Paper tape carriers and paper tape

John Labovitz johnl at
Sat Nov 12 22:09:03 CST 2016

On Nov 12, 2016, at 2:24 PM, Paul Koning <paulkoning at> wrote:

> There are lots of paper manufacturers and lots of grades and thickness of paper.  The thickness we're talking about is one that shows up in a couple I looked at.  So it wouldn't surprise me at all if suitable paper could be had.  The matter of cutting it to the correct shape is a different issue, admittedly.  

It may not be all that difficult. Perhaps the right method here is a die-cut, a common method for doing custom cuts of paper — often far more complicated than punch cards. The basic idea is that you build a form up with steel rules that define the edges you want cut. These rules essentially act as a blade. Then you mount this on a press, and run through a stack of paper as if you’re printing, but in fact you’re just cutting.

Here’s a basic overview:

A few years back, while photographing letterpress printers (see, I met a fellow (Rob Barnes) in Denver who specializes in die-cutting. Like most die-cut operators, he uses mid-20th century Heidelberg letterpress printing presses. I have no idea if he’s interested in a retro-punch card project, but it might be worth contacting him.

Frankly, I think the harder task is to find a good stock of appropriate paper.


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