Nick a die cutting knife/forme


I need to make a small “nick” in one of my knives to hold the die-cut shape in the sheet whilst moving it to the delivery table. What do you guys use for making the “nick”? I don’t want to be too heavy handed and end up with a huge nick - what is “just enough”. I was thinking of a small file?


Log in to reply   7 replies so far

Most of our older (still working, cutting/ creasing etc) Printers seem to achieve the result you require, by using an ordinary kitchen style, steel knife, held perfectly upright across the rule and tapped gently with a baby, nylon nosed mallet or geniune *Toffee Hammer* but in any case as delicate as say, a table spoon in terms of weight, to give the smallest most shallow *V* in the rule, it can always be driven deeper, to suit the stock. A file would, NOT seem to be a good idea, The smallest *berreta* knife edge file, or even the smallest *needle file* would/will put a lot of side pressure on the cutting rule, (& make too big a *V* initially!) usually 1/4” above the base material, to accomodate the throw of rubber pads, which also seems to be the favoured spot for what *nicks* have to be introduced… It also seems to follow that however many/or few!! *nicks* are needed they are spaced *offset* rather than Horizontally/Vertically opposed. Good Luck

Tip on nick.. try not too make the nick deeper than the stock is thick this will make the front look better, keep the nick away from the ejection rubber as it will often break the nick also to get rid of the nick/tag from the finished piece jog and touch with an emory board

Great tips from all, thanks!

a dremel with a cutting disc works great, you can buy different thickness cutting wheels for different thickness of stock. makes it a lot easier than trying to use a chisel or knife as these methods if you are not carful can also bend your knife over.

I am a steel rule diemaker and advise leaving the dremel for nicking folding carton dies on high speed presses. I use to cringe when I heard the fellas in the pressroom using hammers and chisels to nick dies knowing that I would end up staying late to repair the die. A light tap with a mallet on a piece of old cutting rule is usually enough to create the nick/tag. You can always make it bigger but you can’t make it smaller.

I have run millions during my 40 years in letterpress on h/cylinders and platens I allways used a piece of old cutting rule and a toffee hammer it dose’nt matter how deep the nick is, just keep it narrow

I use a single edge razor blade or the smallest of nicks. I am a nick picker let me tell you and have made many pressmen repair dies for nicking too large. Straight down is most important so that you don’t get an inny or an outy

If you do get one with a burr you can sometimes pull it up a bit with a pair of good pliers, grip it lightly and pull up gently a few times over will ease the burr, this won’t fix one that’s just too big but it will cure an inny or an outy