Kluge Vacuum Suction

I’m new to Kluge presses, and I’m trying to determine whether the suction on the press is low, or if I am setting something up incorrectly.

I am currently feeding 40pt cover, and the press will either drop the stock before it hits the platen, or it will grab 15 sheets at once and make a mess.

I talked briefly to an acquaintance, and he said to remove the hose from the feeding arm and hold my thumb over the end to see if it was getting good suction. He said the Kluge should “suck the hell out of” my thumb. When I do this, there is suction, but not that much.

Just wondering everyones thoughts. I’ve read many of the discussions here and on the listserv, which all point to cleaning the pump, but I’d like to make sure I’m not missing anything before I try tackling that.

The press is an Kluge 10x15, serial number starting with MD.

Log in to reply   8 replies so far

If you are using the stock, crankshaft driven pump, it will provide vacuum in pulses. the up stroke provides vacuum the the feed, and the down stroke provides vacuum to the delivery. Or, vice-versa, depending how your hoses are attached. you can get some hose, that will fit the pump, and plug the hose onto the pump. 2-3 foot @ 2 pcs should work. (measure the pump fittings carefully, as many of these used 2 diff sizes.) You can then check the vacuum at the pump directly. without being inside a running press. A cheap vacuum guage from an auto parts store will work fine. That is what i haved used for many years. 14-20 inches of hg is what you want. you can then plug the press hoses back on and check at different hose points on the press. compare your readings to trace down a leak.
if one of the ports on the pump is stronger than the other, try switching the hoses, on the pump, to see if it gets better or worse.
Cleaning the pump is a very dirty job, but doable. i use a long wire or smalll chain with a solvent soaked bit of cloth on the end, to run thru all of the air circuit.
Don’t forget about the “Blower”. there should be a valve on the gear side of the magazine. This should be wide open. If this is closed down, it effect your vacuum. If you Clean Everything really good, you may never have to do it again. It is a very tolerant system.

I would be running the rubber suckers, make sure they are either new or in really good shape.

I’ve had luck using a single sucker on the pickup. Try to center the sucker on the stock and seal the other sucker with tape.
There’s a simple process for cleaning the pump with solvent outlined in the manual.

On a Kluge, of any age, the Achilles Heel of the feeder is the short length of hose connecting the feeder arm and the feeder column. The suckers will pick up the stock, but will drop it partway into the press as the hose twists, opening the flaw in the hose. Safest to replace that hose first, BEFORE you go crawling under, over, around and through the press. I had one that had a split in it, about fifty-five years ago; twisting it both ways revealed a crack that would close tight at the top of the stroke, but when the hose twisted, it opened, dropping the sheet. Replaced hose, problem solved!

Mine does this same thing, and I keep getting cracks in the yellow hoses that pick the paper up. It turns hard and brittle, breaking in half! Still trying to find any way we can buy replacement hose.

Surgical tubing, latex rubber tubing. A google search shows some suppliers.

I would recommend staying away from latex, or any “soft” hose or tube. You want “The work being done”, to be picking up the sheet, not collapsing the tube. A thick walled clear nylon hose should last for years. Yes it will get hard after time, but we are talking years here. just make sure it is long enough, but not too long. You don’t want it “Tugging” at the filter when running, (too short), or kinking when the arm is flipped up. (too long)

Heater hose is good — and cheap.