trouble die cutting crane lettra 220lb paper

Hello, hopefully someone knows the answer to this as I have a large job ahead of me. When die cutting on my C&P the edges on the double thick Crane Lettra paper are so soft they tend to look rounded on the front side and flat on the back. Similar to what puzzle pieces look like. Any idea what I can do differently or use another double thick stock of paper that is tougher? Or is it the die I had made?

Log in to reply   12 replies so far

The path of least resistance. It pushes the softness then, it finally cuts. Try placing a sheet of 20lb white paper in front of the Lettra, then try that together.
If that doesn’t help, using a harder paper may be necessary.
Lettra is a bit pricey to die cut and not a “packed” fiber paper.
A high packed fiber paper will give the feel of stiffer as a thicker paper will.
At this point I don’t think anything is wrong with your die, it’s sharp. I die cut a Chrome Coat, mirror hanger for a funeral home, looks really classy. White CS1 120lb.

Generally, die cutting rule has the sharpen edge on the center of the 2 point rule. Picture this going through a thick sheet. I think you need a die which uses edge sharpened rule - with the sharp edge positioned on the finish side of the shape.

I will try the paper in front to see if it makes a difference. What type of paper would you suggest other than Crane that is 220lb- perhaps Savoy?

Hi, my die is sharpened on the outside of the rule. is this best?

Another trick if you only need a sharp fore/top edge, is to die-cut the job upside down—if the die-line can be “flopped” (symmetric shapes). If the die-line can’t be flopped, then have a new die made in mirror image to the previous art.

What is the bevel on your cut rule…centered or off-side? What kind of rubber is on your die..hard or soft? Did you tell your steel rule diemaker what kind of paper you are cutting?

kismet - you need the cutting edge on the inside. My die maker uses the term “Side Face Rule with the Bevel out” when referring to it.

The two previous posts are on the mark. You need the appropriate cutting rule positioned correctly.

See the following link to PDF for more detail - specifically the side bar on page two (marked as page 5 in pdf)

This pdf link was so helpful. My rule is center face and it says to keep from crushing thick stock I should use side face long bevel or center face long bevel. I think mine was a short bevel. I will have the die remade.
I live in CT does anyone know of die makers in this area?

I think that even an inside edge cut die will still not give you an absolute crisp edge (ie: rounding). This is inherent to the paper. Die-cutting Cranes is more like die-cutting a sponge. If you can find a water cut house, or a laser cutter that doesn’t leave burnt edges (is such things exist), they would be more likely to leave a fresh square edge on top and bottom.

Is this a new die? If the die is worn, it would exacerbate any problems that might naturally occur. Rather like the difference between sharp and dull cutter blades.

kismet letterpress, Try B-P Products in Hamden, CT 100 Sanford St # 1, Hamden · (203) 288-0200 David Pniewski, Bob Weber or Paul Topitzer one of them should be able to help you.
They make 99% of my die for me.


Thanks Rubicon- I actually used them for my last die- but when I emailed them they didn’t respond so was wondering if they were still around.

Mikefrommontana: I will have to die cut them myself so I guess my next question if anyone knows is whether Savoy cuts cleaner? I know its not quite as soft as the Crane. And yes the die was fairly new- but I think it will need to be the long beveled edge and even then I do expect some rounding.