Storing a Heidelberg

Hi all, I was hoping someone could advise me on storing a Heidelberg windmill.

I’m considering purchasing one (we don’t have the exact model but the current owner tells us through his translator/son that it’s late 1940s). I’m currently living overseas and therefore the machine is going to be sitting idle for anywhere from 6 to 24 months until I decide to move home (Australia). What are some of the precautions I should take or maintenance which should be regularly performed even while it’s not in use?

This may be a stupid question, but I read everywhere about how important it is to oil everyday and assume that it applies to machines in use, but I also know that oil is just as much a victim of gravity as the rest of us, so possibly this is something I still need to be doing even when idle, although perhaps at less regular intervals. I’m clearly no expert when it comes to machinery and although the machine will be in the care of people who are, I just wanted to get some advice from people who know presses.

The machine will be stored in my brother’s garage, so it will also be possible to run the machine occasionally if that helps, but I obviously don’t want to burden him with too much upkeep until I return.

I’d be extremely grateful for any and all advice or tips you may have on this. Thanks!

Log in to reply   4 replies so far

Well tried and tested method follows:-
If at all possible pump some thicker than normal oil through the central oiling system, preferably Running, 25-30 pulls on the central lubrication system, not essential to run but preferable, gravity will do the job in the fullness of time.
If possible store and raise the entire M/c. blocked at 4 corners, NOT single piece, 1” - 1&1/2” to allow air to circulate.
Next spray the entire M/c with Finnegans or Hammerite (or equivalent, OZ maybe) WAX OIL as used within and under the obscured parts of Cars/Autos inc inside the Chassis Box sections, Fineggans or Hammerite specifically, the tar based material allows moisture to seep in and under, Wax Oil is long term Foolproof, covered/sheeted as well but not with Plastic membrane, it sweats, and does more harm than good, if at all sheeted with 2/3, metre wide sheets of Mineral Roofing felt, a few ounces (if possible) of *Silica Gel* in the Ink Duct, dried out occasionally.?? always helps.

Rollers, stored in a cool dry atmosphere, out of sunlight, always horizontally, on purpose made Rack or Cup Hooks, air gap all around, each one, turned/rotated 180 degrees, occasionally, (preferably?) fingertips and plastic covered cup hooks are excellent/
No attention for prolonged periods can be helped by coating the compound with Vaseline - Petroleum Jelly.

Back into service, whenever? The Wax Oil is easily removed with any conventional spirit, as is Vaseline.!!

Good Luck. Mick.

Mick’s comments are quite to the point. Painted parts can stand without coating, but bare metal parts should be liberally coated with grease or Vaseline as he indicates. Don’t forget to coat the platen. It may be covered with tympani paper which schools be removed, as the packing paper can wick in moisture from humid air. The comment on allowing airflow is quite important.

John Henry

Spray Fluid Film on it. But I wouldn’t buy one that old
Prices are down on them. Buy one with lockouts.

Thanks for the advice, guys. Especially Mick – very through, that’s going to be very helpful! Very, very much appreciated. I’ll pass it on to my brother to whom it will make more sense as he’s got the machine in front of him.

Theo: Am I right in assuming that without lock outs, I will need to remove the rollers whenever I’m not using ink? Blind em/debossing etc? How big of a hassle is this? It’s just I haven’t seen any red balls for sale over the last few years in our area (Melbourne) and if I go too far afield, the cost of transporting it becomes an issue. I guess, as I’m just starting out, I’m viewing this as my “beginners press” and if it goes well, I’ll look to upgrading to a red ball and wear the transport costs at a later stage.