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  1. #1

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    How to Best Cut Roll Color Paper?

    I plan to cut Fuji 8" and 20" color papers. I plan to do it in a light tight walk-in closet. It has carpet and I plan to duct tape the door. Was thinking of doing in the basement, but then I'll have to seal all 4 windows.

    I have available 2 51" Dahle 558 rotary cutters. Also an old Nikkor rotary trimmer that I can use for the 8" paper. My main question is on how to use the cutter. Plan A is to feed the paper from the right side, emulsion side up, goes below the plastic paper clamp, and gets precise measurements at the backstop and the top edge. My concern is on the emulsion side going under the plastic clamp. Should I just skip the paper clamp and protect the emulsion?

    Plan B is to feed the paper from the left. Second Dahle would be at right to catch the paper. Then the paper stops at the backstop at the right on the second cutter. Again I can decide if I should let the paper run through the plastic paper clamp. Plan B would be for the large 20" paper since I may cut it to 30" long and the surface of one cutter is not that wide.

    Some more questions:
    1. In bedroom closet, the cutting would be done above the carpet. Would the dust be a big problem?
    2. Would the emulsion be damaged if I run the paper through the plastic paper clamp?
    3. The basement is large with 4 small windows. Do I need to seal all the windows at night? Or I can get away with two of them (far away ones) open?

    For the 20" large ones, I still need to find good paper bag for it. No problem with the 8" since I have some used bags from the used papers....

  2. #2

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    Wear gloves! my first few batches of cut paper had very nice finger prints on them.

  3. #3
    Worker 11811's Avatar
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    If you want to work in the basement, sealing the windows isn't really that hard.

    Get a sheet of blue Styrofoam insulation board and cut it to fit into the window frame(s).
    Use a putty knife to tuck some black (or dark color) cloth into the crack between the foam and the window.
    Put some duct tape around the edges just for safety.

    Windows sealed. Not a lot of work. Not too expensive.
    And, it can be removed and replaced fairly easily.

    That's how the window in my basement darkroom is sealed off.
    You'd never even know the window is there if you didn't look for it.
    Randy S.

    In girum imus nocte et consumimur igni.

    -----

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/randystankey/

  4. #4
    wogster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Worker 11811 View Post
    If you want to work in the basement, sealing the windows isn't really that hard.

    Get a sheet of blue Styrofoam insulation board and cut it to fit into the window frame(s).
    Use a putty knife to tuck some black (or dark color) cloth into the crack between the foam and the window.
    Put some duct tape around the edges just for safety.

    Windows sealed. Not a lot of work. Not too expensive.
    And, it can be removed and replaced fairly easily.

    That's how the window in my basement darkroom is sealed off.
    You'd never even know the window is there if you didn't look for it.
    Not to mention in the winter time, it's warmer down there....
    Paul Schmidt
    See my Blog at http://clickandspin.blogspot.com

    The greatest advance in photography in the last 100 years is not digital, it's odourless stop bath....

  5. #5

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    Actually, I was going to use either cardboard or particle boards and put on duct tape on it. But it is good to know what others have done.
    I'm mainly concerned as to how to cut the papers. The key is how to measure it precisely since I'll put the papers in print drums and the sizes have to be right.

  6. #6

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    A few days ago I did cut down an 8"-roll into 8x10s using what you describe as "Plan A". Dahle rotary cutter, feeding the paper roll from the cutting edge side and using the adjustable stop on the table set to the desired length. I too had the fear of scratching the emulsion with the paper clamp. It turned out that with the cutting head in the rest position you can lift the paper clamp and feed the paper without touching it. I have already used fifty to sixty sheets of that batch, none showing signs of emulsion damage.

    I also taped down the adjustable stop to avoid the paper slipping under it.

    Movin

  7. #7

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    This is great to know. I think I'm going to use the single cutter to cut narrow paper and use two cutters together to cut the wide paper. Also, I think the dust from the carpet may ruin the paper. So I plan to seal the basement and cut the paper on top of either an old dinning room table, or on a pool table.

    The roll paper is so cheap. The rolls are going to last for a while....

  8. #8
    Newt_on_Swings's Avatar
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    Its always easier to cut along a table. I haven't had the luck of having to cut color paper, but with black and white its a breeze with any old rotary trimmer with safelight in dimmest setting. I imagine maybe using IR goggles would be awesome for this as well.

  9. #9
    Mike Wilde's Avatar
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    I have made a 'hopper' - a u shaped support that has a dowel though it to hold the roll of paper. My rolls to date have never been larger than 12". Bob Carnie has put posts out on how he has cut down large rolls by wheeling a table saw into one of his large darkrooms.

    I use a guillotine cutter, with no guard in place to risk scratching the surface of the paper. Yes, cloth gloves. Length guide was a piece of scrap 4 ply matt board taped to the base board.

    Have a plan in place on how to re seal the bag once you opnened it, and make sure all tools needed to do this are carefully positioned before the lights go out, and the bag is openned.

    Even in a non carpetted space, vaccuum the day before. If you have a humidifier, use it to keep the static down as you drag the RC paper back along the cutting platten.

    Oh, and blow your nose and go to the bathroom before you begin. It can be a long session ,a nd you don't want to have to leave part wary though.
    my real name, imagine that.

  10. #10

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    If you were going to do a lot of RA4 prints then cutting rolls makes a lot of sense. You would think that there must be roll cutting machines into which you place the roll and replace the top so that once the cut length has been set only each cut sheet on exit from the machine would be exposed.

    It would then be fairly simple to place the cut sheets into a bag and then a paper box in the total darkness.

    Do such machines exist and if so what might they cost?


    Thanks

    pentaxuser

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