Kluge versus Heidelberg Cylinder

Hi I am looking for thoughts on the Kluge versus Heidelberg cylinder. I have a 14x22 Kluge that I am learning to use but I recently came across a cylinder press. I am relatively new to diecutting.

I am curious as to what might be a better machine to do the following:
- running 13x18 stock
- 24pt board stock
- emboss checkerboard pattern across entire sheet
- diecut afterwards, pretty much maxing out entire sheet with about .125-.25” margin around outside edge

I am hoping to get to larger volumes for the above job. Pretty much just want to run this one job.

I understand the Cylinder is a faster machine. How about makeready and overall operation? Is makeready for diecutting easier on the cylinder?

If I went for a cylinder what size out there would be suitable?


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If you are new to die cutting i would avise against a cylinder for a while till you get the hang of how to do it first ,learn the tricks and where to notch the rules , If you jump straight on a cylinder you will spend many hours down due to bits in the gear under the bed , (rack and pinion ).
That isnt saying dont go there ,more it is a delicate bit of kit that a screwed up lump of 450gsm board can do considerable damage if it goes through the bow rollers or into the rack beneath the bed . Platens are difficult but the errors are easily recovered , it take two minutes to remove debris from a job on a platen it can take hours to pick every bit of “mashed into concrete hard chunks ” debris from inside a cylinder .
I dont know the dimensions of the kluge footprint nor its weight but your smallest Heid’ cylinder is about 10 foot long 7ft wide , and minimum weight must be in the region of 6old english tons , A vertical miehle is not a good choice regardless of your skill level but it does simple light form cutting ok but sometimes takes a while to set because of the snags within the sheet travel areas ,they are extremely delicate when it comes to die work.
good luck with your efforts and remember mostly, always use a tissue or less when you need a bit more weight in the bed ,little by little is the only proper way to set up , short cuts and using a bit of 120gsm where you could use a tissue will always cost money , saving time is no good if you wreck your die and cutting jacket in the process.

Occasionally I concur with Peter 100% in this case we are at that point!!!!even if you were able to find even the smallest H,berg (cylinder) it would have been, almost certainly in use a long, long time been well hammered and as Peter has pointed out to Me over a very long time, it is almost inevitable that punch out,s etc have to have ended up in the rack, and be compacted to the point of being almost steel-like obstructions, implying and involving some serious removal efforts and in some cases taking out teeth in the process, in which case, repairs come in, and have come, VERY expensive and not always well done. Should you proceed the cylinder route, take some qualified back up to look and LISTEN when you view it running!!!! As peter implies there is no literal equivalent with the platen, which in most cases are within the scope of reasonably proficient Engineers. And again will your Back-up be able to tell if the bed has been ground out etc, etc. Not sure where the V.M. post came from, because although it is a versatile machine, in its class, and needs very small space, the size, weight, and compressive power of the cylinder, PRO RATA, is generally accepted as not that powerful, when cutting creasing etc, there-fore it would appear on balance, that the initial choice should be heavy platen, which could turn out to be long term permanent option. One more fairly relevant point, as H,bergs were originally used as (fairly) fast L/P machines and only ever intended as occasional cutting and creasing, stripping them back to dedicated cutting and creasing, was only a quick fix and a bodge, effectively, which is why the modified cylinder was NO MATCH for the dedicated CROSSLAND Cutting and Creasing Platen, which is in essence a VERY heavy Platen, implying that a good, even old, standard platen could well still match and even better a modified cylinder, in the right hands!!!

have you ever considered a Miehle 29, very durable as a die-cutter, sheet size 7 1/2 x 10 to 20 x 27 1/2, safely run stock up to 30 pt.

The smaller K-series Heidelbergs will not handle 24 point stock. Specs are, at least for the 15x20.5” KS, 21 thousandths maximum thickness. And you might not even run that if the grain isn’t with the cylinder.
The KS is something like 6,600 pounds.

You might consider a Thompson die cutter. It is a very heavy platen machine without the inking system. If you go to Youtube and put in Thompson die cutter, you can see several. You may be able to pick up a used one. As an added bonus, Thompson National Press Company is still in business.

Except for the embossing, I give the nod for the work to the Kluge. Platens are much better for handling heavy board—the delivery of all Heidelberg cylinders is really not conducive to die-cutting of any sort. You pretty much have to nick the die much more on the cylinder than on a platen.

The Miehle 29 has a much friendlier paper path but wrapping 24 point board around a cylinder can get mighty interesting. I have run 18 pt board on a Kelly #2 and also on a Miehle Vertical (blister board for packaging) but keeping the sheet together on both machines can be a challenge.

In the pantheon of cylinder letterpresses that I would use for die-cutting, the Heidelberg cylinder sits toward the back of the pack—the only saving grace being the massive cylinder of the S series machines, but the delivery just spoils it.

I spend many hours running a SBD, SBG and SBB, I die cut round corner business cards full out on SRA2 and B2 as well as bottle shapes and aerosol can shapes etc which although easy to set up are sometimes a drag to get delivering flat.
A good trick if its of help to any frustrated minder out there is to place a sheet of paper of reasonable weight in the delivery area beneath the chain specifically to cover as much of the “floor ” area as possible without contacting the chain or moving parts, the point being to cover the gap between the two panels of sheet netal guarding that encloses the top of the bed gear and connecting rod , then the few that fall out of the form during set up dont drop through the slot. you can also attach a sheet to the guide bar nearest the gripper so that the job doesnt actually touch the bars , that takes a lot of explaining but should the need arise i will sit and take pictures and go beg help!