Please help educate me

I recently bought a 13x19 kluge. What is my maximum image size for die/kiss cutting and printing?
Thanks in advance!

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Are you sure it’s a 13x19? Which series is it?

Your maximum is going to depend on a number of factors, including the type of image, amount of solid coverage, and type of stock. On my Kluges I’ll go up to 8.5x11 but certain jobs are better printed in sections rather than at once.

It could be a 12x18. It is a newer one with all the guards and air brake system. I’m trying to die cut using a 1/4 inch brass die mounted to a honey comb. The die is 12x12. I think it’s too big. I get the 4 corners cutting, but the center is weak. When I make ready on my spot sheet to build up the low areas it causes other areas to bear off. I feel like I’m chasing this. UGH! When I do get a good cut the flipping paper (#80 card stock) sticks to the die. Ejection rubber really bears off the cutting and bear blocks in the corners give me no cutting at all. I think I should be doing this in two passes with two dies.

the larger area you try to cut the more pressure you need. die cutting is usually done with steel rule, not brass. if your die is the max size of the chase (12”) you are asking for trouble, Good Luck Dick G.

oh no

Advice from an old time printer…take the die and material and get the job at your nearest professional die-cutter. As for getting started die cutting on your Kluge; a 12’ die in a 12” (or 13”) press is not for the inexperienced. Try a door-hanger die or some small shape on bristol stock for starters. Charge your time lost on this job as a learning experience!

Since you don’t want to share your trade secrets please send your address and I’ll have it there asap.

It would be interesting to know how you happened to choose this particular type of die. By the machining marks in it, it appears to be a CNC die (made by a Computer Numerical Control milling machine). This could probably have been made in steel, and if it was, it would have been much more durable. Flexo label printers use steel rotary die cylinders made by the CNC process all the time.

Since the die is brass, for a letterpress die it will be relatively soft and easy to damage. One reason you may be having trouble with it is that you may have already dulled some of the sharp cutting edges.

I would try cutting against pressboard on the platen, on top of the steel die cutting jacket. The steel jacket will probably be harder than the brass die, and could damage the die if you cut against the jacket. I think it would be better to cut against something that is softer than the die, like pressboard.

If you wanted to use a smaller die, by cutting the die into two pieces, it looks like you could almost cut it in a straight line just above the flower and the duck. The two pieces wouldn’t be the same size, but at least each piece would be smaller. I would take it back to the die maker for the cut, or to a metalworking machine shop to cut on their metalworking band saw.

I agree that it would be a good idea to get a die cutting shop to do the die cutting, but I don’t know if they would try it with a brass die.

It would be interesting if you would share with us how long the run is.

I don’t actually have any experience with a brass die, so please take my comments with that in mind. (However, I do have many years experience in the printing business, and also a small amount of machine shop experience).

Good eye Geoffrey!

I truely thank all of the 47M+ Briar Press Members that respond and read this thread…good, bad, or ugly comments are highly recommended.

I did not choose the tooling (brass). I’d rather use a steel rule die. I would prefer gravy jobs, but then I would get bored to tears.

Thanks for your advice. By your answers I can tell your are seasoned pressman.

I was pulled out of retirement because the local “professionals” couldn’t get this job to work and that’s why it ended up on my plate. The reason for the brass die is because a steel rule die couldn’t be bent for some parts, such as the antenna on the butterflies. I know I am maxing out this press and if I had a larger one it would be easy. I have the finesse and skills that the local “big boys” lack, and that is why I will make this work. The main problem with cutting the die and running the stock through twice is the feeding problems that can occur, as I’m sure you are well aware of.