Lay Gauge of your Dreams
These are recommended for all users of Heidelberg Windmill letterpress printing presses in place of the traditional brass or nickel Lay Gauges. The Swing Away Lay Gauge catches the paper with an arm that swings out of the way prior to impression. This means you won’t have to worry about smashing your form or marking your paper again. It can even be used on envelopes and pre-cut paper without leaving marks on the stock.
The Swing Away Lay Gauge was originally developed for use at Boxcar Press, and is sold exclusively at Boxcar Press. Replacement springs and arms are also available. Instructions for replacing your springs are outlined here.
This steel gauge has three parts, the snap on portion that secures it to the lay bar, the drop away lever that is pushed down by the tympan bar and the swinging metal arm to catch the paper before the press is closed.
Instructions for use
- First clip on to the lay bar from the front.
(The metal paper holder will be farthest away from you and the drop away lever will be on the inside under the tympan bar.) Don’t clip the gauge on to the lay bar from the back or you will bend your metal paper holder.
- Place the paper stock on the tympan down to the bottom in the desired position.
- Move the lay gauge over to the left hand side of the paper until it’s holding the paper or envelope securely.
- When the press is in operation, the tympan bar starts to close and moves down to engage the lay bar. The drop away lever is pushed down and the metal paper holder is pushed up to hold the paper as the suckers drop it into position. As the press fully closes and holds the paper in place, the drop away lever is temporarily free and releases the metal paper bar down out of the way during the actual impressing. As the press opens, the drop lever is engaged again, the paper bar comes back up to hold the paper until it’s grabbed by the suckers and moved off to the delivery table.
Boxcar Press printers use the Swing Away Lay Gauge on our in-house Heidelberg 10×15 Windmills. It is packaged in a velvet pouch for storage.