to closing and shake it. Up to 20mm is OK. Also talk to the previous owners of course!.

sooo, i’m on hold with the press above as they cannot say what condition it is in and there is noone to fire it up for me unless i do it my self… which i’m not willing to drive 6 hrs to find a lemon…. (they also want a deposit for the info/address… which to me sounds dodgy)

but i’ve found two more windmills, both around 10-12hr drive, but they are MUCH cheaper (around $1000 cheaper!). The first one is ridiculously rusty, but is working. The second is sold as is, but has less rust.

my question to you guys is, would i be able to clean these up enough/get rid of all the rust? or are they too far gone?

caught in two minds whether i should save a cheap press which needs alot of love, or should i wait for one thats more expensive in good condition? (all the presses i’ve found are in other states so transportation needs to be taken into account)

any info/opinions would be greatly appreciated!!

image: windmill 2.jpg

windmill 2.jpg

image: windmill.jpg


the bottom one is the working/rusty one (they switched when i posted for some reason)

HI Watermarx graphics here from Sydney - when you get up and running and you need plates made - give us a holler - we are about to start making dies for other letterpress printers as it does not seem to be something that is readily availble unless you make them yourself. 02 9905 8127

Hi Blackbear honeybear. I am a graphic designer based in brisbane. I Have been doing letterpress on my albion and gordon franklin press but recently purchased a platen t like the ones you are looking at. You absolutely can clean an old one up but it is a lot of work and can be quite costly. The parts cost on these presses is always more than the purchase price. I looked at a couple that were in poor condition before I bought the one I did… and it definitely works out more cost effective to get one ready to go so unless you want to rescue and restore and are particularly mechanically minded I would recommend you wait to find a good one. Re servicing up here in brisbane there are several service people that know the platen t’s well I would recommend contacting Heidelberg to see if any of their staff are still familiar with the machines alternatively they could probably recommend someone local to you.

Good advice from the above. I just gave similar advice to another Aussie (letterpress seems to be taking off there?). She was tempted by a lemon, but there are bound to be presses in good shape if you are patient. A heidelberg is not really a press that you want to spend time restoring. Parts are crazy expensive, and there are lots of little parts that can go missing on a long neglected press. If you don’t know exactly what to look for, you may find your press need thousands of dollars of replacement parts. Buy a nice press for more money.
Just like restoring an old car, you don’t do it to save money or have a car, you do it cause you like the whole restoration process, but you always spend more in the end.