Does anyone use a Kluge Open Press 12x18?

This would be the hand feed version of the Kluge 12x18. I’d like to ask a few questions of any operators. Thanks.

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There are a lot of kluge press owners on this site. Dick G.

Thanks for the response Dick. Seems like a lot of people are using the Kluge Automatic and not the open press. Which one are you using?

I have operated both presses. What are your questions?

My favorite thing about the kluge is i can swing the feeder out of the way and hand feed it, the only problem is the grippers hold on to the sheet longer and you don’t have much time to get the sheet out, my solution remove the grippers when hand feeding or slow the thing way down. Dick G,

I run without the feeder a lot, like Dick mentioned. Though on some heavy solids I wish I was running with grippers, I usually add extensions to my guides or an additional sheet support by taping red pressboard to the top sheet. Seems to help a lot, and it won’t catch your hand like the grippers can, since my press won’t slow down much more than 300 i.p.h.

I hand fed a Kluge frequently. As said, swing feed and delivery mechanism out of the way. We used a tall trash can with a drying rack for a feed table, delivered to the Kluge delivery tray. You need to tape the Kluge throw-off grip to the throw-off handle to give manual operation.

Some automatic Kluges have a manual air release for the throw-off that allows you to cycle between on impression and off impression without touching the moving lever. If not, it’s easy enough to add a valve to the piping to break the air flow. This part is listed as T2525 in the Kluge parts list.

On one press, this handle is to the left of the delivery board, and on the other it’s on the right. All I need to do is turn the handle when I want the press to be on impression, and then back off after printing to release impression. It’s very easy, and I tend to miss-feed fewer sheets than when I used a C&P New Style.

Thank you all for your answers. It’s wonderful to hear all of the experience with this machine.

Kluge at one time made a part (cam) to replace the regular cam for hand feeding. There aren’t any to be found thanks to OSHA. If you can find someone who has one of these parts or hand fed presses it would be worthwhile to make a copy of this part! The feeder then is totally removed and replaced with a feedboard for hand feeding.

Yeah, I wouldn’t mind finding one of the parts that Stanislaus is describing. I have one Kluge with a broken gear tooth on the feeder assembly, and it skips a beat and freezes up because of it. Wouldn’t mind making it hand fed.

Stanislaus, isn’t there a place in Texas that sells kluge parts, i thought i saw that somewhere but can’t remember where. Dick G.

Don’t know about Texas, but there was an Irving Machinery Co., somewhere in New York that had everything, including that part but they would/could not sell that part several years back when I inquired about it.
They’re probably plentiful in Mexico and The Philippines. (No OSHA)

Thats the place, Irving Machinery. I was lucky to have a retired Kluge salesman that lived about a mile away from me, he was buying up all the old kluges in the area, he had at least 8 or 10 presses and lots of parts. Mostly 12x18 and a couple of 14x22, he became ill and passed away, i tried to contact his wife about the equipment, when i did i found out she junked everything. He would stop by my shop every couple of months to talk letterpress, he knew where every kluge was in the north east, and had some of the best stories i ever heard. When i first got my kluge he came by many times to teach me how to run it, i will always miss my friend. Dick G.

That’s a wonderful story Dick. There are always people in this world willing to take the time to teach others.

Herb Baumgartner in Ennis, TX sells letterpress equipment and may have Kluge parts.

 A-1 Southwest Printers Supply-Herb Baumgartner

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Inky Lips Press

We have 5 Kluges 2 C&p’s and 2 windmills
3- 10 x 15 open
1-10 x 15 auto
3 14 x 22 EHD’s with foil

All can be hand fed.
On the Autos we feed from the left side with the left hand and let the delivery (provided the sheet is not oversize) suck the sheet into the delivery.

Email if you have questions.