Foil Pressing


I am new at letterpress and would simultaneously like to get into foil since there is no good gold or white ink out there.
I am wondering what my options are. Buy a new foil machine, buy a used one from eBay or similar, or buy a tabletop letterpress and outfit it for foil? Or something else.
My budget is low. I ideally would like to buy something used but good condition for $500 or less if at all possible.
Also- how would you get custom artwork…is there a photopolymer plate equivalent for foil?
Any insight is appreciated!

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Here is a link with great information;

Given your budget and experience, I would look for a used Kwikprint 55 or 86 tabletop foil-stamper. They come with self-centering type holders that iirc range from 1x5” up to 2x9”. There are a lot of optional accessories, and even pneumatic-powered ones.

I found mine on ebay a few years ago for $350, but you are going to have to be lucky to find one at that price.

Kwikprints are still made, but it sounds like a new one is out of your budget. If you find a used one with a small type holder, but a good price, it is very easy to upgrade to a larger holder later once you have made some cash using the old one. :)

There are lots of places that make plates (cuts) for foil-stamping. They are pricier than photopolymer (some materials quite a lot pricier), but in return, they last a lot longer. They have to be mounted according to the stamper’s setup, either you order them mounted high enough or you find a base system that works for your stamper.

I went for a cheap option, making a base from steel flatbar and mounting the cuts using a drop of superglue (when I’m done stamping, I give it a tap on the side with a hammer and it pops off).

The systems I’ve seen for stamping on tabletop letterpresses are a lot fiddlier, and fairly rare (which means pricy), so I think a proper stamper is the best way to go.



Find somebody who can cast Ludlow or Lino / Intertype for you.


Etched Magnesiums plates, You can have a Piece of Alu machined to fit in your Typeholder and mount them with 3M 444 Tape which is heat set.

Need linotype for letterpress? Have wide variety of fonts. 705=489=2036, Bob.