So how do I work this thing? Kluge 12x18

Fell in love with Letterpress. Became completely obsessed until I purchased a Kluge 12” x 18” with an Automatic feeder… Now I’m ready to get started but before I can do that I need a few things. The press came with 3 out of 6 rollers it needs… Now the 3 it came with are ALL DIFFERENT SIZES! I also read that I do not need all the rollers to properly print.

I am also missing one of the “brackets” (not sure what it’s called) that holds the rollers in place. Don’t even know where to start looking for that… If it’s even necessary, if I only use four of the six rollers I can just leave it as is.

Beyond this I imagine I will have a thousand more questions and need much more items but I figure this is a good starting point to find help and ANY help would be greatly appreciated!!

- R

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Head over to letterpress commons, and search their manuals section for ‘kluge’. Make sure to uncheck the ‘only show popular presses’ check box, if it isn’t unchecked already. Read the manual from cover to cover, even the boring bits.

Those brackets are called saddles. I suppose in theory different size rollers are possible, as long as the trucks (the solid rollers on each end of the roller) are the same diameter. But typically, they’re all the same size.

Do not attempt to use C&P rollers (and trunnions) on Kluge press Can be hazardous to your press and/or the operator.
Manuals and parts lists are often seen on ebay.
Have fun, be careful.

Where are you located? A visit to another Kluge owner’s shop may answer many of your questions, or you might have someone in your area who might help you get started. I don’t recall seeing a six-roller Kluge, most have 3 or four form rollers.

the 5th and 6th rollers delivered ink from the fountain to the disk. no fountain, then only 4 rollers.

Thanks for all the info guys! I’m in Naples, Florida… So yeah two rollers go on a “Saddle” (thanks) up above and then 4 rollers would go below on the two lower saddles.

So what would be the minimal setup? 4 rollers below? Or two rollers above and two rollers below?

Do the rollers above have a different name?

Thanks again you guys have been very helpful… Last thing is there a way to receive notifications via email when someone comments on a post?

The four rollers that run over the form are called “form rollers” and the two which never touch the form are the “distribution rollers”.
J Henry

The absolute minimum set-up would be two form rollers, but the four rollers provide much better inking. The upper distribution rollers are great, but you could live without them if not using the ink fountain.

J Henry

Trouble is that the only rollers I’ve been able to find are $215 each! Are the form rollers and distribution rollers the same size?

The press used to be setup for die cutting… Do I need bearings & trucks for the rollers? Just trying to get setup before I start my search for someone to teach me operating the machine.

Thanks! - R

I run a 12x18 Kluge and seldom need more than 2 rollers, Ramco Rollers are about the cheapest out there, I bought my rollers from Roller Craft in Rhode Island.

Dickg, you mean more than two Form rollers + distribution rollers? Or two form rollers alone? (Might just be wishful thinking it’s the latter.)

I use just 2 form rollers, I never use the fountain or the distributor rollers, once in a while i’ll use a rider roller and 4 form rollers are handy but I only use 4 when i’m printing something with a lot of coverage.

Cool!! So to start off I can get by with only two form rollers and buy more rollers as I go along… What’s a Rider roller?

rider roller sits on top of the two form rollers.

Googled it and understand now. Where can I get a rider roller for the Kluge? Maybe I can setup with two form rollers and a rider to learn and get additional rollers when I start doing more complex work.

Also… Since I won’t be using the distribution rollers can I use the saddle from the Distribution rollers down on the form rollers? ( I’m missing a saddle).

By the way, thanks a lot for all your help!!