Wednesday, October 12, 2005


I've been asked about my paper trimmer jig. It's a pretty simple piece. I have plans to further adapt it but that will have to wait.
I use a fiskars table top rotary cutter. I like rotary blades because they don't pull and they cut in exactly the same place each time. If I over load the cutter, as I am prone to do, I don't get pulling or hacked edges, it just won't cut through the whole stack.

The jig was made with 1/4inch by 3 inch poplar I boughtit for strip framing a few collages on canvas and this was a scrap.

You may note that I've drawn a big red stripe down the center of the wood. This is so that I know which side is up on the board. It only fits in one way.

I measured my paper cutter bed, from edge to edge. I cutmy board 1/16th of an inch longer than that measurement. My bed was 12 and a quarter inches high. So I cut my board 12 and 5/16th. I used a fines sanding pad and razor blade to trim off minute shavings until I got my board to fit in so tight it wouldn't move easily.

When i cut reams of paper in halves I take one sheet of paper and fold it in half and put it on the bed, measureing it against the blade. I then slip my jig into place. I end up with a ream of paper cut neatly in half and pretty near the same size. Reams of lower end paper tend to have a lot of sheets that are 1/16th to 1/32nd of an inch off which messes with everything. I had a hell of a time getting my Wausau paper the same size. I ended up cutting the ream, stacking the sheets and pulling out the nearly half ream that was a screwed up size and cutting a 1/16th of an inch off. It was a major production and it's a reason I shy away from all the wausau branded paper- including astrobrights. Great colors but not worth the aggravation.

My finall adaptation is to cut 2 slots one at the top and one at the base and coordinating slots in my board. thread screws through the cutter and the board attach washers and wing nuts so that I have a removable but very secure cutting jig. I am however very afraid of damaging the cutter, so that it warps when I lean on it to cut. I dont have any issues with the jig I use now.


wirewoman said...

Wow, Artpal Leslie - this jig is fantastic!!!! You've inspired me.

I'm thinking about your concerns re: damaging the cutter by drilling into it - I wonder if perhaps a different kind of drill bit might do the trick? I think there might be some that are designed especially for plastics. What would happen if you drilled with a very small bit (to start the hole) and then followed with a larger hole? Maybe you could practice on a piece of plastic similar to the cutter...??
Just musing...


Comfortable Shoes Studio said...

I'm going to need to use a router on the plastic. I think if I use my dremel i might be able to do it reasonably well. Though my real worry is that the stabilising plastic bits untder the cutter might be damaged and cause flex in the cutter. If you look under the cutter there are bits of plastic forming support beams on the bottom. I don't know if I cut them if it will destroy the cutter...