Windmill Roller Problem

I’m hoping someone can advise me about the trouble I’m having with my Windmill roller. I just got the form rollers recovered (from NA Graphics, thank you Fritz). When I went to put the trucks and bearings back on, one of the bearings wouldn’t press on no matter how many times I tried with the bearing press. I called a friend with more Windmill experience than I, and he said it shouldn’t matter, that I could put the roller back on the press anyway, so I did. Now that particular roller is not picking up ink correctly from the drum. The ink looks like it has an overlapping, repeated diamond-shape pattern running the entire length of the roller. I have tried the roller in both positions, upper and lower, with the same result. The movement of the rollers looks normal to me, but obviously something is off. I’m wondering if the cause is the looser bearing or could it be something else? I’ve uploaded a photo here:[/IMG]

Thank you for any help!

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I would send the roller and the bearing back as defective. But, the old bearing should fit and work correctly. You’re not running it without a bearing, are you? If a bearing won’t fit, new or old, you have a defective roller.

No I’m not running without the bearing, the bearing is in place, just not pressed securely onto the truck. The bearings and trucks are the same ones I had on the rollers prior to sending the rollers in for recovering.

Post a picture your description is not clear

Can you be sure you have your own roller stocks back? There have been issues with bearing sizes in the past, have you tried switching the bearings round. Don’t run your rollers without the bearings!! My roller bearings are only push on, never needed the bearing press.

I’m fairly certain they are the same roller stocks, but I can check with NA Graphics to be sure. I am definitely not running without the bearings! It is just that one will not press on securely with the bearing press. Before I take off the 3 that are properly attached and start switching them around, I’d like to know if it is really necessary for them to be pressed on with the bearing press— does this affect the roller function or not?

image: IMG_0117.JPG


With the first 2 paragraphs of Your opening query in mind, You appear to be stating that, One of the bearings that did fit now will not.?
Perhaps ask of Yourself, without a bearing can the roller be expected to follow the Curvature & Arc of the track(s)
Are the track adjusters all tightened up and all closely aligned and synchronised, l and R, top and bottom, the calibrations and pointers are accurate.! ! !
Recovering rollers is normally a High Tech. High Spec, operation and not undertaken lightly.
Perhaps check with Your own
*Tarheel Roller and Brayer Company* out of Clemmons
N.C. U.S.A. they appear to have excellent records and archives (And specifications) for virtually every aspect of Letterpress Rollers, and more.
Late in the game to suggest the following but NEVER too late to acquire a Caliper Vernier, every print shop from the smallest to the mightiest, benefits from ownership or access to.
From E bay etc. as little as $10 U.S. dollars.
Digital read out, (switchable) Metric for the Heidelberg etc. Imperial for the Kelsey,s Sigwalt,s, V.M.s - C. & P.s.

Almost childs play to use, i.e. for the dimensions and circumferences of the ends of the steel stocks on the rollers, and the circumference of the compound of the rollers from end to end, and in comparison one with another, may even give clues to Your >diamond< pattern and hatching. ?
Are the return springs and rods for the Roller arms all 100% fully operational and free, with the rollers off and the arms parked close to the horizontal and with a simple Fishermans (style) spring balance, a fairly accurate assessment is possible X 4.!. usually accompanied with 2 or 3 shots from the oil can Oil holes in the top of the arms often overlooked.?

Good Luck. Mick U.K.

Install the bearing correctly or get someone to do it for you.

Install the bearing correctly or get someone to do it for you.

mick, thanks for all your comments. I did use a manual caliper to measure all the trucks and the rollers, and they seemed equal to each other, but it was not a digital caliper and no doubt that would be more accurate so I will get one.

I believe the rollers are both installed and balanced correctly, their movement to my eye appears normal. I have rotated the rollers in the past and never had any issues. I’ve also oiled every point thoroughly.

mike, It sounds from your comment that you do believe the non-pressed on bearing is likely the problem’s source. That is what I was hoping to clarify. My more-experienced friend had suggested otherwise, but there are always varied opinions on everything so that is why I’d posted the issue here. I’ve found that the bearing press is an efficient tool. I don’t think that particular bearing is ever going to be pressed on to the particular truck/shaft it is now on. So seems that trying to rotate them until hopefully making them all press on correctly will be my next try. Also, my friend will stop by next week to see if I’ve missed something.

thanks again.

Are there any burrs (damage) you can see in either the shaft or the interior of the bearing which might be holding back your pressing it on?

jhenry, Before putting the bearings and trucks back onto the rollers, I repacked the bearings with grease and examined them pretty well during that process so I don’t think there is any damage to the bearing. The shaft I didn’t look at closely, so I’ll definitely check that. Thanks.

I am curious, do both rollers spin freely when installed and turned by hand when no chase in the press abd rollers at midway point /

Sounds like the shaft ay have a slight bend near the rubber core, not allowing truck to seat flush with bearing. Maybe a piece of crud between the bearing and truck, in the “pocket” where the bearing lives. Old truckis can have a little piece break off, and you may not notice if using the bearing press.

My trucks are well worn, and roller shafts recovered many times, so my bearings slide easily. The diamond pattern could be the roller dragging across the cylinder at a point where the pressure would be greatest, If the bearing is not true to the shaft. So picture the roller traveling to its topmost, rolling along with the cylinder, then binding on one side on the downstroke on one side (with the faulty fit)

I suspect you may find 1 roller spins smoothly, and the other takes a little more force, or binds on a small part of its rotation.

Sylvia, re Your last entry (re-packing the bearings etc.) please accept the following to help Your learning curve regarding potential damage to both items (parts).
If You are able perhaps *look up* web etc., Case Hardening, it is the means by which bearings are manufactured and hardened to withstand the pressures expected of them. By implication Your examination (of the bearings) would have shown NO flaws whosoever.

On the other hand and in line with Your inspection of the shaft ! - Generally, shaft/steel core material, is classed as Machine-able meaning it is, and can be turned on a conventional Lathe (to size) Threaded, Drilled, welded, etc.
By this token and again by implication and design, the shaft(ing) material can be the part to wear, and occassionally produce (possibly in Your case) a tiny almost undetectable edge, to prohibit the bearing pressing on.

As a matter of course, (routinely) since a long time ago, we sidestepped this problem by always Filing a minute >leading edge< around 1/64” on the very end of the appropriate section of the steel stock, just enough to give the bearing a flying start for pressing on.
As the *built in* bearing press is not exactly High Tech, High Spec., we usually use a spacer between the bearing proper and the threaded *T* handle Ram of the press, helps to keep the alignment between the bearing and the shaft in the initial pressing on stage.
Our Spacer is usually a Socket from a conventional Socket Wrench/Spanner set, with a ^little luck and a fair wind^ a socket that exactly fits/covers the outer wall of the bearing itself works well, perhaps and occassionally accompanied by a Coin of the Realm, as a thrust washer, without defacing IT of course.
In the U.K. punishable for defacing a coin of the Realm, I.E. H.M. the Q????, by incarceration in the Tower Of London, apparently.
Good Luck. Mick.


letterpress standard, I will check the movement of the rollers as you suggest.

mick hopper, I have contacted NA Graphics and Fritz concurs that the problem is most likely with the shaft being worn and advises filing as you do.

Thanks to all for your suggestions and help. I’m using my other press to get work done the past several days, but should have time this afternoon to give some attention to the Windmill.