Heidelberg Windmill - Seeking oil/lubrication recommendations

Hello all,

I am recently the new owner of an old Black Ball Original Heidelberg (Windmill) press and I couldn’t be more excited! It’s going to be a job to try and get this baby up and running, but it’s a challenge I’m eager to tackle. (I purchased this from a pressman who said it ran when he purchased it, but it hasn’t been used in at least a few years.)

I’m in the process of attempting to find the correct oil (or is it grease?) to use to lubricate the press after I clean it up, as the suggested oils in the manual are of course outdated:

Shell Tonna B
Eagle R&0 Medium Heavy
Gargoyle Vacrta Extra Heavy

— I’ve heard that Mobil Vactra No. 3 is equivalent, but I am unable to find this under 5 gallon drums, which is quite a lot.

Are there any other oils recommended for this type of press? I’ve explored the web, and have been unlucky in my findings so far.

Any tips on the correct cleaning supplies I should use on this fella would be greatly appreciated as well.

Thank you in advance for any insight you may have.

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I use O’Reilly’s 140 weight gear oil - anything equivalent will work. MasterPro Chemicals Conventional Gear Oil Part #:
80040. 1 gallon size.

140 or 150 gear oil will be ok, please note there is only one grease point on the press and that is in the end of the variable pulley on the motor, so every thing else is oil, even into what look like grease nipples. Happy oiling.

So true what Frank says - the only thing that gets greased is the variable pulley - and that is something that needs attention - I have had to replace these for people due to them becoming frozen due to lack of lubrication. The oil nipples are oil - they look like zerk fittings but are actually oil - a oil gun usually comes with presses - but may have been lost along the way. Don’t forget to fill the central lube and pump it.

Thanks for your input all, it is very much appreciated.

Avoid hypoid gear oil if there’s brass or other nonferrous metals in the system, as it contains sulfides and is mildly corrosive to nonferrous metals.

I use 50 w oil. If I have to I use 20w50 or 10w40 no problems over the last 30 years with my Thomson, Heidelberg cylinder, and platens.

Unless you are assured of always having a warm (70° F +) shop, don’t use heavy oils on a Windmill. Oil daily and use the 30 weight machine oil lisyed in the book (Mobile DTE Heavy is the equivalent of the Vactra oil listed in the manual).

I have a press filled up with heavy oil, and it is a struggle to push the oiler handle over, especially since my shop is not a climate controlled wonderland. Thick oil doesn’t flow and oil that can’t get where it is needed is as useless as no oil at all.

In the UK the oils listed in my hand book were:-
Shell Vitrea oil 69
Mobil Vactra oil Extra Heavy
Esso Esstic 65

The Shell Replacement is shell Morlina s2 B 150
and at present I am using Shell Omola MP 150 Gear box oil which is a low pressure circulating oil and was being used for Heidelberg Litho presses - again I think the name has been changed again.
I think the answer is not to use Automotive oils but try to get machine oils for lathes and similar