There are a few interesting suggestions so far which given careful attention, may work. My concern with all of them is that scratching the emulsion, particularly with fiber paper, might be difficult to avoid:
- Floor cutting seems the most promising, providing you have the room and can prevent dirt and other foreign matter from scratching the emulsion.
- Leaving the roll in the box and cutting lengths seems low tech enough, just be careful not to graze the emulsion on sharp cardboard edges.
- The giant film canister "light safe" idea is something I've often thought of trying. I'd be cautious of making the light trap tight enough to prevent exposure while not simultaneously scratching the emulsion, and a way to retrieve paper from inside when starting a cut. It isn't clear to me that the responder has actually constructed a safe working version.
I have successfully used two wall mounted closet pole supports and a 4 foot long 1" pipe on which to mount all my rolls, paper towel dispenser style, for many years (seen here). I mark lengths on the wall with painters tape, and finally cut paper as it is unrolled with an OLO rotary cutter, scissors being too "grabby". Cut paper is stored in a large diameter black ABS effluent pipe (new!), "roll paper safe", one end capped, other screwed.
Originally Posted by Barry S
Very inexpensive but far from perfect. The cuts are always approximate, too be cleaned up after printing and during mounting, and one must remember to put the roll back into a light proof bag/box before turning the lights back on!
Scott-- I like the idea of using my backdrop stand and cross-bar--anything I don't have to buy is a plus. Sure would love a 42" Rotatrim, but as Eddie mentioned-- they're nutty expensive.
Eddie--That guy had been trying to sell those rolls for a year and my thoughts were the same--old paper and I knew it wasn't refrigerated or stored correctly. Garage, attic, damp basement--who knows? I decided to take a gamble for the price and bought what he had. It was supposedly all sealed, but one box was torn open--typical CL buy. :) Just made my first test prints tonight and I think it may be ok or at least partially good. There were some strange artifacts--couldn't get a full black in some areas, but that may have been some clumsiness on my part. I need to do more testing.
Thanks everyone for the ideas, I appreciate it!
Barry- do you have a mat cutter? While not CHEAP, I suspect a Logan 650 would be a lot cheaper than a 40" Rota-Trim, and could be found used with relative ease. It was a few years ago but I found my Logan on Ebay new-in-box overstock for $350 +/-. List price is about $700. It was a worthwhile investment though - it paid for itself my first Artomatic when I had 12 20x24 frames to put up on the wall.
Originally Posted by ROL
Every roll over 30" wide that I've ever used has been rolled emulsion side in. Therefore, if you handle the paper only once to cut it, scratching the emulsion will not be an issue. Crimping is the main concern and best dealt with by rolling the paper up as soon as you pull it and before you cut it. I have no idea why one would use anything other than a box cutter to cut the paper - major PITA. A straight cut is not a problem so long as you use the edge of the paper box as a guide.
I use the "pull it out of the box/bag" method. I don't drag it over the box edge, I just use that as a rough guide. I use scissors, safer that a blade; the edge is rough but I can cut it properly after the picture is finished. I flatten it by putting it into a bag/cardboard sleeve from paper that I used up. Sitting in there for a while flattens it for the most part.
I print murals for a living and the best method for cutting from a roll is using an auto cutter.
Secondly if auto cutter is out of the question, then using a tape measure and a blade, Put the measure on the top of the box, measure up to a point on your body where the length is , remember that length.
Pull the paper straight up to that point in your body, then let the paper roll back on itself and hang it over the box edge, use a straight edge and cut. There will be no issues and this is how all mural printers cut paper on the fly if they do not have an auto cutter in their room.
If any one here knows where I can find an auto cutter I would like the information, bending down to cut is a PIA for me these days.
There's been a autodispenser on ebay for a while now. It's located in the northwest and the seller wants $1300 for it, pickup only. I use a meteor seigen and a rollma 52 on a daily basis. I'll get rid of them once there is no more roll paper to dispense.
Re: paper curl... a non-issue once mural sheet is weighted, held down by magnets, masking tape or what have you. Remember, the less material handling, the less likely you'll f%$# it up.
I haven't cut wide rolls of photo paper, but I do cut down a big roll of inkjet paper with my logan mat cutter.
If you need something temporary to set the spool on, visit your hardware store electrical aisle for a pair of rack-a-tiers.
Of course rolls are emulsion in. I didn't mean to suggest that the unrolling itself from the box would injure the emulsion. But dragging large unwieldy widths, of curly paper around sharp cardboard may scratch the emulsion as easily as it can cause flesh paper cuts. Even the freshly cut edge of the (glossy fiber) paper, if allowed to sppring back onto the emulsion side, may injure its surface. The last time I had one in the darkroom, I found that blood neither makes a good developer, nor a consistent toner. As I apparently unsuccessfully attempted to indicate, without writing a multi-page treatise, the method itself works fine at no cost, for occasional use. And feel free to use any cutting implement you wish specific to your unquestionably superior method. There are other options that work as well for others. My objective observations were only to suggest that planning and careful handling of paper are necessary deviations to more carefree sheet paper handling. I in no way meant to disparage a method which so demonstrably works so well for such a sensitive individual.
Originally Posted by frotog
Gentlemen - we're getting a bit sensitive here over something so simple as a paper-cutting technique discussion. Let's all take a step back.