Folding Paper

What do people do out their to get a perfect fold on cards. Do you all use machines? Do you fold by hand? What are your tricks to get a perfect fold?

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I run Heidelberg windmills, so I mechanically score, then fold by hand. Paper grain matters in the scoring process, so experiment first before you do the whole job. If it is a really small job, I will score by hand then fold with a bone.

Is it possible to score on a Pilot Table Top? How would I go about doing this?

I use a bone folder and then trim on the paper cutter after folding and binding (mostly saddlestitch stapling).

There are a few different methods of scoring. Letpress has quite a few discussions along these lines.

This may be against letterpress rules, but I use my Fiskers paper trimmer with the scoring blade. However, this would not be very efficient if you had hundreds to do. Costco sells them for around $25.00.

You can score on a Pilot. All you need is a scoring rule of the correct length. Lock it up in the chase and be sure that you are not putting so much pressure on the handle that the rule starts to bite into the platen. I have never had this happen, but I imagine if you are scoring thousands it may be a concern.

I have even thought about putting a thin steel jacket behind the packing to save any possible damage to the platen… probably overkill, but I don’t want to have to find a replacement for a notched platen.

Hope this helps.



Thanks for that post. Do you know where I can purchase a scoring rule?

A ‘normal’ rule should work just fine. I have been accustomed to simply using a one or two-point brass rule (to the correct length of course - a little longer than actually required) to do my scoring on press for years. You need only have it packed for a normal printing impression so that it doesn’t damage the platen. The “trick ” is to first pull an impression on the platen so you can see the exact location, and then put a layer or two of masking tape butting up to each side of the impression mark. This will allow your rule to bite into the “valley,” or gap, created by the tapes.

Another good tip is that after your scoring and folding are done, to place moderate piles of your folded pieces either into a binding or book press or simply put a lot of weight on top of them and let them sit for hours (or overnight) so that the fold will stay laid flat for you, giving the fibers time to adjust to their new shape.

I use a scoring rule (.918, its slightly rounded on the score end) locked up in the chase with furniture. I turn two small pieces of furniture on there sides (so they are bit taller than standard furniture) on each side the rule. Then I set my guides and use two thin pieces of metal (they are very thin and not very wide.) I tape them to the tympan (this forms my ‘channel’ for a channel score. I have used thick paper stock also but I think these little strips work better.

I have scored up to 160 DTC stock with it, and it works great!

Once I have them scored I simply fold them.

I score on the “outside of the card”.

I found my scoring rule in a dusty type tray in the basement of an older printer, but you can buy it online and if you have bindery around they can probably sell it to you also.

A place called BarPlate sells scoring rule. They also seel the plastic counter piece that sticks to yout tympan(the name eludes me at the moment). It guves you a nice semi curcular score that folds with ease.

Kluge now offers a scoring kit for their automatic folder gluer line. See,cntnt01,detail,0&cntnt01article... you can see a video of it running.

any local die cutting die maker would sell you small amounts of score rule. if your press is set for cutting at .918, you prob would want to use a .905 score rule with a product from “channel creasing matrix” for single scores, do what you are doing with the steel. but, for more elaborate dies, the matrix will save you alot of time. if you call a steel rule supplier, or one of these matrix manufatures. they just might send you a pass to get into a trade show. these are very helpful with both info and new product.

Use a .900 scoring rule and some matrix. Dead on perfect every time. I used to use Channel Creasing Matrix which is a metal backed strip. Now I use Kiss Crease from Pace Punch Supply. It has a plastic back and is a little easier to use and remove. Good luck

mohotravelers is correct in that the plastic based matrix is better. in a big way, it will butt up to a die cut much nicer than the metal based. as for .900 vs .905, it all depends on your platen height

Channel matrix is the easiest way to go. However if you don’t have it and need a good crease it can be done the old way-2 sided tape with 20pt card on die jacket -make impression and cut channel out with olfa knife (sharp utility knife) or(as foolproof explained) paste 2 strips of stock on either side of the crease line(as in heidelberg platen manual).Watch my video on you tube 937die.

I’m running into problems scoring and die cutting envelopes at the same time. Is there a special matrix just for envelopes? It works except in the corners where the score and cutting knives meet.

Just a word of warning , channel matrix is brilliant but do be careful that the locater will pull off the rule easily , i e if you struggle to put it on the rule you must use narrower rule as its notorious for pulling the furniture out of the chase as the platen opens , if you are not quick to stop the press it will come expensive !
The plastic backed matrix may be more useful to you as it comes in rolls as opposed to lengths therefore no waste ,i end up with boxes full of bits from the metre lengths .
same as before though you will still encounter the same problem in corners and we just sand the surface off the end of the matrix and stop short of the corners where we can . I do this type of work most every day and corners are easy in comparison to some other tasks .

Peter…I’ll make the company aware of the plastic backed matrix rolls. There are usually bits laying around. Thanks for the info so our idea of sanding the matrix was right. Does the plastic hold up as well as the metal?

It is as good as the metal backed in good hands , i have had the steel split away from the backing on the metal backed 80k into the runs ,and have used plastic backed from CITO for 50k runs no problem , so in most uses its fine ,you may want to replace it quicker but the whole point of matrix like this is that it only takes seconds to renew .
Channel do plastic backed as well so you can find from both firms the best price , i think cito come cheaper ,i have arrangements with channel and they get it to me when i want it and wherever i want it so i tend to favour them ,they trade as Partwell over here now i believe , i havent ordered for a while as i keep a supply here and take with as needed , theres nothing wrong with cito i use it if the firm has their account ,i use channel from years of habit .

That should work great as I never have runs that big.

i use a 1 or 2 pt rule on a photopolymer plate. works just great.

Hi blackbird press,
I’m interested how you specifically are using the Photopolymer to score.

is the 2pt line on the plate and you use a matrix?

because I just thought it might also be possible to use a metal ruler and a high photopolymer plate with a reversed line (film positive like in intaglio) as the matrix.
This might be more durable as the Tape method which some have described here already.

I know a matrix would be the way to go, but I’m seated in Germany and have not jet found any suppliers.

We sell creasing matrix. They are sold in different sizes according to thickness of the material you are trying to crease.We also carry the scoring rule.

Call Paul at with any questions. 1-800-829-4815