cutting carboard?

Discussion in 'Ship & Watercraft Models' started by Tirta, Jun 22, 2005.

  1. Tirta

    Tirta Member

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    Hello All,

    I have difficulties cutting round irregular shapes on 1mm cardboard (for ship skeleton parts) with scissor, it is hard to do, too thick,
    what should I use instead?

    Please advice.

    Regards,

    Tirta
  2. J.L.

    J.L. Member

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    Hi Tirta,
    I have found that gentle passes with a very sharp #11 X-Acto knife does the job. The blades will dull very quickly however. Buy them in bulk!
    J.L.
  3. Gil

    Gil Active Member

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    Tirta,

    Fiskar's manufacturers a very sharp scissors capable of cutting 1 mm card stock. The design of the tip allows slots to be easily cut and saves your fingers.

    Gil

    [​IMG]
  4. J.L.

    J.L. Member

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    Gil,
    This is a great tip! Thank you. I am glad Tirta posed the question. Must search out this product.
    J.L.
  5. popala

    popala Member

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    Cutting with scissors will flatten the edges of the part you are cutting out which is not so good for formers...
    For best results I suggest you use razor blades for scrapers or X-Acto knife and after cutting out the part, sand it down to perfection. Razor blades are dirt cheap - much cheaper than X-Acto blades.
  6. Gil

    Gil Active Member

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    Not if they're very sharp. Ron originally turned me on to the these scissors and everyone else who's had this problem has had the same success. Xacto blades are not as sharp as are scalpel blades which I now use almost exclusively. For members in North America try this site for tools at great prices including shipping:

    http://www.widgetsupply.com/

    Gil
  7. Darwin

    Darwin Member

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    I hardily endorse the Fiscars scissors. Because of the pliar-handle grips, very little hand fatigue, and after two years of use, my first pair are still quite sharp and cutting 1 mm card with very minimal deformation of the cut edges. My Helena (plug, plug....see the string) was 100% cut with my Fiscars. The USS Blue I'm working on is about 95% cut with the Fiscars....the remaining (parts made from girders) using an Xacto knife. By the way, Fiscars also makes a larger pair of desk shears using the same design for less exacting cutting chores.
  8. Bernie

    Bernie Member

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    I do preffer X-Acto blades ex USA as well. Right - consumption is high but works well.

    Do not try to cut in one pull - repeat several times - will be OK.
  9. SCEtoAux

    SCEtoAux Member

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    Cutting curves

    Here is another endorsement for those Fiskars Micro-tip scissors. They are great for cutting small parts and for the other cuts mentioned before.

    For cutting curves and circles with a knife, I sometimes put my small cutting mat on a cheap turntable, the kind you can buy at a discount store for less than $5 U.S. That way I can easily rotate the part to be cut . I also leave the blade in the cardstock instead of lifting it. Much like cutting wallpaper, it seems to give a much smoother, continuous cut. Make several passes when cutting the thicker cardstock, taking your time with each pass. Staying in the cut line of the previous cuts is not difficult when you practice patience. :)
  10. Tirta

    Tirta Member

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    Dear Guys,

    thanks for all the replies.

    Gil, I think I am interested at that fiskar scissor, do you know what is exactly the type? 9917, 9921 or 9926?

    best regards from Indonesia,

    Tirta
  11. Gil

    Gil Active Member

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  12. jyduchene

    jyduchene Member

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    I wanted to jump in at this point. I have struggled with the same issues and some time ago a discussion on this forum was helpful to me. The advice that worked for me is...use a sharp blade, xacto #11's. I buy them in bulk and change them often. Cut with a light touch. Don't expect to pierce 1mm of cardboard in one cut. Score a line, and on your second pass cut through. It did not sound conviencing when I read it, how would I cut in the same groove twice? As it turns out, the blade wants to follow the previous cut and it is not an issue. I have gotten very good at freehand cutting of compound curves. I agree with what was said regarding leaving the blade in the paper as one repostions the work. I couple of other things I have learned. The mat cutting surface matters. I have been using a nice big Xacto cutting mat. However I recently picked up a cheap hobbyco cutting mat. It's thinner and harder and feels cheaper, however the blade does not sink as deep into this surface and cutting is more precise. Bear with me I have two more items of advice. You can't cut what you can't see. I built a couple of Fiddlersgreen planes without maginfying glasses and the results were not good. I have spent more then I care to admit on magnifying lamps, lenses, loups and found that the best for me is a $9.00 pair of clip on to my glasses magnifying lenses. These have a focal length of about 20 inches and realy improve my whole modeling experience. And lastly, "Don't cut to the back of your hand" That's a saying I learned from my father who was an uphoslterer and cut patterns in cloth and wood every day. The point is don't attempt to cut with the material you want, obscured behind your hand. What this means for me as a right handed person is that I always cut with printed model part to the left, and the scrap to the right. The guideline is not behind the blade or under your hand.

    So that is my wisdom. I am confident in it as I was very stuck with how to wrestle a nice bulkhead out of 1+mm of cardboard. So far it has worked for me. Now with 2mm board the same prinipals apply howerver it is necessary to cuss.

    John
  13. popala

    popala Member

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    With all due respect Gil: it does not matter how sharp they are. By design scissors cut by crushing material between two blades. There will always be flattening. When high degree of precision is needed (Halinski models for example) scissors just don't cut it.

    Do not hesitate to try the x-acto blades or razor blades. With very little practice you can cut out parts as quickly as when using scissors and usually with much better effect.
  14. wunwinglow

    wunwinglow Active Member

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    I'd say you need both. There are times when one tool is better than the other, so it is good to have a choice. However, I am a self-confessed toolaholic! I can't go into our local Hobbycraft shop without buying something or other! I'm just off there now to get a pair of Fiskar micro snip thingy scissors......

    Ref the cutting direction, I agree about the cutting direction advice. I find if the line of the cut is in line with my fingers, hand and elbow, so I am pulling the blade in the same direction as my forearm, I get a clean and controlable cut. Try to push/pull the blade sideways, even by a few degrees, and the cut goes off-line. This means turning the card with the other hand to keep the cut direction constant. Takes practise, but it works.

    Tim P
  15. Gil

    Gil Active Member

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    I rarely change a blade. It's kept sharp by buffing with polishing compound on a hard felt buffing wheel mounted in a Dremel tool. Wear eye protection and make sure the buff direction is away from the blade edge.

    Popala, do you have a pair of Fiskar scissors and have you tried them? I agree that some parts require better cutting implements than an #11 Xacto blade but have found that models requiring close tolerances that the formers need to be sandpaper fit anyway so the rough cut just has to be good enough to the line but not over. For really delicate cuts I use a #11 scalpel blade.

    Gil



    Best regards, Gil
  16. popala

    popala Member

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    Yes, I have two pairs of fiskars. Two different sizes. One like the pictured pair and one much larger. I used them both extensively until I have seen the pictures from J.C. van den Bergh's build of Radomka (http://www.strangeplace.com). On the very first picture you can see the incredibly clean cuts of the formers. I asked him about it and he told me to quit using scissors. That is how I was convinced to drop scissors and pickup razor blades and x-acto knives.

    Gil: now that I read my previous post, I realized that is sounds like a personal attack. Therefore, I feel compelled to add that I had a "discussion" demeanor when I was typing it. I am sorry that I sounded so unpleasant.
  17. SCEtoAux

    SCEtoAux Member

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    That is some very good advice, John. I use this Magnifier Head Strap with lights. You can flip down a lens to give extra magnification or rotate down a circular lens for real close-up work. The lights help a bit too. When I get more ambitious the small bulbs will be replaced with LED's. The LED's will probably cost more than the magnifier. :roll:
    ~Doug~
  18. Tirta

    Tirta Member

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    Gil,

    I can not find Fiskars 9921 scissor at my local hobby store. I only find Fiskar no.8 the orange one.
    The seller says that it was good enough for cutting cardboard.
    Is it true? or I'd better ordered 9921?
    Please advice.

    Tirta
  19. Gil

    Gil Active Member

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    Tirta,

    Best to order a pair online.

    Popala, I was just concerned that you were dismissing the microtouch solution out of hand without having tried them. Each of us has their own tool preferences depending on what needs to be accomplished and the best tool or tools to do the work. The best advice is still "use a sharp blade"....,

    Best regards, Gil
  20. jyduchene

    jyduchene Member

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    Gil, I have to say I have a pair of fiskars shears, I bought them after reading discussions on this forum. I use them for cutting the straight slots in formers. They set on my desk and are a fine piece of hardwear, well made and of good design. I rarely use them I have not recently tried cutting a compound curve in 1mm board with them. I will give it another try. However a good blade used with a light touch is what improved my technique. I think I was using too much force on the resistance of the cardboard and the force caused a great lack of precision and crushed and cardboard and slips of the knife.

    John