Peculiar question regarding die cutting

Ok… so I’ve been trying to understand the whole process of die cutting, and how to achieve it. I don’t really know much about it. I have an etching press not a letterpress, and I don’t have a paper cutting machine that I could die cut with. … I began to wonder if it might be possible to do some die cutting with the copy press I have on it’s way and was planning to sell. If the pressure of the copy press isn’t substantial to achieve proper printing (i.e. use as a letterpress) would it offer enough pressure to perform some die cutting?


Log in to reply   3 replies so far

Hello Nina,
This press will not have enough pressure to die cut. Even if it did there would be no way to regulate the pressure to make it so that you’d only cut through the sheet you wanted cut and not into the packing or into the face of the platen. If you really want to find a way to put it to work you should get in to binding. There are all sorts of uses for a copy press in that realm!

Daniel Morris
The Arm Letterpress
Brooklyn, NY

A die is essentially a sheet of plywood with a long, very sharp, “blade” bent into the shape you want cut and inserted into the plywood. A steel Jacket is placed over the platen and the impression is adjusted so the blades just touch this jacket when fully closed. It’s very similar to scoring or perforating.

Front of die

Back of die

A definite need in die-cutting is the steel die jacket to avoid ruining your die and marring your press bed.

DO NOT try to use a die without a die jacket. For one your die should be made in a way to include the thickness of the steel jacket.

In your situation I would try and outsource die cutting until you get a press capable of providing enough impact pressure.