A big mess with the Heidelberg 10x15

Hello my friends,

I am a complete newbie when it comes to letterpress.
Just have some time now and finally acquired my Original Heidelberg 10x15 ( I find this machine fascinating and wanted to own one).

Yesterday I did, or at least tried, to do my first print but ran into many problems.

The main problem is that when i Put the boxcar (with the polymer) in the chase and attach to the machine it seems like the rollers are touching the whole plate, not only the polymer plate (as desired).

The image below shows the Sh*tshow that was yesterday.
Ive searched but i dont know what am I doing wrong here.
I am positive I purchased the correct boxcar plate, but i dont know where should I adjust the height of the rollers.

If you can Kindly help would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you!

Log in to reply   11 replies so far

Couldnt attach the pic with the post, here it is.

image: print1.jpg


I don’t see the two rollers at the top of the press, are you using them?

Check page 85 in the manual, ‘Setting the roller tracks’ The manual can be downloaded here https://letterpresscommons.com/original-press-manuals/
I also suggest Heidelberg Hints for the Pressman as a learning tool. https://drukwerkindemarge.org/download/documentatie/heidelberg-hints.pdf
Why there is no ink on your top rollers? You may be missing a roller…
RE: Learning—best wishes. I had a pressman help me get familiarized with my first windmill back in 1973. That would not be a bad idea if there is someone in your area that could show you the basics.

Hi, How disappointing on your first attempt. My suggestion is to clean up and remove the chase and base and start at the beginning. Do you have a hand book? if not you can down load a copy from Letterpress commons. do you have the rubber covered roller for the top of machine? see roller 1 picture with the roller resting and roller 2 with the roller in place. Once the top roller is in place and raise the rail handle, apply a small amount of ink right across the top steel and run the ink up. If it is nice and even the lower the rails to ink up the forme rollers. When this is done you can check the roller height using a roller guage. See pages 84 - 88 for information on setting the rollers.
good luck.

image: roller2.jpg


image: roller1.jpg


Hello Friends,

Thank you for all the comments.
Well, it was a terrible experience for me, but a lot of learning came with it.
For example, I learned where to adjust the height of the rollers and also test to check if they are in the correct position (with the gauge).

Also, I learned that the guy who sold me the machine never mentioned it was missing not one but 2 rollers, on top of the machine, which I ordered this morning.

I believe I still can do a second attempt before the rollers are here as I can apply the ink directly to the main cylinder, but will see if that attempt is even worth it.

For now, I can only thank you guys.
I will use this failure as a lesson.

While you are waiting for rollers, you might want to just practice feeding paper through the press and learn all the settings and adjustments needed, i would suggest at first you DO NOT print to guides, the press should have very good registration without using the guides, you will need to set paper feed height, air blast, how high to set the air blast, angle of sucker bar. etc, look at the front edge of the paper when running, the top four or five sheets should be separated by the air blast so you do not pick up more than one sheet at a time

Bcprinter, I highly recommend that you let everyone know where you are and find someone to help train you on this press. They are incredibly amazing machines but you run the risk of breaking something on the press or worse, hurting yourself, if you don’t know how to operate it. There are many supporting pressmen and presswomen that can assist.

senspire, thank you for the heads up.
I am watching some online courses and reading both the manual + tips for the pressman.

Even though I consider myself a very diligent person when it comes to safety around machines, but ANY help would always be welcome.

The Press is located at North Vancouver, BC, Canada.

If anybody is around the area I would love to meet and learn more about the press.
The beers after are on me ok? haha

Cheers guys! Im happy that I found this community.
I might be crazy to buy a press like that without the proper knowledge, but I am just a sucker for machines and challenges.

You have good feedback so far from some smart guys. I am not sure if it is a good idea to adjust roller height with only one ink form. It may be best to wait until you have 2. Make sure your base is for a windmill. The proper base height is important. You also have a lot of ink on the roller more than you need to print. It looks like you got ink on the chase clip, not sure how. Normally there is a tightening screw on the clip but I don’t see one. A loose chase is not a good thing either. Your chase lockup looks good but make sure it is completely flat. I like to take mine to my cutter bed release the lockup flatten it all out and re tighten it. The Windmill is quite exacting but at the same time minor mis adjustments in setup can cause an issue. I am also wondering what the shiney item is in the lower middle of the picture between the roller and the gripper is

Western, It looks like a foil core holder.
You can do limited work with just the form rollers. But it will take some time to get the ink spread evenly. Roller setting is the immediate concern here.

Hey bcprinter! I think I know the online courses you might be talking about, are they from Swell Press? While I think there are a few positive things to glean from that course, you might be better suited to finding another printer/press in the BC (check letterpress commons shop locator here https://letterpresscommons.com/printtrip/) and ask for some instruction!

Printing on a Heidelberg is significantly more involved and might be safest to learn shadowing someone. Best of luck!