Kluge Auto Feeder vacuum not able to take heavy stock papers

I have a 1930 12x18 Craftsman C&P with a Kluge Automatic Feeder. The feeder works fine on thinner papers but when you try to feed some Cranes Lettra 300gsm it just can’t hold on to it. Any tips or thoughts on how to either a.- increase suction on the feeder (I’ve already taken an air compressor to it to flush it out) or b.- maybe you guys know a trick I’m just not thinking of. Maybe a larger sucker attachment or something? I don’t even know. Thanks.

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are you using rubber suckers? if so the pump can be dissassembled and cleaned out, or rebuilt. parts can be found on ebay.

eric m - Yes. I am using rubber suckers. Thanks, I didn’t know the pump could be disassembled. I guess it’s really the only part on the press I haven’t cleaned or fixed at this point so I should have assumed. Thanks for the advice!

eric m - Oh and I forgot to ask, any tips on cleaning or disassembling the pump on my 12x18 C&P?

Yeah, you’ll want a rebuild kit like this:


I have no connection with this seller besides also having purchased this kit from him.

We picked up a 10x15 a couple years ago and have the same issue with the Kluge feeder so we have basically never used it. It will feed 28lb text paper if I crank the press fast enough that its a little scary but I’ve never been able to fee and pickup a 100lb card stock. I’ve replaced all the old hoses but have been hesitant to pull the vacuum pump and buy one of those kits because I don’t know what to do with it once I have it apart.

Does anyone have pictures from their rebuild or can someone describe the process? I’ve searched around the net and haven’t come up with much besides the kits for sale.

Right now I only have 2 suckers to pickup the paper and feed it in. I’ve been thinking about picking up a second set since there are hose hookups for them.

Download the Kluge manual from Boxcar. It tells you how to flush the pump.

Do you have a lint screen on the hose at the top of the feed arm? Make sure it’s clean.

There are different sucker feet for different paper types. Heavy paper requires rubber suckers, and there are several rubber sucker types for varying paper. I have fed Cranes Lettra with small soft rubber suckers, and napkins with a very large rubber sucker.

Check ebay for suckers.

Lastly, where are you? Maybe there’s a kluge operator near you willing to share knowledge with you.

you will want to take pump apart first. if it has ball valves then just clean them. some ebay sites are offering a “reed” type valve. others can chime in here to what is better. i have a pump that i can take apart and show pics. but it is pretty simple…. just lay it out during dis-assembly,,, then clean with kersosene type cleaner. if the leather plunger is shot,, buy a new one. ( this site or ebay)
you have stated that you have cleaned all lines,,, make sure you have cleaned out all valves also. they can be dis-assembled and cleaned… it has been quite a few years since i have done this so,,,if someone has better advice,,, feel free to correct me…

there are 4 different suckers for kluges. they are numbered 1-4. #4s will probably work. i use them on all types of card stock, file folders etc. have u checked all vacum lines, take them off the press and visually check them. if it has a later model throw off, check that small line. check the fine adjust on the top of the mast head, sometimes that valve will get a clog and stay partially open. my pumps generally last 8-10 years with heavy use. there is a place in dallas that i take them to for rebuild. they sell parts on e-bay. if you need to rebuild, the pumps are simple , very easy to remove and work on.

awesome, thanks everyone for the helpful advice! I’m not afraid to take things apart so I’m eager to tinker with it until it’s working well. It sounds like it won’t be entirely complicated. I’ll post back any of my findings along the way is anyone is interested. Thanks again!

I think you can do it! - I’m no expert so take my advice for what it is.

I had a similar problem recently- being loathe to disassemble anything i didn’t have to - I tried cleaning out the pump first. (I read the method in the manual but balked at attempting it until 3 separate people told me it is the way to go.

I’m not endorsing my method as super safe route for health and well being but the old salts around here said to disconnect the hose that pushes air at the pump and then pour kerosene into one of the vacuum side hoses that is easy to reach. turn on press!

Be ready for some exciting things to come out of the forced air side of the pump!

It seems to have knocked the crud out of my pump and now it will hang onto 26pt chipboard where before it would not.

good luck !

hiram-k… “exciting things” funneeeee

Yep I don’t get out too much these days!

oh yeah I almost forgot —— I would recommend wearing eye protection and keeping your mouth closed!

hiram-k, I read that in a manual as well using the kerosine to clean out the pump. Though that is probably the way to go, I decided to utilize a vacuum pump I had lying around for an exposure table that I never got around to finishing. So I designated the external vacuum pump to the feeder and tweaked the vacuum pressure with a bleeder valve, while the internal pump that came with the press is now designated to the delivery system. It was interesting with the feeder before tweaking the bleeder valve. It was able to pick up 17 pieces of 300gsm Lettra paper and a piece of cardboard all in one go! Adjusting the bleeder valve did the trick though and it’s all running tip top now! So excited. Thanks again for everyones thoughts and suggestions.


Re Ken Jacocks comment about the fine adjust on the mast head. That valve is the feed release adjustment. It is a steel ball that just sits in a seat. When I had feed problems I would first clean that ball and seat as it was easiest and generally solved the problem. We used dry rice powder spray for non-offset and that with oil caused a buildup on the ball and seat. Cracked air lines was next to check. Dick