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
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
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
Rear view of a model 350 Graphotype machine.
View of internal gears and cams on a standard
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
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
Downward view of Model 350 slide, carriage and
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
Soon we will release a detailed
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
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