Frequent Lock Ups on Windmill 10 x 15

I seem to get frequent lockups on my windmill. I’ve had the press a while but just recently started running paper and ink through it since it took a while to get the hang of feeding. The first lockup freaked me out and I called an expert who walked me through a method to get it unstuck. He taught me how to use a screw driver as leverage on the white disk on the right side of the flywheel while simultaneously working the flywheel back and forth until it turns backwards a very slight bit (fractions of an inch usually). Then I turn off impression and cycle it through.

This process has worked each and every time. But over two days I’ve had probably 5 or more lock ups. They tend to happen when I’m running the press slow while checking for delivery issues since I also think I have a static problem I can’t seem to resolve. If I don’t start and stop the press a lot, I can feed and impress numerous pages without any lockup issues typically. My registration is poor but it flows just fine. It seems to occur most often when I’m trying to troubleshoot my register/static problems.

With that said, the first lock up was probably due to over packing, I think. It could’ve been a combination of packing and impression so I’ve been cautious about that since – making sure it always fits into that notch on the delivery side and turned the impression lever down. A few other lockups were probably the impression strength. I had started with the lever around 3 on the first lockup and then after another lockup I went down to 2 and have continued to lower it into the 1 area on the last few lockups. I’d lower to 0 but I’m afraid the impression will be super weak. I’ve also changed my packing a couple times. Since I’ve read and been told that you usually pack with at least one of the paper your running I tried that first (110# Lettra). I have a .015” plastic sheet that I use instead of tympan but I’m going to switch to tympan tonight since there has been too many static issues.

Here are my specifications:

Running On Guides
Printing Stock: Lettra 110# (6.25” x 8.25”)
Initial Lockup Packing: .015” plastic sheet, two sheets lettra 110#.
Subsequent Packing Attempts: .015” plastic sheet, two sheets 67lb cover staples cardstock, one sheet 20# copy paper;
.015” plastic sheet, one sheet lettra 110#, one sheet 20# copy paper;
.015” plastic sheet, one sheet lettra 110#. Various versions of each of those as well. They always easily fit into the notch on the delivery area bar.

Tonight I plan to switch to tympan and go back to a single sheet of the staples cardstock and maybe a sheet or two of 20# copy paper. I plan to turn impression to 0 and move up from there until I get a good impression. I haven’t attempted any makeready as of yet since I have been pleased with the impressions I was getting thus far.

Final question: If I’m still getting impression does that mean it’s safe to assume my shearing collar is still good? I’ve looked back in the area it’s supposed to be but I’m not sure what to look for. Everything looks normal from what I can tell.

Thank you all for any feedback or input.

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Sometimes even if your shearing collar is damaged, you may get impression just not consistent.

it’s good to always use the packing gauge, what ever you put in there it should be snug not loose.

I would suggest that you need some professional instruction to run your press. Even one hour will help you tremendously. You should be well versed on maintaining and safety.

The shear collar is located under the round circle of bolts.
is where you can get the red press board.
This is good to use in your packing. It’s a very hard paper that will last awhile. I been using a coated cover in addition to the press board.

I would say that your adjustment on the sucker bar, is not at enough of an angle. This will pull the single sheet up and away from the pile. You also want to only blow about 5 or less sheets up to the suckers. (This all depends on the stock and any curl to the sheets.) Your air adjustments will help control this. You also might benefit from putting a piece of furniture under your paper to make the paper change its character (how it acts in the feeder) Laying it length wise, (Left & right) This helps with paper that has static and curl. Your blowers in the front of the stack should be as low as possible, just to blow up enough sheets. I usually have enough blower to have another sheet just under the sheet that is picked-up in the sucker. A Tail drag will help with paper that has static. (FAN STOCK before) Always back off your impression and work up to a normal level. Just enough impression— just enough ink.

This press is easy to operate if you know what your doing.

Thank you for the info. How can I tell if my shearing collar is broken without taking the machine apart? If I take a picture of mine do you think you’d be able to tell if something is wrong?

Actually, the only reason I’ve gotten this far is because I took a 3 day course on the press recently.

The only reason I use plastic is because the press instructor used it during training and suggested we use it as well. I’ve also tried to order red press board from NA but they said they were out. I made sure the plastic was the same thickness as red press board in order to mimic that item.

I’ve gotten consistent feeding just not consistent register. I’ve slowly walked the press along to watch what is happening and I see that the sheet is clinging to the plastic. Occasionally it will slide down fully into the guides and hit register but more often it will cling.

I’ve tried a few things to remove the static cling but I’ve now decided to give up on the plastic and cover the packing with tympan and use the plastic under the tympan as if it were red press board. I’m hoping that helps the register issue.

The frequent lock ups concern me but I am just not sure how to tell if my shearing collar is broken. I’ve looked back there at what I think is the shearing collar but I’m not experienced enough to know if it’s damaged. That’s what I’m hoping to learn here.

The plastic in your packing can add static to your delivery paper. It also can cause registration issues. If you have to run it back thru it could be a nightmare.
If your shearing collar is broken or damaged you will get inconsistent or no impression at all.

If your not adding a second color or second operation, just run it commercial mode not registration.

re-read what I posted earlier I added to it.
Another source for press board… even have it in colors. and different weights.

Thanks a lot Theo, you’re very helpful. I’ll look up the tail drag thing you mentioned as I’m not sure what that is.

I am running two colors so I need it to register. I can register occasionally but just not 100%. Probably 30% of the time it hits right. It’ll register 1 or 2 maybe even 3 in a row and then the next 8 will be off. It’s madness!

I’m getting consistent impression I think? It’s hard to tell since I’ve been focusing mostly on the register issue. I’ll take a look tonight and see if I notice any inconsistencies. There’s definitely impression so at least there’s that.

We have plenty of pressboard in stock—not sure about the “they said they were out of stock.” We were having trouble getting tympan, but have it in stock now as well. Using Letra for packing is not a good idea. It is too soft and compresses to create a matrix effect. Hard packing for crisp impression, and deep impression—compress the paper stock being printed, not the packing.

Fritz/NA Graphics

Thanks Fritz, I’ll probably put in an order then. Thanks for the heads up.

Fritz, I have some generic 67lb cover cardstock from staples and regular 20# printer/copier paper as well as the Lettra. I was planning to use the cardstock and 20# tonight and leave the Lettra out entirely. Is there any other stocks you’d suggest for a good nice hard packing?

I’d run the press without ink to check your impression. That will give you a good idea whether the shear collar is broken or not.

The lockups are likely due to misfeeds where the machine grabs 4 or 5 sheets instead of the 1. That’s almost always the source of a lockup for me. As Theo said, adjust your sucker bar angle and adjust the flexible fingers (can’t think of the correct term right now!) in the feed board that can keep multiple sheets from feeding at once. Are you using extra suckers or the slide-on sucker bar? That can cause extra pickups as well. I only use detachable suckers when running heavy stocks like Lettra 220. For Lettra 110, I keep the suckers bare.

If it is the shear collar I have excellent used one in stock. I also have one listed currently on eBay with photos so you can see what it looks like…just type in Heidelberg shear collar and it should come up. Or search for my seller name
Larry 516-633-5107
American Graphics

Tail Drag is what I call it.

image: image.jpg


Tympan paper makes for excellent packing, coated stock as well. Avoid cover stock, soft paper like newsprint, chip board, and the like. Packing should have an even caliper, and that means a uniform and accurate thickness. A lot of throw away work can be done with what ever is handy, but careful printing requires accurate material. The chewing gum and baling wire approach is fine for work that is banged out, and a lot of Heidelberg platen press operators are turning out acceptable but mediocre work using that attitude. Packing paper made especially for press packing is another material to be considered. Mylar, or polyester can be used and it provides for a nice, hard packing.

Update: Was able to get consistent impression and able to adjust it up and down. So I think the shearing collar is OK at this point. I kept it around 2 and below since I’ve noticed it likes to lock up when it’s heading towards the 3 range. Also, I like the impression look I’m getting at 2 anyway.

The tympan paper made a big difference. I hit register a lot more ofter last night. Didn’t do nearly as well as I’d hoped but I think that might have been due to a slightly bent gripper bar which I bent back to make parallel halfway through the job. I might have been giving static too much credit since I’m sure the gripper bar definitely played a part in holding the stock against the packing and keeping it from fully hitting the guides.

The misfeeds are at a zero right now and I’ve only seen single sheets come out of the lockups. I’ve been getting really good at the feeding of this stock. Early on before the first lockup I was accidentally feeding 2 or 3 sheets at once but I think it’s pretty dialed in at this point for the feeding. Maybe I’ll post a video of the machine feeding and you guys can tell me if it’s not right.

Here’s a pic of what I got printed last night. No lockups the whole time, YAY!

image: IMG_3284.jpg


Theo, thank you for the pic. I’m actually trying to acquire that part as well as a few other parts I’m noticing I need.

Fritz, thanks for the input. I’ll look into those materials.

Jonsel, the suckers are bare. I had added cups at one point well before I had any classes on this and realized they picked up way too much. But I’ve learned a lot on feeding recently and think I’ve finally got this particular stock figured out on my press. Haven’t had any double feeds or misfeeds in a while yet.