A Twisted Tale of Hot Stamping

Much to my dismay, my hot stamping machine, a Kwikprint model 55, started having problems. The head where the type and dies are set had become frozen. I was unable to lift the head, and letting the machine get up to 300 degrees only resulted in me dragging the head upright with my two oven-mitted hands. This could not stand.


My first move was to try out some anti-seize lubricant I picked up at a hardware store, and grease up all the moving surfaces. This did not work. I fretted and searched on-line for a solution.

the wrong kind of greaseGreased up head


Then I called Kwikprint directly to see if they had any tips on trouble shooting this problem. A wonderful representative named Jay gave me some great guidance!

I wanted to remove the pivot pin to clean and grease the interior, but the pin was very stubborn. I got out a hammer and gave it a few half-hearted bangs, before I stopped, realizing this could be a terribly bad idea.

Jay encouraged me, hammering out the pin is a good idea! This is actually how you get the pin out. It’s quite snug, and says a lot about the precision craftsmanship on this machine. Holding a screwdriver and a hammer made it impossible to hold the unit steady while I hammered out the pin (I haven’t bolted my machine down, tsk tsk!). Jay explained how to locate the screw to release the whole head assembly, and that’s what I did.

Successfully removed the head assembly


After the head assembly was off, I took it into the basement workshop to get set up with a vice.

Head Assembly in vicehead assembly in vice


I tried to hold the assembly in a way that wouldn’t damage the type holder too bad.

I sprayed some of a grandfathered can of liquid wrench on for good measure, and got to work. After a while the pin got loose, and I managed to get it out. Helpful hint, the pin is pushed out from right to left, so pound on the right side.

The Grandfathered spray of mystery

piston removed from head assembly



I brought the disassembled head back upstairs for a thorough cleaning with steel wool!

head assembly in pieces


I admit, I got a little carried away cleaning, and didn’t take any photos. Jay suggested Red Bearing grease for lubricant. You can purchase this at the usual auto part stores. Unfortunately, the auto supply store I went to didn’t have anything that was called Red, or was the color red, so I had to settle for this bearing grease:

the right kind of grease?


It was viscus, but not as thick as the original anti-seize tube I purchased. I greased everything up, pounded the pin back in, returned the head assembly, and put the screws back in their original locations. Then I carefully tried to raise the head.

back good as new!

It worked! In fact, better than before! Much smoother! I’ve already returned to stamping! Hooray!


I’m really grateful to Jay for giving me the tips to successfully trouble shoot the hot stamp. This is no easy task to do via the telephone. Kwikprint continues to be the best name in hot stamping.

One thought on “A Twisted Tale of Hot Stamping

  1. Jennifer,
    A job well done!! It seems Kwikprint can now offer some onsite repairs of this type in your area of the country. I guess you knew that was coming, since You are already a confident and knowledgeable instructor! I’m very pleased You are ready for hot stamping again.
    Sincerely, Jay D. Cann, Jr.

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