Die Cutting Setup.

We are creating hang tags and candle products which have a steel rule cut and a 1/4 hole. We are die cutting on a windmill with a snap on 30pt steel jacket. The sheet size is generally 4.25 x 5.5 give or take. On heavier stocks( 35-40 pt) at times I have issue cutting the hole deep enough to weed with ease. We have also tried making self cleaning dies. We can always increase the impression but we are wondering should back the hole with die tape, back the cut area, or should we die against something other than a steel jacket. Any advise or ideas would help, you cant hurt my feelings so fire away. We want to fine tune what we do to get the best product available.

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I don’t know what the pros will say, but I’ve backed the holes with small spots of packing tape. I’ve been cutting .125” holes and that worked fine through 30 pt. museum board.

You can spec side-out hole punches and these, if properly set up by your die-maker with a cutaway for the ejection, push the slug out closer to the bottom of the hole punch and ‘weed’ for you. I found that to be really helpful. You do have to vacuum out the press now and then and make a little paper catcher so the slugs dont wind up popping into the works.

Thanks for the feedback . We packed out the area behind the hole part of the die and it solved the issues. We were just looking for a better way .

Spotting with tape is easy too IMO- just mark up a sheet that registered, stop the press with grippers open (feed and delivery), move the sheet you marked up into the guides and actuate them with the lever into position, sharpie marker the areas you need to mark out, apply a little packing tape or masking tape. Trim out excess tape as needed and then when you’re done with the job be sure to remove the tape. Leave the sharpie marker on the plate during the run in case you need to re-spot the tape.

I’d rather hit a punch into the tape than into the die-jacket personally, but that is a preference not a practical observation.

Depending on the strength of your pump and delivery suckers, a piece of tape on the platen can create enough of a drag so as to cause the sheet to stick to the platen (delivery suckers won’t move it). Suspect this is an especial problem when using plain steel as a jacket/die cut surface. Just something to watch for.

I would use adhesive steel shim tape behind the die on the holes.
Scotch/box tape breaks down faster. Do you have any packing under your diecutting jacket? You could spot patch under the jacket. Or you could use a paper drill for the holes.

I am retired now but I used to do this sort of thing on a heidelberg platen for a theme park all different shapes and sizes, some had a hole punch in but our finishing lady used to use a drilling machine to put the hole in first say 100 at a time in a given position, saves all the hassle of weeding out and watching for build up in the punch and pieces dropping down into the machine, just remember to fan well first.

Good luck, John

Hello All, Is it best to cut against a steel jacket or some other medium.

Mike - running with a windmill, not sure what was meant by delivery suckers. We had tried the tape but found it started to leave a rub or dirt make, suspected ooze from tape adhesive.

Girl With Kluge, Thanks for the shim tape, I had not thought of that. We did try drilling but the 40pt cottton wild left an uneven hole edge even with a new sharp drill bit. It got better if we drilled first then used the die’s sponge to reflatten the piece.

Now for a Strange Question- We were not running to guides as we did not need to. If we run to guides it places the cut piece closer to the base of the platten. Will I have better pressure control and thus better results by cutting at the base of the platten ( running to guides) than I would cutting in the middle of the platten. I am not sure how the platten compensates or moves for a change in pressure.