Small envelopes on a Windmill

Can anyone offer some guidance on printing small drug-style envelopes (2 5/16 x 3 5/8) on a Windmill? I’ve done pre-cut business cards, so I imagine it’s just the same, but I’m interested in opinions of those more experienced.

It’s a 1-color job and it will come to almost 1/4” from the edge. I was planning on going without guides. Given feeding variations, is it best to use a rubber blanket for packing so the envelope prints cleanly across the various seams?

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I like to use gauges but if i were to run it without i would split my feed table and run the stock on the right of the center divider, and would also use a rubber blanket.

Where does one get a rubber blanket for this type of job….


I use a piece cut from an old offset press blanket, usually discarded when they get smashed and can’t be used for offset printing any more. For my size presses any size blanket will yield a large enough piece, or two. I put a piece of thick acetate or mylar over it, under the tympan, to even out the impression.


I have run small envelopes 2-up on the Windmill in a past life. Use the feed table divider (if you have it) and use a very thin rubber sheet on the platen. You can get rubber dentist’s dam from most industrial supply houses. This only works if you are certain of feeding both envelopes each time, but works well to cut down the time required for a long run.

If you are using photopolymer plates, you could get a plate with a lower durometer and just let the plate flex where the seams occur.

Dickg, The problem I’ve had with gauges is that the lay bar guide pins end up leaving impressions in the paper b/c of the boxcar base. The image I’m printing extends to almost 1/4” on each margin, which doesn’t leave me any wiggle room with the base.

The best quality IMO is this:
1. Run the envelopes to the guides like a business card.
2. After getting position, print your form on the tympan top sheet.
3. Take the tympan off the press, put it on the light table.
4. Cut out the low areas using a sheet of the stock to be run.
5. Tape the MR on the underside of the tympan.
6. Run.

You could of course cut open th sleeve of a rubber glove we call them marigolds here the lady of the house wears them for washing the dishes ,not the heavy industrial type .
to use pins that dont wreck your mount (boxcar to you) replace the steel lay pins as we call them with the nylon bristles of a yard broom ,fold in half , push as far into your lay gauge as poss and put a small piece of sticky tape across the protuding ends beneath the lay to stop it being knocked out of the holes.. they just squash flat if they catch your mount or zinc plate, not much help if you hit the polymers but you wont ruin your base.

Part T0278 F is called into use for jobs like this , do you have it? is the envelope with a square cornered flap ? if so open them and grip them by that .

Thanks, Peter. I’m going to look and see if I have that part.

you may also look to see if you have the grip reducers they look like shepherds crooks are about ten inches long one quarter inch wide and three sixteenths thick they hang on to the paper side of the feedboard thus holding the stack away from the feedboard front which reduces the amount of paper held in the gripper at the feeder.