Accurate cuts

Discussion in 'Tips, Tutorials & Tools' started by thewoodengraver, Mar 3, 2007.

  1. Millimodels

    Millimodels Member

    Has there ever been a scientific explanation of what is going on at the microscopic level when we cut paper?
    I mean with considerations about cutting using pressure, cutting using a sawing motion, shearing, side forces from the angle of the knife etc.
    Presumably each fibre in the paper will be at a different angle but most will be being cut side on rather than along the length.
    What sort of forces do you get when cutting a curve with straight scissors and does it cause the paper to swell (increase in thickness locally)?
    What happens when you are cutting an inside corner? How accurate can you be at not cutting further than you need to?
    And then there's a whole lot more questions I have about drilling holes and punching holes!

    Robin Madge
  2. cgutzmer

    cgutzmer Guest

    Wow! Now thats a question and a half. My electron microscope is broken but maybe Phils is working :) That would be an interesting study (at least to us card model folks)
  3. shrike

    shrike Guest

    I'll throw one out for consideration.

    If you've ever done much in the way of accurate sheetmetal layout you know that you have figure in bend allowances. It's a factor of the thickness of the material, the radius and angle of the bend. On a complex piece with multiple bends it can add up to a considerable amount too.
    Yet it's almost a non-issue in card modeling. Especially when you use a blunt object to score a bend line (stylus, blunt knife, dried up biro et c)
    The explanation that comes to mind is that, not only are we crushing and weakening the fibres at the bend, but that ,at the bend, we are reducing the thickness of the material to the point whee it becomes even less of a factor.
  4. sakrison

    sakrison Member

    When the scissors or knife hits the paper, the fibers enter a gaseous chaotic state, and flow bilaterally along quantum strings into the Chronosynclastic Infindibulum as a three-phase, four-dimensional quantum matrix, re-emerging into three-dimensional space as a sequential flux vacuum. At the quantum level, the fibers on each side of the blade transmute through two lateral quantum phalanxes (in cosmological physics parlance, these are designated as "Stan" and "Ollie"), pass through a rarified, non-Euclidean plasma state, and are transmogrified into proto-geometric boundary matrices, before congealing into what is known at the observable level as a "cut edge." At some indeterminable point in the process (in accordance with Heisenberg's "Uncertainty Theory") the point of the blade enters the modeler's nearest thumb.

    It's really very simple. You Earthlings have a lot to learn.

    May the Farce be with you,
  5. Bowdenja

    Bowdenja Active Member

    What he say?:???:
  6. cgutzmer

    cgutzmer Guest

    Pretty sure he said the blade cuts through the paper fibers :D
  7. Maurice

    Maurice Member


    Yep. When you score you alter the thickness but the material will still tend to crease about an axis through the centre of the reduced thickness. This makes it less of a problem and also less predictable. I've had little success with trying to depict it graphically.
    It's still quite a problem on say thin square tubes where the material thickness is significant by comparison with the size of the tube. Very difficult to design something that will give a true square section result.

    Bit early isn't it David ? :grin:
  8. popala

    popala Member

    One approach to clean, smooth corners on small boxes, is to remove some of the paper on the backside of the element, on both sides of the bend line, for the width of 1-2mm. Then bend the paper on a sharp edge - like a steel ruler.

    Using a sharp blade cut lightly into the cardstock on both sides of the line, then scrape the paper out with a tip of the blade (#11 works well). Idea is to remove enough material to convert the 67lb paper into 20lb paper. After assembling the element, bends can be stiffened with glue.

  9. Padre

    Padre Guest

    Finally, something I understand! :-o
  10. Art Decko

    Art Decko Member

    Have any of you tried traditional Chinese scissors? The handles are the same size as "western" scissors, but the blades are really short (as little as an inch). Chinese use them for everything from traditional Chinese paper crafting to cutting up vegetables in the kitchen.

    The short blades give you more control, and the full-sized handles are more comfortable than those tiny ones on manicure scissors.

    I'm sure you can find them in your nearest Chinatown, they're really common.
  11. Pace

    Pace New Member

    I use scissors as much as possible. My smallest are curved cuticle scissors and straight scissors with cutting edges of 5/8".

    Does anybody know where I get smaller scissors? I could use them.

    Pace (Noob)
  12. cgutzmer

    cgutzmer Guest

    I really like the fiskars micro tip. Whats the smallest you have now? Pic with something to tell size would be sweet :)
  13. B-Manic

    B-Manic Peripheral Visionary

    Sakrison - thanks for the explanation. That cleared everything up for me. I'm still laughing :rofl: You might appreciate this explanation of missile guidance

    Missile guidance

    I don't use scissors very often. Usually when cutting out thick formers. I use large (relatively) Chinese scissors. They cut through 2mm card like butter. For thinnner tight corners I some times use Rapid Thread Snippers. I also use them when cutting rigging.

    Chinese scissors
    Garrett Wade link

    Rapid Thread Snippers
    Garrett Wade link

  14. rowiac

    rowiac Member

    When I first started cardmodeling about 6 years ago, I used the scissors on my Victorinox Swiss Army knife. The spring loaded action and pointy tips made them accurate and easy to use. My thumb would get tired after a while though.

    I found scissors easier to use for most cuts because I could sit up rather than bending over to cut with an X-acto.

    Soon I found the Fiskars Softouch Micro-Tip scissors and I've been using those ever since. These have 1.75" long blades.


    A couple of years ago I bought the Titanium Nitride coated version of the Micro-Tips, thinking I was going to eventually wear out my first pair. I'm still using my original ones though, with just a quick sharpening every once in a while using a sharpener that came with some large Fiskars scissors.

    I'll have to try some of those Chinese scissors. They look like they would have a lot of leverage for cutting thick materials.

  15. joryyys

    joryyys Member

    I use scissors and sometimes (holes etc.) - a knife. My favourite scissors can cut 2-2.5 mm card.
  16. Loopy

    Loopy Member

    Wow! See those X-acto shares plummet...just kidding! Bought a sharp point with blades just less than 2 inches, can be used for sewing, scrapbooking and decoupage (as per the blurb on the packaging). Only problem I have with the scissors is finger fatigue after a while, as the handles are quite small.
  17. john wagenseil

    john wagenseil New Member

    I use Asian style scissors made by Stanley Tools (Part number75-430). I do not know if they are still available.
    The large loops are easy on the fingers, the small blades give lots of control and leverage.
    I gave up on sewing scissors, the finger loops were not designed for use by guys with big hands.

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