Heidelberg Windmill Stuck

Well, this is what I get for trying to clean a windmill….

My black ball was left sitting for a number of years. Upon acquisition of I have been in the slow process of cleaning and repairing it and have regularly run it. Yesterday during a normal cleaning and oiling (I have put nearly 2 quarts into what was a dry oil well) it slowed down to a halt and is now stuck nearly closed.

To be clear: no paper was in the press, it hasn’t been feeding yet, and it never made it to full impression. The flywheel spins freely when the clutch is not engaged. The press can be put in and out of impression with ease.

Ive had issues trying to get the flywheel to back off, I’m rather uncertain about to which wheel I’m supposed to be holding with a screw driver (as per manual instructions), but I’m not sure this will help with the particular jam as it is not jammed due to over impression.

Any thoughts? I did loosen the back 5 bolts around the shear collar and that didn’t aide in loosening the press/jam.


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How is your press jammed due to over impression if there was no paper or the impression was on when this happened?

Girl with a Kluge. My apologies, that’s a typo, it should read: “’m not sure this will help with this particular jam as it’s not jammed due to over impression.

Apparently what I get for using my phone to post this … I edited the original post to be correct also.

mnreggie -
Check your idler rollers. I had one “walk” and wedged into their carrier bracket which caused it to seize up. My windmill would not turn either. If this is the case you can prevent this by installing a washer on the roller end to keep it from traveling into the support.
Easiest way is to remove them all and see it it will run.
Good Luck, and let us all know what it was that caused this.

One or Two, >possible< extra pointers, from the online Manual, Page 109! there is an excellent shot of the Back up or Reverse mechanism device. with the appropriate warning about not backing up etc.

We own the same manual, original H/berg issue!, in both cases, on line and original issue, page 109 depicts the Back Up device precisely, with slightly different wording, maybe for U.K. consumption.

The paragraph quoted verbatim follows,

By no means should the swinging platen be moved more than 3/8”or at the most 7/8” back from the forme, otherwise this will involve the risk of blocking and damaging the gripper mechanism.

*** Well documented and understood, generally but appears to be implying that problems with or damage to the grippers including the drive mechanism can be instrumental in Jams not directly attributed to impression jams,? including jams short of the full stroke of the Platen proper. As witness the original post. [nearly closed].

As You implied has run, but seized up after oiling, maintainence, etc., (the following has been known to happen) by default rubbish accumulates under the bottom arc of the platen, Odd cards, Punch outs from die-cutting including the odd piece of furniture, quoin(s) and more, normally not a problem, but when disturbed CAN be compacted by the Heel of the platen, in the down relaxed position, flashlight and mirror have been used, M/c. hove to of course, or cycled by hand, Motor OFF clutch IN, top section of the belt guard flipped open.
Direction of rotation, Clockwise,

Apologies if the above be rubbish, but may prompt more better info.

Hello, a somewhat common issue with windmills is the vacuum pump base being bumped. This will bind up the shaft and lock the press up.
Good luck
Ted Lavin
Artifcer Press

Thanks all,

Jim: I checked out the idler rollers and after removing them the press was still stuck. .

Ted: Any recommendations on fixing a bound vacuum pump base?

Mick: Thank you for the thoughts there, any best advice on how to clear out any compacted paper in the heel? I’m assuming some small hands and much patience is what’s needed eh?

check the “feel of the lock” it will give you an idea as to what you are looking for. IE, if the lock feels very “hard, as in metal to metal, then prob looking for quoins, or furniture, parts out of place, etc. A “soft” feel may indicate paper and trash. Just a thought.

M N R (apologies Your initials seem a little less formal) as Eric m implies above IF the feel seems positive and specific, Yes Quoin(s) Furniture, maybe,
Parts unlikely, suggest, mirror, swan neck flashlight, and always useful,! powerful magnet on telescopic probe often seen in the Top pocket next to the tweezers.

As Eric M implies, Soft Feel, resort to an industrial power Vacuum, Cleaner, with flexible plastic tubing, BUT providing it is self owned, Not hired or borrowed, modify the normal fish tail nozzle down to a cone shaped partial point, increases the suction to a substantial capacity, the Vacuum motor, protests of course, momentarily, but will not let go.

If it should prove to be severely compacted, can offer more, but not to worry You yet. Good Luck. Mick.

P. S. categorically NO small hands etc. Mirrors, Probes, Magnets, Hoses, ALL expendable, Hands No,!!
It is not uncommon for Scalpel blades, X-ACTO blades, etc. to end up in the base, perhaps by previous owners, often used in make ready, and underlays etc.

wild guess here but you did mention you where oiling, could it be overoiled in the clutch so its slipping.first you could try to wash it well with gasoline or other solvent thinner could also work wipe of excess with a rag and try to engage.if this does not work you might try to adjust the clutch.with the lock nuts and a screwdriver

I agree with phase 4 sounds like a clutch adjustment might be what’s needed. If your platen is closed and you have use of impression then your clutch is probably not engaging and needs to be tightened. Over oiling can really mess with the clutch. I have discovered this myself in the past. Good luck :)

I’ve had the same problem with the windmill clutch-overoiled it to the point it slipped badly. I poured type wash on it to clean out the oil, which worked. Not sure that was the best way to do it, but it was fast.

I ran those presses for many years and the old trick was to use kerosene or white spirit to flush out the clutches. it is a common problem. When you run those machines for a living you learn the little tricks to keep the money coming in

I agree with those who think it’s a clutch slipping or in need of adjustment. Flush it before trying to tighten it as an overtightened clutch can cause the press to engage on its own.

mnreggie - so, did you get it to work?

Thanks all, I’ll definitely keep that in mind.

Shortly after the original post I was required to move my studio (long story… it sucked, but everything moved). Between the move and now the holiday season I’ve been running all jobs on my C&P and haven’t had time to work on the Heidelberg.

One thing worth noting, the ‘bar operating cam’ part #T1419, the linkage from the gripper gear housing to the ‘Maltese Cross’ #T1503 was removed at the exposed end. This press had a sticky gauge assembly and was intending to clean/remove it (if anyone has ideas there, let me know). I’m thinking if there is a cam that links down to the maltese cross it may have been pulled in further than intended.

Once 2018 is over and I’ve cleared through my current pile of work I aim to disassemble the air pump side of the press to see what’s stuck there. I will also inspect and clean the clutch. Thoughts?

Itll be a good project before the press is back together but I’d like to clean it up and get it tuned before running anyway, what better way to learn and understand the press than to …. well.. maybe it’s a bold and dangerous idea but it’s better than having a 2500lb paperweight in the shop.

Pardon the double post and bumping this thread, after 2 months I’m finally in my new studio and operating again, albeit without the windmill. I attempted readjusting the clutch but to no success. The Maltese cross piece seems to be the best theory from inspecting the press. In the second picture, the red circle shows the misalignment that’s happening on the gripper assembly. The connection wont move to align. Looks like I’ll have to remove the air pump and cover to the right side of the windmill, but uncertain on how best to approach it. Has anyone had any success with this? I’m a bit nervous about having to remove the taper pins connecting the side table and such too.

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