Kluge electrical

Hi, I recently purchased an antique Kluge press, 1950’s model. I’m having difficulty with getting it powered up. I’m hard-wiring it directly into the breaker. It keeps throwing the breaker immediately. Ive tried using multiple breaker sizes. If anyone can offer some advice I would appreciate it. There is a speed control unit and the original (I think) GE 220v -18amp motor.

P.S. I live in the middle of nowhere so getting an electrician is a very costly endevour just to have them look at it without any guarantee (or price) that they could get it working. So I’m trying to avoid that.

image: kluge.jpg


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Check the motor it is probably 3 phase and your supply is likely not.

Thanks for the reply mike, do you know how to compensate for that?

if you have 110/220 in your housee / garage and need 3 phase, get a vfd drive , allows you to input 110/ 220 and output 3phase, also you can regulate the speed of the Press

The press has a speed control unit. its my understanding that it should limit the power in the way you describe.

I’m also not sure about it being three phase. There are only 2 wires coming fro the motor. they attach to two wire into the speed control unit. then Ive attached the two wires coming out of the speed control unit into the breaker box.

ive attached some photos for reference.

I have a similar year 10x15 Kluge with a Northwestern Electric motor and speed controller. I had similar issues and solved them by working through them with an electrician. I can tell you what he told me.

Run it on 220.
Make sure all of your wire is 12 or 10 gauge with a big enough breaker.
Give it a push start to ease the initial load on the motor.
Start it on 5 on your speed controller.

I can send you a wiring diagram if you would like. Just send me an email. [email protected]


Mine is wired 110. There was a schematic inside the control box.

Do you know how many Amps you do have on that plug/ breaker? you need first to have min of 40Amps available electric attached to 40~60 Amps breaker and you will need to attach a switch on/off 40Amps direct to the machine .. to test your existing motor & controller before doing any ..you will need to give a hand with the same direction of the motor before turn it on (it will not throw it off)

I don’t know the specs on that Kluge motor but I can’t imagine it would require a 40amp breaker. You’d have to check the motor plate for max amps, but I’m guessing a 20amp breaker is sufficient—especially if it’s a dedicated run.


Read the plate on the motor otherwise you are going to get a lot of well intentioned bad advice.

We have the same speed control at the Minnesota Newspaper Museum. If you remove the front cover, you should find a schematic that shows how the speed control can be connected. Ours is an autotransformer that controls the speed of the motor by varying the voltage. There are also multiple taps for voltage input which allow you to step the voltage up or down. This allows you to adjust for local conditions—for example, you can step up from 208 to 240 volts if you are running on two legs of a 3-phase system, or from 120 to 240 if it is necessary to run the 240 volt motor on a 120 volt system.

The nameplate on your motor will give the motor type, voltage, and amperage. On many motors, connections can be changed at a terminal block to allow the motor to run on either 120 or 240 volts. Twice the amperage will be required on 120 as on 240.

Our motor is Type R - a repulsion motor. Speed of repulsion motors can also be controlled by shifting the brushes to increase or decrease the phase angle between the magnetic field of the field windings and that created by the induced current in the wound rotor. As used in our press, the brush angle is set for maximum torque, then the voltage applied to the motor is varied to change press speed.

Don’t confuse a repulsion motor with a repulsion-start motor. In printing press motors, the brushes are used full time, which gives better torque at low speeds. If your brushes are worn out, new brushes are readily available.

— Mark