Windmill Knurled Ring(s) Seized

The knurled rings, as the manual calls them have become stuck on my Windmill. I can still easily throw off and on impression with the lever, but the rings won’t turn at all and is stuck around 2.

The manual also talks of the lower ring turning independent of the upper ring. The upper ring being a lock and the lower doing the actual adjustment. My rings have always turned together and I was unaware of the lock. Perhaps I’ve locked mine down too tight?

Would anybody care to let me know how the rings should work, and any other suggestions on how to tackle this problem? Thanks!

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+ 1 on the question: how the rings should work

Only input I have is that in the winter I have noticed that the
impression handle doesn’t want to pull out real easy
Also, when off impression it has a tendency to move
in and out slightly

I have two windmills, one is fine but the older one from the 50s the impression keeps adding while it runs, I have to tape the rings to stop this. When it adds too much impression I can’t break the rings, so I try to back up both together then when its back around the zero I can break the rings apart.

Yes, the upper ring is the lock. The rings should move independently unless the lock ring is tight. A good grip and twist should get the lock loose. Warming the rings with a hair-dryer might help.

I might try to un-thread the lock ring entirely and check for gummy oil and debris in the threads.

Thanks for the info everybody.

It looks like I may need to soak the area in WD40 or something. I’ve tried loosening by hand with no luck. It’s stuck very tight. I’m wondering if there is a way to removed the entire shaft to work on and then re-install.

Everything comes apart, but that might be overkill.

No joke about the hair dryer, or even a heat gun… heat is very good at loosening up stubborn threaded parts. (Wear gloves.)

a couple of times I had to use pipe wrenches to loosen them, but be careful not to gouge the shaft.

@AnonyMouse - I’ll try that tonight!

@dickg - That will probably be my last resort. Thanks!

Sometimes I have found that if you can back off on the impression by turning both rings counterclockwise to a point that they spin rather easily you have a better chance at breaking them apart.

So, today I was in the shop trying to troubleshoot this and finish up a project and found something odd.

I can turn the entire impression shaft to adjust the impression. It turns very easily. The knurled rings are still stuck and won’t budge. But, I was able to finish my job up quite well by just turning the entire shaft to increase impression. Very odd…

I’ve had mine seize and had to take a pair of channel locks to them.