Moving a Thompson Auto Platen

Hi there - Greeting from Ireland!

I have recently taken ownership of a Heidelberg Windmill. I need to move it from it’s current home, it’s a tight enough squeeze, but manageable thanks to some of the excellent info found in some existing threads. I plan to utilise the holes in the base and follow the steps outlines here: - that’s all fine.

The issue is this, there’s a caveat that the press comes with a second press; a Thompson Auto Platen - and that’s looking like it’ll be a little trickier to move.

The plan here is to follow Max Schmidts steps outlined with this illustration: and take it from there. This will be a little tricky as this press is in a corner and as such there’s very little space for leverage.

So - incase I missing something really obvious (like the holes in the windmill base) that might make the process go a bit more smoothly. Or any general advice on Moving the Thompson would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks in advance.


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In both cases, H.berg & Thompson,! A ring bolt screws in under the Forme Retaining clip, and lifted with lorry mounted crane or with 2 Ton capacity Engine lifting (wheeled) crane at Shortest arm,


Hired machinery moving *Skates* they both M/c,s have (basically) completely flat bases,


At least 3 Steel tubes, for rolling.i.e. 2 scaffold type tubes at approx., 2” and one steam barrel tube at 2 & 1/4” and a 6 Foot Pinch Bar with a jockey wheel at the foot.

The ring bolt(s) are respectively Metric for the H/berg and Imperial for the Thompson.!!

Tight space = No problem with 3 tubes as above and with the pinch bar, and assuming there is line of sight in one direction, with the pinch bar lifting and 3 tubes slipped under progressively at increasing angles the M.c,s can not only be rolled around very tight corners, but can also be turned through 360 Degrees in their own length, if required.

Thanks a million Mick. Top option is out - very little clearance, it’s a tight room. I used an engine crane to great effect moving a Korrex Berlin - pretty scary watching the press when it’s airborne! I think the moving skates could be the answer though - they look perfect. Thanks again for the reply. Much appreciated.

“I plan to utilise the holes in the base” I am relieved to see that your going to use the holes. Preferably with some heavy Pry bars you slide thru, that won’t bend and a heavy duty fort lift. They have to be long enough to catch the forks.
Put some heavy cardboard, between the lift and the front of the press to protect it.

I put my presses on some 6 x 6 oak and then created a work area plat form around it.

When moving it, keep it as close to the ground as possible, don’t let them raise it up high. Less height to fall from, if it would slip.

Good luck THEO

I have just moved a Heidelberg platen and a vertical miehle.
For the platen I used 2 scaffold type tubes(need to be slightly smaller diameter to fit the holes in the base and about 6feet long) using a pallet truck, one side was lifted up at a time and the bars were blocked up then do the same on the other side, eventually getting high enough to put the press on a reinforced pallet that could then be moved using the pallet truck. The Miehle was put on skates by fork lift, once in position I used a pinch bar to raise the press and block up on wood so the skates could be removed then lowered using the pinch bar again to lift each corner of press in turn and removing some of the wood packing each time until the press was on the ground. Hope this helps.

Dave D. Thanks! & Good luck.
One more for the future, not needed now obviously we inherited a Rolling Gantry some time ago, but can almost certainly be hired nowadays = 2 substantial upside down *T* s with 6” cast iron wheels (like in line skates) x 2, Ladder rack style steel peg holes, to achieve virtually any Max./Min. height with R.S.J. cross beam carrying Chain hoist.

The whole shooting match used to Dismantle (down to the bed) H/berg. Cylinder. where there was as little as 18” headroom above.

We have a fair amount of info, re Thompson,s & H/bergs. some spares for Both, hit the lines of communication any time, Mick.