bearings for my 12x18 Kluge

Hello all, I am in the process of getting my old Kluge up and running again. After 5-6 years as a really big paper weight I am very happy to be making progress. It was a die cutter previously - thus there is more work to do on the inking side of things.

Right now I am looking for replacement bearings and trucks for the roller cores. I see that NA graphics sells the trucks online but no mention of the bearings.

anybody have a good source?

thanks in advance

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If the Kluge bearing dimensions are the same as the C&P Craftsman models then they are very difficult to find. Do you have measurements for the bearings you need?


Go to Ebay and enter “kluge” in the search box. One of the sellers lists bearings from time to time. You might contact one of them and ask if they have any.

How many do you need?

Not to hijack this thread, but I’ve always wondered what the bearings were for. I assume the fit the recess in the roller saddles. Do they prevent wear or facilitate rotation?

My Kluges only came with 1 roller bearing. :(

Do they prevent wear or facilitate rotation?

They are mostly designed to prevent wear. The ball bearings themselves will come out of round, retainer assemblies will corrode and break, long before the races of the bearing let alone roller saddle or journal begin to show any wear.

On older platens, there is a direct bearing surface between roller core and saddle arm, I think these are called plain bearings or journal bearings. Unless perfectly machined and tirelessly lubricated, these wear down and cause grooves in roller cores and dangerously thin roller saddles.

I’m not an expert on the physics of it, but maybe in a perfect world both bearing styles would rotate with the same resistance, but I’m sure in most practical situations (where we haven’t quite done our duty with respect to lubrication, or if there is any amount of wear to the system) a ball bearing will offer less resistance than a direct bearing on the journal of the roller.

I’m surprised to hear that these bearings could be hard to find. Are they ball bearings? I would understand if for some reason Kluge installed tapered roller bearings or conical bearings on its rollers that they would be tricky, but seems to me ball bearings should be in a steady supply in almost all sizes… If not, someone should contact a bearing supplier and get a bunch made up to sell, probably at least wouldn’t be a money-loser.

They’re ball bearings and they’re a size I’ve never seen offered before—I’ve checked bearing suppliers as well as McMaster-Carr and Grainger. I’ve thought about having a batch custom made, but only after I’ve exhausted all options. I don’t have the measurements here, but can provide them later tonight or tomorrow.


they are a special bearing. mostly just a really old style. i can get them.. they are pricy at $30 a piece plus shipping. you need to post the shaft diameter just to be sure. or better take a picture of the bearing you want… the ones i send you would be NOS

Looks like mine are 9/16” ID & 1 1/8” OD.

I didn’t see the width mentioned, but I’ll take a stab at it and say 9/16”

9/16” ID x 1 1/8” OD x 9/16” Wide… this is indeed the same size bearing as on the C&P Craftsman. It took me a while to find a source for mine (a 12”x18” C&P Craftsman) but eventually I found them manufactured by General Bearing & distributed by Applied Industrial Technologies.

Here are some Links:

( Online Ordering & Local Branches)

(General Bearing: Product Information)



Looks about right by my measurements. Though the width is a little weird, with the inner ring being wider than the outer “track” of the bearing.

I’m definitely going to try and source some, since the main thing I’m worried about on my Kluge is saddle wear. The previous owner never seemed to have used the bearings, so I have a notch in the center of the saddle, and the additional room worn to the sides allows the roller to shift from one side to the other while traveling. Inner saddle (where the bearings fit) is virtually unworn.

Yea, the inner race might look a little off if you measure it directly - this is due to the construction on this type of bearing. The inner race is two peices that are pressed together, one being swedged/belled out to retain the second.

I have to say, with mine, I wasn’t horribly impressed with the quality of construction for the price at first (most modern bearings are fully ground). But they haven’t failed me yet & continue to do their job (roll smooth). This is an older style bearing (size/standard wise) & one that’s just intended to have larger clearances/more play.

PS: you can order these direct from Applied via that first link I sent (enter quantity & add are over on the right hand side)

thanks to all for the tips - I’ll let you know how I make out

how you doing on the bearings?

I’ll chime in that I ordered 3 for my Kluge from applied, and couldn’t be happier. They’re nice, metal bearings that fit. They also arrived 2 days after I placed my order, which was surprisingly simple since I had spent almost a full day driving around town to bearing shops looking for a matching part… with no success.

After I recover my next pair of rollers, I imagine I’ll order another set of 4 to run all four rollers on the press.

James Beard
Vrooooom Press

Does anyone know if the bearings are the same for a 10x15 Kluge as for a 12 x18 Kluge?

Thank you!

i am sending some bearings out to a customer…. will update