Can someone please give a basic rundown on using perforating rules on a platen press? I’m using a C&P. When using a perforating rule, do I have to take the rollers off? Then, does perforating have to be its own run through the press? Also, do I need to put a sheet of metal or something on the platen to protect it? Or is it not as big a deal as die-cutting, in terms of the potential damage to your platen?

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Yes the rollers come off.. You’ll damage them. Store them on end not flat.
Yes it is a separate press run. Possibly tight *register. (*printing in the same place on every sheet ever time)
Perf-a-base is what you want to use. Comes in a 30 foot roll, should last you a life time. reuseable. Make sure you get the glue. -In a pinch, I’ve used banding material for pallets, its a little wide, but it works. This is what the perf hits as you run the press, and you feed the paper between the rule and the base. You will have to adjust your packing, to make up for the Perf-a-base. (your adding with the base take away the sheets of packing.) Might have to Add some to give you a better perf. - Makes notes as to how many worked.
Ideally, if you hold (the paper) up to the light, you should see some come thru the perf. make sure your perf is clean and sharp.
I am sure a C& P can be backed off (reversed) after you “just make a mark” on your packing. Try not to cycle all the way thru.
Maybe you can use some lipstick on the perf rule to leave a line. Easy to clean off.
Then as you have the line,
take an exacto knife,
cutting only thru the tymphan sheet
at each end of the line.
Just wide enough to fit your perf-a-base in.
(do a test fitting before you apply the glue.) Cutting your perf-a-base long enough so that it just goes under your tymphan sheet no more than 1/2 on each end.
So that you don’t glue your tymphan to your packing, use as little as possible. So it doesn’t go in your cuts and to your packing sheets.
This will also allow your packing sheets to be free for removal or adding without sticking.

CAUTION!! if you are into the DEEP IMPRESSION thing, this is not the time to “think” Deep Impression. You just want enough, that it tears clean as you test a perfed sheet.
30 years ago, “Kiss Impression” was taught anything else was wrong. No press was made for Deep Impression printing. Remember your using something with OLD metal. Some can handle it better than others.

Stay Safe and think SAFETY at all times. I don’t like to talk or be bothered when I run my press. Concentration is safety. That press will smash your finger or hand like a pretzle.

Happy Printing!!

Theo, thank you for explaining why all the guy’s in the shop wanted my lipstick ..dam I thought they were all making fun of me or ….

Theo, is that why you carry lipstick in your purse???

Mr. Bell
I’m only teasing…your description is perfect!
The best barbie doll in the world

I use perforating rule that is .909” high so that it can be run along with standard forms in the press. At that height, if the rollers are set properly, the rule with not touch, or just barely ink. If you use standard .918” perf rule that same way, it will cut into the rollers, particularly if it is set to be perpedicular to the roller shafts.

Over the years I have numbered and perforated millions of forms, and most of those were done simultaneously.

If, however, you want to perforate and not ink the rule, it can be done as an operation separate from printing with the rollers removed from or lifted (Heidelberg windmill with lockouts).


Mike conway..
You would be better off with remotely operated plungerless boxes ..
There were once available electronically activated numbering boxes ,do they still exist ???


Hartles were still selling count bi matics about five years back , i bought a univers face box it was all in for £110.
You are correct that second hand boxes can be a box of nails i have plenty of leibingers with the prefix missing that are in good order otherwise should you get desperate .Missing prefix because they were set up with letters in the slides ,the slides are present just dont have enough Nos for them , Hartles used to supply shafts should they require any but as i remember they were fine .
i guess if you are perfing in the same pass the rods onthe remotes limit you a bit but you had to drill passageways through the obstacles (including the rules sometimes but once you got the hang of that set up you were better off than having chewed rollers from the serifs of the No s ….
I do number on the platen but i usually promote that you go for rotary systems like the morgana FSN or better stil if you can get one a socbox with the rotateable head . Both are extremely quick and you can still locate bits for socbox eexcept the circuitry and morganas are still selling around the dealers and i think new.

I have read this again today and for some reason ,bad grammar and awful punctuation make it look like more of that foul tinned stuff your nation introduced us to .


Don’t forget the equipment and men the Americans also sent. D Day was an Allied success. :o)
former 3 RCHA gunner

Jessie -

I also do a lot of numbering and perfing on my platen presses - C&P hand feds and Heidelberg Windmills. I use .906 or .909 perf rule to prevent deep cuts in my rollers - although I do keep old rollers on hand for these jobs and try to avoid using my good rollers when perfing.

If it’s a perf-only job, I might remove the rollers and treat it as die-cutting. If it’s a perf/number job, I print and perf in one pass. In either case, I perf gently into steel - perf-a-base, steel strapping or my die-cutting jacket - using fresh, sharp perf rule. Old rule wears out and forces you to crank up the impression which is not good for the base you cut into. It is far better top use fresh rule, press into steel and just Kiss The Paper..

However, although old rollers may be better for perfing, if they are too old and too hard, they may also have problems flexing around the plunger and properly inking the first few digits of the numbers.

I use steel strapping (banding) almost exclusively these days. It cuts nicely on my slug cutter and Scotch double-stick tape holds it firmly in place. I found that Tiger Perf-a-Base was just too much trouble to work with, unless there is not enough room between the perf and print areas, I prefer to use the wider steel strapping nearly all of the time. For one repeat order (that I have been doing for over 35 years), I use some stainless steel hose clamp material (really large hose clamps). It lasts far longer.

When you set your pressure, just kiss the steel - enough to snap through the stock, but not enough to mark up the base with more than a slight polish or indentation.

Also - select the proper teeth count if you have an option. Perf rule comes in many sizes. TPI is “teeth per inch” - and the actual teeth come in many widths as well - from pin perf to broad cutters up to 1/2” wide - or more. You can determine the best rule to use based up on the thickness of your stock and the grain of the paper.

If you are in doubt, ask for advice from your supplier. Fritz at NA Graphics can guide you in selecting the best perf rule for the job.

Thanks for the advice everyone. So, Mike Conway, you do it all in one run if you’re using rule less than .909 high? This will be a one-color job and I’d like to do the printing and perfing in one run. With the perfing rule less than .909, do you still use the Perf-a-base thing people have mentioned? Or just regular packing?

thanks again!

And also, if the rule is less than type-high, do you use more packing under just that area to make sure that it actually touches and perforates the stock you’re using? Thanks so much!

If you have room you can use old brass rule to cut against its not far off the proper stuff that was meant for the purpos e only its four or five times the width .

instead of brass rrule i use old diecutting rule taped to the tympan.

With the ORIGINAL question in mind? why do “I” remember not too long ago posting some recollections about Printing , Numbering and Perforating, all in one hit, without hurting the rollers, 30, 40, 50 years ago? The perforating achieved with the “HOLROYD” system whereby the rollers were protected from the perf rule by the sandwich of depressable brass guards, (which although they printed on the line of the perf) apparently had no adverse effect when torn at the perf!!! And why do “I” have this picture still lurking of the tympan with thin, narrow, strips of brass stuck on to (Presumably) facilitate low, non controversial, perf rule.>> Would appear that, Jessie A could be ahead of the game and the would be teachers, as above!!!>>>And contrary to some suggestions, remotely operated multiple numbering boxes, shaft driven, did apparently, work on platens and cylinders.>>>The only slight drawback would seem to have been, that for progressively smaller forms, the driving shaft had to be ground to length, and was consequently an expensive expendable? And again contrary!!! obstacles did NOT have to be navigated (drilled) normally supplied were aluminium bridges for the rods to pass through, OR 4 em aluminium furniture (which is probably 4 ems on its side) could be used in any multiple length? As tunnel.!!!

Mick can you find me some of the rules with pre drilled holes please ! And yes i am aware the die cutter maker can notch them ! Yes there was narrow purpose cut brass rule you dsst it to the tympan ,there some around here and if you havent used it all in shims and inventions you have some too !

Mick on Monotype:
Yes, AWT in New York sold this set of “Holroyd” perf rule, sometime in the fifties.
I use mine sometimes when I have a short run, rather than taking off the rollers. Made up in sets of five of each length; four, five and six picas.
The green deco-art, hinged box they’re packed in is a work of art in itself!
There is a set on sale now on ebay:

Stanislaus, Re “Holroyd” Perfing rule, Thank You, have assimilated your info, and will put in a bid this day, *** see footnote*** And yes My existing (mini biscuit tin style) container is not elaborate as yours, but still attractive, with what I would describe as “HOLROYD” at about 36 point, in a graceful arch, and “PERFORATOR” in about 30 point in what I would class as Large Spartan Typeface, on the lid. >>Plus serial number, 12,232 punched into the lid in/with about 12 point figure punches.>>And can never envisage creasing channel box or perfing rule delivery tape/box ever becoming collectors items, or even reusable containers!!! Thanks Again, MICK ***Unfortunately The “Old Goat” is learning too slowly and almost too late that given a link to specific item(s) for sale, can lead to enquiries regarding sellers “other items” nice one Buddy!!!