I have an old paper trimmer. The style that they call guillotine with the
big knife not the rotary blade kind.
I bought it cheap at a yard sale. It never cut truly square. The scale at
one end that you hold the paper against is set in a slot in the deck so that
cannot be moved. The steel bar that the blade cuts along to provide a
scissor action is held down with wood screws. It seems that this bar was set
off square when this thing was made. You couldn't easily reposition this bar
because the existing hole always guided the screws into the same position.
So I took the bar off and using my trusty framing square and some good old
JB weld moved that bar so that it was square to the back stop.
The blade sounds as if it is cutting, that is the blade rubs against the
bar, but the paper doesn't get cut. It mostly just bends down. It seems as
if there is a gap that is too big.
Anybody got a link that describes any adjusting that can be done?
I could just toss the thing, but I hate to give up on this piece of junk and
want to fix it for the satisfaction.
Don't tell me to buy a new one. I can figure that out myself.
so the paper will cut.. they should have a screw adjustment holding the
blade tighter to this metal bar... and the blade has to be sharp....
think of it as a pair of scissors... and then handle it as such.. the
part you moved should never have moved.. you should have moved the piece
that lined up the paper....if thats what happened????\
It used to cut fairly well if the sheet was not to big, for instance
trimming 4x6 pix.
The piece that lined up the paper could not be moved. It's cross section is
a T with the vertical set into a groove in the board.
The nagging problem was that it did not cut square so that is what I was
trying to fix.
There is some sort of adjustment for the blade, I think. But it may be
frozen. Or maybe it is not really an adjustment.
The only way to fix this is by moving the piece that aligns the paper. If
you can't move that, you can't adjust the cut. The blade must slide down right
next to the edge for the paper to be cut, just as if it were a scissors. As
you have discovered, changing the angle between the two cutting edges causes
it to not cut properly any longer.
On Tue, 24 Feb 2004 21:03:37 -0500, "Charlie Bress"
I was in the graphic arts business for many years and I've tried
several of these things, new and old, cheap and expensive, and have
always found that they NEVER cut straight and often do not cut square.
Some are better than others, but I'm wondering if you are simply
trying to fix something that is basically unfixable.
The problem I have always had is that the blade cuts in a shallow arc
instead of a straight line. Good enough for office work, but not good
enough when you are trying to show a customer how a brochure will
fold. Or when you are making fifty samples to give away to get
Another problem they have is keeping the paper from drifting into the
radius of the arc as you cut. Even with your full upper body weight
behind your hand, the blade friction will often pull the paper out of
Fortunately for me, my father-in-law's expensive hobby was offset
printing, and I had available to me an old commercial paper cutter,
vintage about 1920-30. It is now in my garage; still works -- way too
cool to throw away.
The downside is that it weighs about 800 pounds; it's made mostly of
cast iron. It has a 28" steel blade that slices down and across the
paper when you pull down a 5 foot lever. On top, it has a cast iron
screw-down press that holds the paper immobile while the blade slices
the stack. Behind, there is a steel fence that moves with a screw
along a four foot bed to square up the paper under the cutter.
It will slice through a whole ream of paper up to 28" wide in one cut.
The cuts are absolutely straight, since the blade drops and slices
from directly above, slitting the entire sheet of paper at once, not
one end to the other.
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