How do I release / change rollers on Kluge 12x18

I’m familiar with C&P and have no problems using my hands to lift up on the mechanism to release and then remove the rollers, but for the life of me I cannot figure out how to release the rollers on a Kluge 12x18. My hands cannot even make the roller mechanism budge on the Kluge. Simply said I want to remove the rollers from the Kluge but cannot figure out how to get them out and it doesn’t seem to work like C&P. Maybe I’m missing the obvious. Any help would be appreciated. Thanks.

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Kluge presses require a tool, resembling a bent bar with a notch in it to fit on the roller core and get leverage to pull up the roller hooks. This tool is not illustrated or listed in any Kluge parts catalogs that I have. Even with this tool it is quite a job to change rollers. Don’t attempt to do it any other way! I believe the 10x15 and 12x18 require different size tools. I’ll check to see if I have one that fits a 12x18 and post later!

Dear Letterpress2008:

Mr. Pekala is indeed correct—-there is a Kluge tool, a bent bar with a notch, that is used to remove rollers; but, what an operation! This bar-tool has a nasty habit of slipping, so that the rollers and trucks occasionally snap-down, threatening our little fingers. When removing the top two form rollers, the positioning of the bar-tool is such that one can hardly get leverage on it.

What is really needed is some technique, or some tool, that allows an operator raise and hold the entire ‘ink roller saddle’ on both sides of the machine, so that the rollers can be removed safely. And, safely replaced. I have yet to realize what this technique or tool might be.

One wonders what the Kluge operators of yore did, in a fast-movin’ commercial setting, where one job might be print and the next might be scoring or perfing. There must be some Kluge guy out there with a trick. I wish he’d write-in and reveal it.

In the olden days of Kluge (for me that was the 1970’s) we DID indeed have a trick: We ganged our cutting/scoring jobs together and did them all on Thursdays so as to only have to change them once a week. On Wednesday night we took out the rollers using the “roller removal tool”, which had a nickname that decorum prevents me telling here.

The one thing the we also had that made it easier was a set of small metal stepped wedges that one could use to prop up the top roller saddle so you could then reposition the bar and get a better purchase on it. A forked ball-joint tool from the car parts place also works well.

Compared to a C&P, it’s a big pain-in-the-whatever. BUT after doing it a few hundred times, one becomes accustomed to it, and it’s still a pain-in-the-whatever.

I was fortunate enough to find a roller removal tool for sale as my Kluge didn’t come with one. Still, I paid dearly for it. If there’s interest, I might be able to put together a CAD file suitable for submission to one of the online machine shops for reproduction. It’s a stupid simple piece.

andykeck and others,

Appreciate all of the feedback. Wow, I had no idea! :-) I had searched all over (with Google’s help), and even spent a lot of time at Kluge website searching, watching videos (not relevant to what I needed)…..couldn’t find anything at all so all of the information sharing here at Briar Press discussion forum genuinely helps.

andykeck, is it possible for you to take a photo of your tool (to get a feel of what it’s like), and to take a basic photo of the tool being used on a Kluge. More or less trying to get a tangible feeling for what people are describing.

If you were able to make a basic CAD type of drawing of such a device I would take advantage of that with the help of either a local or online machine shop. I’m guessing I would still need a few hints how to use on the Kluge.

Thanks again!

I’ll take some photos this evening and see what I can whip up in terms of a DWG file.

Like you, I was clueless when it came to mounting my rollers. The previous owner had never used the Kluge for anything and didn’t specifically remember a roller tool coming with the machine. Also, I only got one oscillating roller, and I don’t think it’s the right part for this press.

Here’s a link to a few photos of the roller tool. I’ve got one with a ruler as a size reference and then three of the tool in action.

I have a tool matching andykeck’s photo. It measures 17 inches across, apparently for a 12x18, as I also have one measuring 16-3/8 inches, which fits a 10x15, and the shorter end of is at a different angle. Make me an offer on the 12x18 one…
Stanislaus Pekala, reach me by clicking on my username.

andykeck’s pics show the factory tool for this job. it is also the correct application of the tool. i, being vertcally challenged have found though, that( using his pics as a reference) if i switched the tool end for end, and then inverted it, thus using the notch end for the pivot point, and elbow area as the lift point, it brought me closer to the task at hand and gave a better mechanical advantage as you are now pushing up instead of down. let me know if you need a drawing, or, this tool made. E

andykeck, I genuinely appreciate the time you invested to take the photos and post them to the community. It helps a lot!! My mind was having a tough time imagining what the tool might look like and it was nowhere near what was in the photos….so thanks much!!

Thanks to everyone else as well for all of the information, and tips and tricks. Now I feel like I have a fighting chance. :-)

I’ll see if I can get one of the tools from Mr. Pekala. If I am unable to do so I might request a drawing so that I can get a tool made.

Thanks bunches!!

Does anyone now where I might be able to find a roller removal tool for the kluge 12 by 18??

kluge is still around, they might sell you one, i picked up one about 6 years ago, while turning the press over i didn’t notice the arm that pulls the sheet out of the press hit the platten and snapped it, called kluge they siad they had the part, it will fit all kluge’s, they needed my serial number. when i gave it to them they said sorry. can’t sell you parts to a press made before 1969, they said my press was made around 1930. good to live next to a machinist. i think there is a place in texas that sells kluge parts. check the yellow pages here. good luck dick g.

I am selling my Kluge 12x18 and don’t believe I have the tool to remove the rollers. I have some tools that came with the press that I haven’t identified, and am hoping that this was included, but my feeling is that it wasn’t. I never used my Kluge and never had to deal with the rollers, but I want to give potential purchasers full disclosure on what I have. I clicked on the link to the photo in here, but it is no longer valid. Does anyone have a photo of one?

Thanks in advance,


Does this tool apply to the Kluge’s 12x18 hand feed version or is it just the automatic?

Any case anyone else stumbles across this thread, I’ve reposted the photos of the roller tool here:

Thanks Andy. Do you know if this applies to the hand feed version?

I believe the tool is required for any Kluge (aside from those that are actually C&Ps that were remanufactured by Kluge). If it has four form rollers you probably need this tool.

I’ve had good luck using (carefully) a 1/4” thick, 3/4” wide, 24” long piece of cold rolled steel bar stock. Just be very careful that it doesn’t slip as it won’t have the cupped area for grip.

Hope this helps,

if i were to make some of these tools up, would there be a demand for them? i could prob do these fairly cheaply plus shipping. they would be to kluges exact specs…
the tool is the same for all kluge presses

Eric I would be interested

The tool i got with my kluge folds in half, i’ll see if i can post a picture of it, not very good at posting pictures. Dick G.

i have dug up my old drawing of this piece. i will do a run of around 6 of them. i will post here when completed and also in classified..

send me an email if you can I hardly ever check this site…but I should!

I have what appears to be the same press as what is featured in this picture and I’ve never used or needed to use a tool to remove the rollers. Mine pull up pretty easily. You have to pull pretty hard, but I’ve never had a problem getting the rollers off.