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In This Section:

Class 6100
Class 6200
Class 6300
Class 6400
Class 6500
Class 350


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Once in a Lifetime

Months of searching paid off.

We located a 350 Graphotype in Germany at the unheard of price of 16 Euro.  This was roughly equivalent to $27.00 US.

Excited at our outstanding find we contacted the seller in Germany to make arraignments to have the machine shipped to the United States.  After much correspondence the seller said that he could not ship to the United States.  So I had the machine delivered to Heidelberg where my cousin lived.

This transaction took place at Thanksgiving and we were trying to get the machine delivered to us so we could have it for the Christmas season.  The seller agreed to have the unit delivered to Heidelberg.

Shortly after agreeing to deliver the unit, the seller broke off all communications with me.

I tried to contact my cousin and he would not respond.

I was a bit confused but with the Christmas holidays coming on fast I let the whole issue fall to the back burner and forgot about it.  I figured that if my cousin had the machine I would get it in time.

After Christmas came the new year.  So on January 2nd, I called my cousin to inquire about the machine.  He informed me that I needed to call his mother-in-law located in Arlington, Texas.

It seems that my cousin and the seller had made an agreement to not have any communication with me as they were going to surprise me by delivering the machine to me for Christmas.

My cousin carried the machine back from Germany as check in luggage and delivered it to Arlington, Texas but with the confusion of Christmas he did not inform me that he had brought it.

My son and I drove out to Arlington, Texas and picked up the machine.

On the way home I told my son that I had some dog tags in the truck.  I suggested that since we did not pay shipping his total cost in the machine was $27.00 so would it not be interesting if we stopped somewhere and sold some dog tags and paid for the machine before we got home.

We pulled into a gas station and put the tail gate down on the truck, then set up the machine.  In short order we had sold $30.00 worth of dog tags.

After making our money we closed the tail gate and drove home . . . having paid for the machine before we even made it back to Dallas.

Opportunity is where you find it.



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Class 350 Graphotype:

A Class 350 is the most desirable of all the Graphotype series of machines.  This machine is considered the "crème de la crème" of Graphotype Machines. 

Graphotype Class 350 machine.

Weighing in at about 34 pounds the Addressograph Graphotype Class 350 is by far the lightest of all Graphotype machines.  The machine's light weight and compact size coupled with the fact that no electricity is needed for operation make this machine one of the most popular dog tag machines available.

Front View of Graphotype Model 350

The Graphotype Class 350 has not been manufactured since Addressograph discontinued the machine in the early 1980's.  For this reason you will not find new Model 350 machines for sale.  There are several vendors that can be located on the Internet that claim to have Class 350 Graphotype machines for sale - usually for a king's random.

From a reseller that offers a "Reconditioned" you can expect to pay at least $2500.00 - $3500.00 per machine.  Many of the resellers advertising Class 350 Graphotype machines do NOT have them in stock.  Previous experience has been that the resellers want your money and they will delivery months later.

Most Model 350 Graphotype machines are located on eBay.

Because these machines have not been made since the 1980's that does NOT mean that there are not new machines available for purchase but they are few and far between.

Most people that buy a Graphotype Class 350 usually keep them and rarely resell them.

Side View of Graphotype Class 350

The Graphotype 350 comes in both embossing and debossing formats.  Ideally suited for making dog tags, the Model 350 was designed to be a multi-purpose machine.

The United States Military did and still does have the Addressograph Graphotype Class 350 machine in their inventory for the purpose of making dog tags, identification tags, medical plates and data plates.

Embossing 350 Graphotypes are harder to find than debossing machines.  The embossing machines originally were intended to emboss plastic cards and credit cards.  Embossing Model 350's generally command a higher price than do debossing machines.

The lion's share of Class 350 machines are debossing machines.  All most 99% of all military machines are debossing machines. 

This Class 350 has a replacement handle attached to the slide.

Isometric view of a well used Class 350 Graphotype.

Rear view of a model 350 Graphotype machine.

View of internal gears and cams on a standard Model 350.

The protective sheet metal cover on the Graphotype model 350 is hinged and lifts up and back to expose the internal workings of the machine.  Unless there are serious problems with the machine a standard operator will never have to open the machine except to lubricate the machine.

Lubrication should consist of a light grease such as a white lithium and a light coating of a high quality machine oil such as 3-in-one or sewing machine oil.  NOTE: WD-40 is NOT a lubricant and should not be used as a lubricant substitute.  WD-40 is good for cleaning but not lubricating.

Another angle of the internal works of a Graphotype 350.

This photo clearly shows the gears and cams used to compress the dies and punches of the machine.  Notice there are a lot of springs and screws in the machine.  Also visible are two of the slide roller bearings, one on each side of the gear box riding on top of the slide.  If your slide is sloppy in it's movement with too much up and down vertical movement you can tighten up the sloppiness by adjusting the bearings.  The slide bearings are eccentric - meaning that the through hole is NOT on center thus allowing the bearing to be tightened or loosened.

It is ill advised for the common operator to take the machine apart.  There are a lot of screws and springs that have to be correctly installed for the machine to work properly.


Downward view of Model 350 slide, carriage and controls.

This photo shows the carriage to the right side of the work area and toward the front of the machine.  As this machine sits you can see the jaws that hold the plate to be imprinted.  The jaws are the dark grey portion of the carriage at the top just left of the black lever.  Notice there is a scale on the front of the machine that should aid the operator in character spacing.  There is also another scale that is visible through the right side carriage hole when the carriage is in the forward position ready to imprint.

The two black levers on the left side of the machine protruding outward from the grey case are carriage operation levers.  One lever controls x-axis (side to side) movement of the carriage while the other lever controls the y-axis (forward and backward) movement of the carriage.

The black lever on the carriage itself controls the jaws the hold the plate to be imprinted.  To load a tag or plate, the operator must flip the jaws up and toward the operator.  At this position you can apply pressure to the black lever and the jaws will spread (open) to accept a blank tag or plate.

The thumb lever on the right side of the carriage is there to allow the operator to move the carriage forward into the slide to engage the blank plate for imprinting.

Aftermarket slide handle attached to this 350 Graphotype.

The above photo shows an aftermarket slide handle.  The most fragile part of the Graphotype 350 is the slide handle.  Original slide handles are made from a phenolic type material.  Because of the design where the handle protrudes outward and down from the slide it is exposed and unprotected.

This design is a very poor design and the handle is subject to breakage.  The phenolic material while being light is very unforgiving of shock and tends to break easily.  With age the phenolic material becomes brittle.

If you are lucky enough to have an original slide handle and want to keep it in good condition it is recommended that you remove it from the slide for shipping and transportation of the machine. 

Graphotype.net has a detailed page dedicated to the shipment of Graphotype Class 350 machines and can be viewed here.

Shipping a Graphotype Model 350

View of carriage and slide on a Graphotype class 350.

In the photo above you can see the character slide, carriage and hand controls on the Graphotype Model 350.  Currently the carriage is in the forward position with a tag in the slide ready for imprinting.

Close up of dies / punches and slide on a Model 350.

This is a close up view of the character scale (map) and slide.  You can see the dies and punches located behind the corresponding position on the character map.  The dies and punches are the single most valuable parts on the Graphotype Class 350 machine.  The dies and punches are also the easiest part to loose on these machines.  Each character is imprinted using a individual die and punch set.  The punch has a male protruding image of the character to be imprinted while the die has a female receiving image of the same character.

Notice that the character map has gaps every 13th character space.  The actual character map is made up of 4 sets of 12 characters each.  These "gaps" are dead spaces designed into the aluminum slide.  The middle space is "open" so that the machine may have the slide "locked" in place for transport and storage.

Alignment arrow for selecting characters to be imprinted.

Why are the dies and punches the single most valuable part on the Graphotype Class 350 machine?  Because replacement die and punch sets are generally sold by the character.  Individual character die and punches can cost has high as $100.00 or more per character.  If an owner were to loose one die or punch you have to purchase the die's and punches as a matched set you cannot buy individual die's and punches.  The loss of one die or punch can turn into an expensive proposition very quickly.

The most common character set used with the Graphotype Model 350 is known as 28A.  This is also the most common character set for imprinting military dog tags.

The dies and punches are captivated in cast cavities that are integral to the slide.  Special leaf springs (finger springs) are used to apply pressure to a detent pin that holds the individual dies and punches in place.  The dies and punches themselves have several operating positions.  When they engage the plate they are in extended position.  When not being used the dies and punches are in a neutral position with the detent pin fully seated into chamfered slot on the rear of each die and punch.

Soon we will release a detailed page
dedicated to Punch and Die operations,
maintenance and issues.  Check back here often
for a link to the Punch and Die information page.

Addressograph Graphotype Class 350

The above image is a stock photo of the Graphotype Class 350 imprinting machine.  Notice that the handle in this photo is the original factory handle of black phenolic. 

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