Thursday, August 27, 2015

Keeping things Sharp

I do a whole lot of cutting in my studio, I cut for papers my cards, I cut 12x18 into sheets for bulk sales, paper for kits, paper for others sellers, paper for DT projects, online sales .  For really big bulk projects I take it to a print shop and have them cut it.    I really miss using the GIANT cutter from the letterpress shop I worked in last summer! I use a stack cutter for the small bulk projects. I have two guillotine cutters, a 12x12 Genesis trimmer and baby 6x6 Genesis like trimmer.  Keeping everything sharp is a challenge.  All of these machines have blades that will last decades as long as you take care of them.  For the guillotine cutters and the stack, the blades are removable, the Genesis trimmers have geared rotary blades which run about 40.00 each to replace.

To keep everything sharp I decided to look to for a sharpening stone that I could work with instead of taking things apart and bringing them to the place where they do this.
I Looked on eBay for a sharpening stone and since I really don't know a lot about sharpening things I used the small amount of knowledge I do have and picked this ruby/quartz oil stone.  White side for working out really dull blades and dings, red side to polish and hone the blade.  These are meant to be used wet.  You can use water, I used a bit of mineral oil. Since I sharpen my own scissors and Kitchen knives, I thought how much harder could this be?  I would have mentioned the seller but since there were no instructions of any kind with this and the seller didn't a great rating or respond to my question about instructions, I'm not leaving his name.

I paid 6.00 including shipping and this will last longer than I know where it is. 


I've used it on my guillotine cutters and it brought the blade up beautifully.  I know a guillotine is supposed to be self sharpening but working the blade on the stone did give it a much better edge.  That means on my Boston cutter I can do 4 sheets of 100# with a good clean cut - I was only getting 2!

More importantly I wanted to put a better edge on my rotary trimmers, with the blades costing 40.00 each it is very important to me to make it last as long as possible.

If you have one of these trimmers (they are very expensive, fortunately I purchased my 12" on eBay for 40.00 - they sell for 300.00+ and the 6" for 20.00) you need to also maintain the cog and trolley bar.  It's simple, clean and a few drops of oil or silicone spray or better yet Triflo liquid. Just remember to wipe everything down, you don't want oil on your papers!!



My cutter is about 20 years old, I've had it for 5 and use it every day - a lot!  It is a fine precision trimmer and literally shaves paper



To bring the edge back up to razor sharpness


running the blade along the stone a an angle on both side


Working this carefully I was able to achieve a honed edge.

The sharpening and oiling took about 5 minutes  on the big trimmer



The little one took a little longer.  This machine is new to me and came also from ebay.
It has proved invaluable already in making my card kits.  The blade was rusty and there were no guide ling on the cutter bed or measurements across the top.  That is not good, not when you are cutting for kits.

That fix was fairly simple, I glued a hem guide across the top bar and I will be finding a grid to print and place on the bed 



The blade took about 15 minutes to clean, hone and oil
The guy I bought this from thought it was for cutting plastic - it is a vintage industrial photo trimmer!

The stone and new trimmer cost less than one trip to the sharpening shop.

It now sits on my very space challenge desk - Yay!


Here is a picture of the card/Kit I was working on 


I sell these  the in kits of 4 cards, I make one and everything you need is in the kit to make 3 more.  7.00 + 2.50 for shipping

Thanks for stopping by and if you cut a lot you might want to try an oil stone too!
Ginny M










3 comments:

  1. Always appreciate your info on materials! This is a lovely card - so fun and sassy!

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  2. Thanks for the info, might just have to give this a go!
    Hugs
    Dawn xx

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  3. Thanks for sharing your wonderful knowledge Ginny! I also cut a LOT of paper & blades are expensive :-( I will DEFINITELY give this a try!

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