Die Cutting for 5x8 Kelsey?

I’m starting out with a Kelsey Excelsior 5x8 platen and I’d love to know if I can do any die cutting. Is this possible? Where can I look to find more information?


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I wouldn’t want to do it on a Kelsey. Not enough impression strength. Neither in your arms nor the castings of the press. I wouldn’t want to do it with my 8x12 C&P, though it is capable of much greater impression strength. Start thinking about big C&Ps, preferably of the Craftsman variety, Kluges or Heidelberg Windmills.

A lot of how much tonnage it takes to diecut material is in how many linear inches of rule there is in the die. If the die is small and the material is not too dense, I wouldn’t be afraid of diecutting on a Kelsey. You just don’t want to push the boundaries of it’s capabilities. I would concur with Arie that it wouldn’t be my first choice for a press to use for diecutting, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be done — carefully.

The 8x12 C&P certainly would be a good choice (once again, if your size and detail is resonable). We routinely diecut plastic and metal foil labels on a C&P Pilot, but they are only a single cavity die and we are “kiss cutting” to a liner. But polyester is not an easy material to cut, showing the prowess of the little press. We use this method only for what we call “pickups” of serially numbered labels which are otherwise diecut on a converting machine with rotary dies. If a label or two gets messed up in the original run, we simply reprint it and diecut individually, replacing it into the original roll in place of the damaged label.

Common sense must come into play whenever you push the envelope on any printing press. Just as you wouldn’t print a full chase solid on a Kelsey, you must be careful you don’t get too large or complex a die.