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How to Move a Heidelberg Windmill

by Sabrina Garber

A couple weeks ago, we welcomed Athena to our family! She came rather unexpectedly as we hadn’t been actively looking to bring in another press. Then we caught wind that Bill and Andy Schell in Jamaica Plain were looking for new homes for their Heidelberg Windmills. Curiosity got the best of us, and soon we had Margaret and Deb scouting it out. It was pretty much a done deal at first sight (and test run).

With so much else going on, we were really fortunate to have Margaret work with Mike Andrejewski to spearhead the logistics of moving the press, or rather press-ES. Yup, Margaret had placed dibs on the second Heidelberg, Athena’s sister. The process took the better part of three days from start to finish during which Margaret would pop back in the studio covered in grime and with a huge smile on her face. Read on for Margaret's highlights of the move ...

Moving Heidelberg Windmill Press | Smudge InkThe main challenge of this move was getting the presses through this (not so roomy) doorway. 

Disassembling Heidelberg Windmill Press | Smudge InkTaking the clutch arm off is pretty simple but that still did not create enough clearance. We ended up having to remove the whole table base, and the only way to do that is to disassemble the front of the machine. That base is as heavy as it looks.

Moving Heidelberg Windmill Press | Smudge InkWe spent the next day figuring out how to get both presses down two stairs outside the building’s front entrance. Mike brought a heavy metal plate that he propped up with big wood blocks in order to extend the first stair out over the second. With the palette jack, we wheeled a press out on the makeshift platform which then allowed us to come around to the front to pick it up. Mike is a maniac in the fork lift. He just plucked the press up out of the doorway while turning sharp (and backwards!) in order not to fall off the curb and then just, nice and easy, set it down on the flatbed like a boss.

Moving Heidelberg Windmill Press | Smudge Ink
We fork lifted and chained the presses onto the flatbed, and they were on their way!

Moving Heidelberg Windmill Press | Smudge InkMoving Heidelberg Windmill Press | Smudge InkThank goodness we had a wider entryway over at Smudge HQ! We rolled Athena right into the press room and placed her in her new home. 

I was psyched to help out with this process. I learned a lot from taking them apart and putting them back together. It's incredible how well and relatively simply these machines are built. Here's to another 50+ years of printing!

Shout out to Bill and Andy who generously gave us these presses and put up with the ordeal of us trying to get them out of there! Happy retirement, and I hope you're reading this in Florida!

Thanks, Margaret! We hope Medusa is enjoying her new home too!

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