Kwikprint 86 Foil Plates

Hey everyone. Hope all is well!
I have some foiling I need to do in the future yet have never foiled. I have access to a Kwikprint 86 press, but am unclear about a few things. I took a look at Owosso graphics for getting a plate made, just not sure WHAT kind of plate to really get made. There appears to be numerous types of metals that go into these plates for different purposes. Can anyone steer me in the right direction here.

I also had a question or 2.
1. Can you foil directly over an area that has been previously covered in ink through letterpress?
2. Can’t seem to find the max size but I believe It’s 2 x 9, should I keep plate size under or can it be 2 x 7 or 8?
3. When designing for these plates, should I still include crop marks.

Thanks for any info anyone has.


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on its face foil may seem straight forward enough, but in reality, the learning curve can be huge. if you have a job you “need” to do, i would send it out to someone who will get it done the first time correctly. Then you can order from whomever die maker a scrap die, some foil samples from whomever foil company, and knock yourself out playing with it.
Foil, is a technique that often comes down to Thousandths of an inch in pressure variations.(packing), Dwell time, in fractions of seconds, and heat controlled within single digit degrees. Granted, the heat thing is probably the least fussy about the setting, but, it is definitely a factor.

Agreed Eric there is a reason why it looks good and costs more than ink work. A Kwikprint is a nice little tabletop device but not for high end tight register work.


I have specialized in foil and embossing work for over twenty years. Yes, you can foil over inks as long as they do not contain any waxes or extenders. The ink must be thoroughly dry. Test first if at all possible. You can also overstamp foils if you use the correct releases. I use copper dies almost exclusively because they are much harder than magnesium dies and also hold heat better. I get them made at Metal Magic in Phoenix. I assume that the Kwikprint unit is a hand stamper. These can work well on short run items and with limited foil coverages. Otherwise it’s best to go with a Windmill, Kluge or C&P set up for foiling because of the added impression strength needed to get a clean release of the foil image. The release (the glue on the back of the foil) needs to be matched to the substrate and the detail of the image being foiled. “Tight” releases work well with fine detailed images and “Easy” releases are for larger areas without fine detail. There are also medium releases formulated for general purpose foiling. Infinity Foils has a lot of helpful information on what type of release would work well in your situation. I very seldom use crop marks when foiling unless I am registering other foils or inks in another pass. They require making larger dies which costs money and also use more foil, which costs money.

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To foil over ink you need to use wax free ink. Kohl Madden ink company makes a K7 series that is wax free. You need to allow for plenty of dry time before you foil.

Most table top foil machines are set up with a “type holder” that has screws that you tighten to hold the type in place. They are usually self-centering. If you use foundry type, ludlow or linotype they will wear down quickly due to the heat and pressure.

You can design with crop marks to help you when cutting to size, but it will increase the cost of the foil and die due to the larger image.
Kwikprint still sells machines and supplies. You can contact them about the correct foil die to order for your model. Order a foil die or type from them so you can practice/learn what your Kwikprint is capable of producing.

So do Van Son’s rubber based inks have wax in them that would prohibit me from doing this? Ericm, thanks for the 2cents. Now I want to try it even more. Even if a complete failure I am curious to try it.

Believe I found the correct die to use. Just haven’t messed with the machine much and need to log some serious studio time. No serious registering for this job. just the top inch or 2 of a card.

Thanks everyone for the very helpful information.

i don’t mean to steer you away from a new process, or capability, i would just get some basic training with it. as I have have learned in my life. “I spent all this time perfecting really bad habits”. this can easily be true with this.
Years ago, i spent $5500.00 on a new welder package. Knowing what i know now, i never would have bought that machine. so, i think gaining experience with the foil process, before jumping in, will save you time, money, heartache, and even some embarrassment…
The “release” of a foil does in fact help define its characteristics, easy (broad area), medium, tight (fine line, small type, etc.), but the adhesive is formulated to define what it sticks to, known as the “sizing”.. paper, wood, plastic, cloth, leather, fiber board, whatever.
but this out of the realm of this present discussion.
it just my opinion.

ericm I totally appreciate your knowledge and experience in this area that I’m completely unfamiliar with. Most of the designs I’ve come across I’m thinking typically don’t work with the foil on top of letterpress ink regardless. So thats one less thing for me to worry about.
Perhaps I’ll work around it this time and pursue the foil for the next run.

Kwikprints have multiple sizes of type-holder, 2x9 is the largest IIRC. Most have smaller holders, as they are expensive and the kind of work these are intended and well suited for is usually smaller.

Make sure the one you have available has a type-holder large enough to fit the plate.

The plate can be smaller than the holder, these machines are intended for use with type and smaller cuts. You simply tighten a knob on each side of the holder, which moves a pair of jaws that hold the plate/type.

It is worth noting that no model Kwikprint are production machines. Automatic foil feed is very limited in the size it accommodates and is an expensive option to purchase so many presses don’t have it, they don’t have very fine control over heat, and most importantly impression strength and length is all manual which requires experience and a fine touch.

With some care it can get the job done, just don’t bet on doing any tight registration or long runs.

I work with a Kwik Print with the large chase and auto foil. As a stepping stone to true foil capability, they’re pretty good. As a production machine…. well.

A couple things to make your life easier: Work with plates or fresh cast type. Linotype or Ludlow slugs will last between 50 and 100 impressions depending on the level of impression you require. If you have access to hot metal composition, this is very handy.

Large forms/plates will require makeready. It will make life so much easier.

Impression is very much a learned skill, though if you are stamping flat, hard paper it will be much easier than stock with a “give” in it.

You can use double sided tape to tape 11 pt plates to Ludlow slug base (especially if running mixed art/type forms. However, you are not limited to type high with a Kwik Print. You do have to watch that the foil web does not contact the plate/base/typeholder, or you’ll get tears or breaks in the foil.

Most importantly though: If you have shoulder issues, this is not the machine to use, at least with the large chase, as pulling that handle 50 or 100 times with a 3 line form is pretty miserable work.