Windmill Spray bottle

Hey guys,

How neccessary is it to have the spray aparatus for a Heidelberg Windmill ? I understand if you doing large solids and that its a must but i will mainly be doing short runs (50-200) and size will either be DL or around A5 with low chance of large solid areas.

I want to get one but im in South Africa and cannot seem to find anything on them, even just online in general i cannot find anything on the spray aparatus….


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My press never had one on it and I’ve never missed it. Even running large solids I’ve never had an issue with offsetting. If you’re printing on soft uncoated papers like most of us you shouldn’t worry about it.

This philosophy works until you’re in a rush: “Don’t buy it until you need it”.

In the absence of any form of Anti Set Off spray and unavailability of any form of the same, with such short runs envisaged follows:-
Even if full out Solids are involved, the method is to interleave on the run, with stock possibly cut to fractionally bigger than the job! for knocking out/separating.

Interleaving stock, usually El cheapo Copier or News print etc.! Can be left in for trimming and then De-collated before finishing.

When I got my Heidelberg Windmill, I was instructed by an old family friend (who used to work in my dad’s print shop 40+ years ago) that the spray option was not worth it… the powder will build up on the press and the clean-ups are pain in the butt. If I remember correctly, he also told me that when the powder coats on the press, you need a chisel to knock it out.

He’s a guy who’s still runs these presses everyday and repairs them for a living, and he is very esteemed in the letterpress community here in Los Angeles. While I can’t firsthand say that’s it’s unnecessary to use the spray option, I can tell you that this guy is like Moses on the Mountain to me when it comes to letterpress printing. If he tells me I don’t need the spray option, then I don’t need the spray option. I think you’ll be good to go without it. :-)

Good Luck!

I seem to recall that the windmill came with an anti-offset spray unit designed to spray a liquid anti-setoff spray, not powder, but I don’t know if the liquid is still manufactured since all the other sprays I have seen have been powder.

Am I dreaming (nightmares)?

John Henry

if you are using offset inks and medium grain powder it will not coat that much on the press and will allow you to relax and cut your job the same day.

When I first got into the industry in 1970 I learned on a 10 x 15 Windmill that had a liquid (cobalt, I believe) spray dryer. You had to be careful to not run to much dryer or larger coverage areas would crack while drying. Thorough clean up after the job run was critical.

John Henry you are not dreaming, that stuff still gives me nightmares, I used it once, been over 30 years and I’m still trying to get the stuff off the press.

Thanks for all the replies :) i think i will do without it for now, it will be rarely necessary for me to cut the job the same day and if i do ill just have to make a plan. I have someone coming in on Saturday whos going to be my mentor for letterpress…cant wait !

Talking about nightmares, as i mentioned above, i live in South Africa so getting help for letterpress is quite difficult, people here just see everyone as competition and will rarely help you out, its a shame because i see how much you guys in America and other parts of the world are so willing to lend a helping hand even if they are in the same market…after all competition is good !

Next time i come down to the states im definitely going to check out a few workshops and hopefully expand my knowledge as this is something i can see myself doing till im old and grey :)

Thanks again everyone