Die Cutting Pressure

I was wondering what you do!! When die cutting full trim out tag with a hole and hanger do you use just enough pressure to strike through the paper and then hand weed or appy greater pressure to punch and weed out the die at the same time. I was not sure if the chads falling into the press are an issue or not. If we only strike though and hand weed then we dont need to nick the die. This die was not setup as self weeding.

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Just enough dimension(pressure) to cut. Strip and clean off press after. Many folks use self cleaning punches that mess up the press I don’t. It is always up to the owner though.

I tried some ‘side out’ punches with one die, and then decided I would rather have had ‘self ejecting’ as the side out filled the press with nasty little discs of paper not too long into the run.

Self ejecting should make an easy enough time of things and just a little shake and wiggle after stripping the main part out will often throw the hole on the floor- just get a big cardboard box and shake the parts in sets of 5, I think your holes will go flying no problem unless you’re doing something super thick like museum board in 4 ply or whatever.

Or you could do this, and every so often sweep the pieces off the catch paper and to the right side of the press and then into a box on the floor.

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least amount of pressure needed to cut through completely and dependably each sheet is best. this will give longest die life. Makeready is important here. the better, (more accurately) you spot, the more even the pressure.

I’ve diecut a lot of tags on a windmill. I usually use self-cleaners, and the die maker will put in a cavity below the cleanout to catch the holes. Some get in the press and can be cleaned out later. Use a couple nicks if you need to to keep the tags from falling out.

Thanks for all to good feed back. It was what we thought but had been told otherwise that we were doing it wrong so we had to ask. We have always tried to get just enough hit that the pieces pop out with a little nudge. We have avoided nicking the dies unless needed. I do at times put a sheet at the bottom to catch the random chads. My eyes and ears can tell if I am doing a good job, my wife will let me know if I dont - shes weeds the die cutting. Thanks again we always wonder if we are on the right track. I know when I see the names listed above I have asked the correct folks and trust your answers.

You can get a punch that has clean out capability or you can get a punch that has a small piece of rubber that will leave the chip in the piece to be knocked out later. For smaller runs of 500 to a 1,000 the one with the rubber is fine, however the runs of 50 thousand to 100 thousand the one with clean out capability is much better.

I worked in a folding carton plant for a while. We had a 40” die cutter. We made frozen pizza cartons, 6-pack beer bottle carriers, etc., from boxboard (not corrugated) in about the 12 to 20 point range. The die was made ready so that it cut through the stock far enough to make the boxboard “pop” apart. It didn’t have to cut completely through the boxboard. When the die was closing at low speed, you could hear the “pop” when the stock separated. I don’t know if this is applicable to die cutting as we are talking about it here, but thought I would mention it, at least.

Yes Geoffrey when die cutting the stock comes apart when at 90-97% penetration. That is why proper die cutting does nor hurt a press. I often use .0015 glassine makeready tape under the die jacket.

Re rubber in punches If a standard punch is ordered without springs a wood plug can be installed and ejection rubber put inside punch to prevent jamming. I always remove the springs and use rubber in punches.
If using side eject punches keep an eye on the die as they can fill up and burst. watch for chad catching in the routed area of the die board

Hi all more questins. Mike- How do you use the glassine makeready tape. I can generally figure out make ready for printing. When die cutting it starts to get a little fuzzy. If I am die cutting a 30 - 40 pt stock other than back off pressure how do I set up the make ready for die cutting. I have been using a steel jacket and for now have only backed up the die a little at times but never under the jacket. I feel I should be somehow balancing packing and pressure but I not sure what to do. I also wonder about using something other than the steel jacket ( .030” - .035” I think) when I cut the thicker stocks but I am not sure what product to use. In my head the math of the steel jacket along with the thicker stocks does not work when looking at a 40pt build of packing and paper. What am I doing wrong and what am I missing. I want to fine tune this and what I do works just maybe not a good I would like. Please teach the grass hopper or masters of letterpress.

Bar-Plate sells make ready tapes. Use as a lick and stick spotting tape under the plate on the underlay. I do not put any shims under the die to get things to cut I always put spot tape or makeready under the die jacket. I would explain more but super busy

this pic shows The Makeready sheet and the finished foil stamp image. the different color tape denotes different thickness tape. It is just what I use. The “lick and stick” as mentioned above, is very usable. By mid-afternoon,I dont like the taste of it, and if i choose to remove some, it can be difficult. you want to keep your MR as thin as possible.

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Mike - glad your busy- keep it up. For foil I have been using Epoxy Glass Board. It was easy to adjust packing and worked fine. For die cutting I have never put any make ready under the plate and this why I have more questions than answers. I can see now why I might want to pack the die plate for light stock, kind of like packing out for printing. It is the heavy stocks (35-40pt ) I get puzzeled by. Should I be using a thinner die plate and then add packing or some other medium. What I am doing works fine, I just want to be sure I am doing this in the best manner possible.