tricky moving situation with Heidelberg 10x15

Hello all!

I have just been gifted a Heidelberg 10X15 by my grandfather.
I just had my first printing lesson tonight. LOVED IT!

The press is down in his basement and needs to be moved in the very near future. Here is my problem…I am unsure of how to get it out of the house. I am wondering if it can be taken apart to be moved out of a regular width doorway? The person giving me the lesson tonight thought my grandparents may have built the house around the press and that we would have to knock out walls and doors to get this one out.

I don’t have a lot of money to throw at this situation but I do understand professional movers are a must for something of this nature. I am just hoping I don’t have to hire a contractor to knock out and rebuild walls…

Tell me it isn’t so!

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Windmills are great presses, they are not the easiest things to take apart, i moved one into my mom’s basement a long time ago and i took off the front of the press, feed and delivery table. Had to remove the door and the frame to get it in, when the house sold the press went with it, couldn’t get it out. I hired a man to put the press in the cellar, he said he worked alone and i had to hold the rope to lower the press down, i thought he was nuts but after 9 hours the press was in the basement. I’ll never put a thing in a basement again. Dick G.

You don’t say whether it has to be hoisted up through a bulkhead opening or if it just needs to be moved through a door. I’ve moved two windmills in and out of basements and a 46 inch wide bulkhead was a tight fit. Right now I’m parting one out and rebuilding another that was in a fire. Everything on a windmill is a perfect fit - near zero clearance on all parts that go together and numerous tapered pins. They don’t come apart easily.

It doesn’t have to be hoisted out a bulkhead, thankfully. There are maybe two tiny steps to move over to get up and out.

Sounds like it might be the easiest thing to just knock out the door and bit of the wall…rather than taking the press apart and re-piecing it.

Darn! That’s what I was afraid of.

I would rather reframe and sheetrock an entire basement than take that beast apart.

The cost of reframing and sheetrock is less than a printing print that will not print correctly.

Most of my spare parts for my windmill came from a man who stripped one down to get it out of a cellar, after months of trying to put it back together he finally gave up. Dick G.

Thanks so much for all the feedback. Looks like I will NOT be taking it apart. Basically everyone I have talked to here and elsewhere has told me it’s not worth it.

There are parts of it that can be taken off easily to streamline things a bit, right? The motor? Feed tray? Paper tray?

If you don’t have to i would not take anything off, windmills have a pretty small base and are easily tipped over, call in a rigger, they will look at it and tell you exactly what you have to do, like how much wall has to be opened up so they can get it out. Riggers are not cheap, but they are worth it, they know what to do and have the right equipment to get the job done right. good luck Dick G.

Frances -

I agree with Dick and the others. I have two Windmills and have moved them a few times - fully intact.

Although I do know ONE printer who actually disassembled a Windmill in a basement and removed it in pieces, he’s the only one I know who actually got it apart and subsequently put it back together again - and he was a trained mechanical engineer before being bitten by the letterpress bug.

Carpenter skills are easier to come by and although this press *could* in theory be taken apart, moved and then reassembled, I think that widening the doorway would be much easier for you in the long run.

And, when you do get it out into the open, I strongly recommend using a low trailer for the move. It will be safer and easier to unload at the other end. Very few lift gates will safely handle the weight of the Windmill.

The Windmill can be easily rolled across a flat surface on pipes or on a pallet-jack, but be really, really careful about raising it up more than a few inches - no matter HOW much confidence the riggers have that they can do it.

Yes. these presses have been rigged many ways - even lifted to second stories using a hook that can mount in the top of the press, but the two holes in the base will take steel pipes and then the press can be raised up slightly - just enough to get rolling pipes or a pallet jack beneath it.

Most of all, be careful that no one - nor the press - are hurt in the moving process. This is not a trivial move.

- Alan

I know I don’t want to take the press apart…BUT…are there pieces that can be streamlined? My grandfather swears he got it in this one door. Do feed/delivery trays fold in to make her skinnier?

dickg - re: machinery not working right after being disassembled for moving - sounds like the story of one of the Linotype #14s the deaf school here had. One of the people charged with re-erecting the machine (purchased second-hand) said they kept getting interrupted and never got it back together right; it mainly ended up being a “parts machine” for the other #14 and the #8 that were in the same lab.