die cutting

Hi everyone, anyone want to comment on what can go wrong with die cutting? I read lots on having a backing, having a die jacket etc.. but what will happen without those things. I am not in anyway suggesting I or anyone else skimp or will do so.. just that I received my first set of dies in the mail today from Mike Conway in Pickering Ontario ( miconenterprises at hotmail.com ) . I could not resist throwing a couple sheets in and seeing what happened…….. well nothing happened. I put another sheet behind and voila! Out popped my cut piece. I took out the chase, looked behind.. nothing… lifted out the backing sheet.. nothing… not even a score mark. Am I missing something?

By the way.. I would like to send a shout out to Mike ( fellow Briar Presser ) AWESOME customer service! Looking for dies.. look no further.

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Thanks Paul but Located in Peterborough near the Canoe Museum

Rather hard to tell what happened/didn’t happen without knowing the press you did this on. If a open (C&P/Kluge) it’s quite possible that the die cutting plate is not nearly as thick as the packing used previously—especially if you run heavy impression.

Details, details, details. Look forward to hearing more.

Reread your message—you punched the card WITHOUT a jacket. Well, consider it good luck, but odds are your packing will be punched down if you chose to keep going this route, which is why die-cutting uses hard packing under the plate and yes, you don’t want the die to mark the jacket either—just show a little “shine” at the die line.

Have fun!

Re the “hands in the air in amazement” WITHOUT a jacket? most would understand the perfectly good principal of the use of a cutting jacket, Platen or Cylinder, (the very reason the new recruit is asking for advice) but 40 years ago, or more one of our best Machine Minders, on an almost daily basis, did Kiss Cutting on the V/M and the Thompson Platen, and was So Accurate with His impression, that He cut the stickers from the waxed backing sheet, without harm to the backing sheet, the bed under the form, the actual cutting form, or even the platen itself, O.K. he did use a jacket on every thing, other than handful of die cuts, especially on the Thompson, being clamshell, and not parallel approach, as it was not so easy to obtain overall contact. And over some 14 years, I frequently made jackets for the Thompson from different grades and thicknesses of stainless steel and zinc sheet, I failed at jackets for cylinders because I had no accurate means to obtain the lip for clamping on to the cylinder at gripper bar point. Now apparently in the U.K.material called ZYNTEC is being used for Platen jackets, it is electrically plated, to accurate overall thickness, and although not as hard as stainless, is kinder to cutting dies, machines, fairly easily obtainable from motor factors, and similar, in the absence of sufficient expertise to make one or two returns at 90% on the flat sheet, to accomodate the required clips on the machine, securing to the platen with D.S.A. peeled off for re-use. Feasability study perhaps? D.I.Y. versus Purpose Made, especially if/when multiple machines are in use.?>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> Perhaps a well versed Expert, would post a tutorial about KISS CUTTING and the relationship to Impression/contact, critical depth of cut, expedient use of cutting jackets and/or the use of metallic tape, (obtainable in accurate varying thickness apparently) under sections of cutting forms, as opposed to having new cutting forms remade, NEW recruits would surely appreciate the principals, as witness the original post!!!!!!

Thompson British or Thomson?
American Thomson is parallel for almost 1” before impression

I concur. My 10x15 Colt (identical to the American Thompson) goes perfectly level with the bed and is pulled into it. Best impression of any platen press.

Die-cutting against normal packing may work for a few impressions, but then will cut the packing and the cut pieces will stick into the cut packing and be hard to remove. Don’t expect to do production work this way.

Also - the thick, soft stock of a coaster behaves far differently than any other “normal” commercial stock. It will “snap” before the cut is all the way through. Regular paper will not behave that way. This is more like cookie-cutting than die-cutting.

I’d say get a steel jacket, and as Mike points out - use just enough pressure to polish the jacket at the rule line. If it cuts into the jacket, those cuts will create havoc on the next job.

I’ve die-cut and kiss-cut on C&P, Kluge & Heidelberg. The trick to kiss-cutting is to do perfect behind-the plate tissue make ready and use a specially-made kiss—cut die - with 1-point razor-blade-like rule. - and replace the cutting rule when it becomes dull.

n.b.: I perf a lot and cut against a base I make from large-diameter stainless steel hose clamps. Get the largest stainless steel hose clamp you can find, roll it out flat, cut to length, smooth off the ends.

Then I double-stick tape it to the top sheet where the perf rule will hit and make ready beneath it. Then I just kiss the steel and make it shine. Best perf-base I’ve ever used. Before I found this stuff, I liked steel strapping. Never liked any of the commercial products - tiger tooth or perf-base…

You can purchase cutting jackets for most all presses today and some manufacturers sell three grades of stainless steel superior hard , hard ,or medium hardness .
I like hard for perforating ,medium hardness for intricate shapes and folder work ,creasing ,with whatever is in the press .
As mentioned there should be no cuts in the jacket surface , if you leave a groove in a jacket of the superior or hard jackets and subsequent cutting rule that crosses the groove will be blunted by the ridge created around that cut , there are sound reasons why we take a long time readying a press for die cutting . I earn my crust in the trade as a specialist casual worker , I run an SBD and an SBG together on runs over 40,000 the dies usaully wiil run in excess of 70,000 Impressions die cut shapes / folders etc .
Kiss cutting i have a platen die i use for kiss cutting for a company that has been made ready at least twenty times and its maiden run was 100,000 sheets the jacket on the platen has never touched the knife as its a kiss cutting job and i am only now thinking of a re rule on it however the price for it with 150 ,18mm circles its a costly tool !
If you smash the die into the jacket you will produce rotten work from the start and if you get away with a runn of 5oo rough edged folders you will be lucky .
You can do kiss cutting without a jacket utilising only your bed but patchin up is difficult if you cant put tissue in front of the knife only behind . i would advise against cutting on a platen bare as the metals of the platens are not as hard as you may think and can be chewed up badly in a short time .
There are available for a few platens the self adhesive cutting plates ,i prefer the steel jackets heidelberg spec for platens and i use pattern part cylinder jackets from senior graphics (UK) , I think a jacket for the sbd is now over £120.
Thankfully i dont have to buy them !
I have done a few die cut runs on a vert , its a cruel thing to do to a nice press but with careful thought as to the way to carry the job round that tight cylinder you can do a wide variety of work on them .You wont be round cornering twenty up business cards on one without swearing some what .

The main reason for the metal jacket is like a hard cutting board in the kitchen.

The press and die is pushing the die through the stock, but the soft packaging is not letting it cut correctly.

Jackets cutting plates please please please never cut directly onto a cylinder platen face:( your gonna kill the machine.
The amount of machinery I see with scored gouged lumps missing out of them sad. Jackets n cutting plates are reasonably cheap invest in one to keep your press looking great
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Could you make a recommendation for how you roll the steel clamps flat? I have a Kelsey excelsior and some kiss sharp blade perf rule that was kindly gifted to me and I’d like to give it a try. Do you think something other than the clamps would be suitable? I only intend to perf about five to six inches length.

Thank you!


it is easy to miss, but the last post in this thread was 7 years ago. Alan has not posted on Briarpress for a while, his last post was in 2019.

Thank you kimaboe,
I realized later that he hadn’t posted in a while and hoped perhaps he was just quiet. I read he had some hard circumstances and hope he is well. Thank you for considerately pointing this out to me and I apologize for not looking further before posting.

I saw on the Stark Press Co. instagram that they had visited Alan on August 14.