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Old 10-31-2007, 03:28 PM   #1
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Default Cutting Paper

Hi...I'm new to the site & I've searched on the forum for advice on cutting paper, but could not see anything. I have a few queries re cutting paper.

I stack cut watercolour paper, usually 10 sheets taped with masking tape between thin plywood. I have 2 machines, a Hegner single speed & an RBI multi speed & have been using no5 & no7 Olson pgt blades.

I wondered how other sawers go about cutting paper, are there some blades that cut paper more effectively than others? Are there better/other ways of sandwiching the paper securely other than plywood?

Any advice or ideas would be appreciated. Thanks.
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Old 10-31-2007, 05:07 PM   #2
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There have been a few threads mentioning paper, but it isn't an especially common medium around here, but you will still get ideas.

I cut veneers, although I rarely stack more than the two for the bevel cut. I use 8/0 jewelers blades for the thin kerf, but with a stack like you have I would suggest something thicker. Perhaps a #0 or #2. (my memory of blade numbering isn't failing due to disuse, is it?)

See what others have to suggest as well. Mike, who posts as 3_M, sells the Flying Dutchman blades. Around here, they seem to be considered one of the two best brands of blade, with Olson being the other.

Best of luck,

Tor
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Old 10-31-2007, 05:08 PM   #3
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Hi I-Saw, welcome to the forum.. I have not tryed that yet. I did read about it in a magazine. It looked pretty cool. looks like you are doing the right thing there. not sure. but I will be watching your thread, to see what others have done. welcome.
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Old 10-31-2007, 05:47 PM   #4
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G'day I-Saw,
What are you cutting out of the paper ? and what size?
My wife was teaching kindy for about 10 years and it involved lots of cutting out paper shapes etc for the nippers.
What I used to do for, was make a stack of paper about 10 - 12mm thick, sandwich it between 3mm ply then nail them together. Depending on the size of the pieces I had to cut, some times I'd use a dozen or more nails around the edges and in any gaps through the centre. I'd nail on a piece of canite or styrene then flip the whole thing over, place it on the bench and give each of the protruding nails a good quilt with a hammer.
Then glue the pattern on top of the play and away I'd go.
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Old 10-31-2007, 08:05 PM   #5
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Thanks alot for the warm welcome Evie...very kind of you.

G'day John...I use the paper to cut stencils, approx size 380mm x 280mm. I used nails to begin with, but found that taping the edges worked better, plus I didn't get the nail holes in the corners of the paper. Like you say, you need to ensure the nails don't stick out the other end, also if the plywood or whatever is thin then the nails don't have alot to stick in & can pop out.

Tor...I was surprised to read that paper dulls blades quicker than wood. Even using a fairly thin sandwich of 2 sheets of 3mm ply with 10 sheets of watercolour paper between them, I find myself using up to 3 Olson blades for about an hours worth of cutting. Of course, no5 & 7 blades zip through the ply alone, but put some paper between them & it's amazing how much slower cutting becomes. I've not tried Flying Dutchman blades yet, only Olson & Niqua speed. The stencils I make have quite fine detail in them, so I can't really use anything coarser than a no.7 blade.

I read of a sawer who shrink wraps paper using cling film (cling wrap) when stack cutting. I don't see how this could hold the paper tight enough to be cut properly though.
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Old 10-31-2007, 09:44 PM   #6
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Default Paper cutter

I cut paper as well as corin plastic etc.FOr my paper cuts I use a Olson # 2 blade and can cut 21 sheets of card stock at once ,
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Old 10-31-2007, 10:03 PM   #7
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I-Saw:

This is just a guess on my part:

In your stack, how much effort, or force, do you use to remove any trace of air between the sheets of paper?

One of the worst things that stack cutters face is when they try to sandwich double stick tape between layers of plywood. All kinds of 'fuzzes' appear on each layer. As the blade cuts the thin plywood, the plywood will slightly deflect during the cut, caused by the blade tearing the wood fibers, the blade is not cutting the wood fibers.

In your case, if the layers of paper were not tightly bound to the sheet above and the sheet below, as the blade cuts, the paper might want to give (deflect) before the micro-fibers are separated; this would be a tearing, not a shearing cut.

I am guessing that the sheets are not compressed together tightly top to bottom. On some scrap stack of paper and plywood, use a large C clamp and two short pieces of 2x4 and compress the stack as much as you can without "putting you back into it." With the clamp at max force, now tape the edges and remove the C clamp (& 2x4) and then hope the tape holds the compression.

(aside: clamps tend to spread the applied forces at angles, the 2x4s widen the forces of the clamp. So the stack goes between the two 2x4s and the C clamp outside of that.)

Another problem just might be paper fiber dust removal from the kerf cut. I am guessing that 10 sheets and 2 plywood panels add up to over 3/8 inch so I would 1st try a skip tooth design blade. A skip tooth design will allow greater saw dust (paper dust?) removal from inside the kerf on thick cuts.

On thin cuts, a skip tooth will leave a rough and unattractive kerf walls. So, I could be wrong here about how thick your stack is, and if you are currently using a PGT skip tooth, then try a standard toothed blade.

Also, try a smaller blade, say about #2, or #1. Go slow, and be very observant about any sideway pressure. Slow your saw's stroke per minute down to about 1/2 speed or less.

All of the above is to insure the micro-fibers of the sheets of paper are cut by the blade in a shearing action; you don't want a ripping tearing action which will leave the edges of the cut ragged.

I hope this helps.

Phil
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Old 10-31-2007, 10:54 PM   #8
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The only thread I can find is paper angel but there are many more. somewhere is a thread with a bunch of notepads cut out using a few designs of ballroom dancers , I think drew up by Gill.If i find em, Ill post a link. Dale
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Old 10-31-2007, 11:03 PM   #9
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Thanks for that reply Phil...usually the edges of the cut paper are smooth when using the Olson pgt reverse tooth (the regular Olson blades & Niqua blades tend to leave the edges slightly raised on the underside, usually that can be smoothed out ok by running my thumb nail over the edges)...but recently I've found cutting more laboured & the edges ragged.

I've not used a clamp, I just apply the tape as tightly as I can by hand. The middle areas of the sandwich are obviously getting less support so I make sure I press down on these areas whilst cutting. The stack is about 20mm. I tried reducing the amount of paper, but there was little difference.

I've been mainly using the Hegner single speed machine I have (much prefer using this to the RBI), so I'll try using my RBI machine on a slower speed. I think the paper is being ripped rather than sheared as the edges have not been clean enough lately & I have been using the same blades that usually produce a perfectly clean edge for me.

Anyhow Phil, thanks alot for your advice, I think you may well have diagnosed the problem.

GreenFrog....what do you use to sandwich the card together? I'm trying to find a suitable alternative to plywood, something that is hard but thin.

Last edited by I-saw; 10-31-2007 at 11:21 PM.
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Old 11-01-2007, 12:00 AM   #10
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G'day again I-Saw,
What I actually used to sandwich the paper was 3mm MDF, I said ply as I believe thin MDF is hard to come by in the US and gathered that ply would give the same effect.

The other thing that may not have came across so well in my post was the placement of the nails.

For cutting stencils I have combined the "Tape outside edge" of the stack and "Shot nails" through the pieces that are being discarded in the centre.
This held the stack down very tight and the edges of the paper was razor sharp. If the discarded pieces are rather large I use a staple gun and bend the staples over on the rear of the stack with a hammer thus forcing the whole thing closed tight.
So I guess what I'm saying is glue your master pattern to a piece of covering material first. make up your stack and staple/nail where ever you can.

I hope this gives you a hand out.

all the best
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