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  1. #31
    2F/2F's Avatar
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    I use the "arm" type one for cutting things that don't need to be all that accurate or have that perfect of an edge. They are quick, and good enough for test strips and trimming paper down before printing. I use a rotary trimmer only to slice prints for dry mounting, once the dry mount tissue has been tacked onto the back. This saves the blade of the rotary trimmer for important stuff. So, I would get one of each, especially since the arm type are so cheap. It is easy to sharpen the arm type blade yourself as well, using a standard kitchen knife sharpener.

    If I was not dry mounting, the arm type would be perfectly sufficient for me.
    2F/2F

    "Truth and love are my law and worship. Form and conscience are my manifestation and guide. Nature and peace are my shelter and companions. Order is my attitude. Beauty and perfection are my attack."

    - Rob Tyner (1944 - 1991)

  2. #32

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    I use a circular saw!

    Jeff

  3. #33
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    I had a vision the other day. The vision was of a modified bulk film loader, equipped with a blade. So you just crank the film past the blade.
    "Only dead fish follow the stream"

    [APUG Portfolio] [APUG Blog] [Website]

  4. #34
    Wade D's Avatar
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    I have 2 guillotine cutters which I've used for 40 years. Occasional sharpening keeps them accurate and like new. I once had to print about 500 5x7 glossies for a gent who was illustrating a book. He supplied 8x10 paper and the guillotine cutters made quick work of making 5x7's plus a lot of test strips.

  5. #35
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    One thing I do with my Rotatrim is to slightly loosen the hold down screws for the clamp down strap. Just enough so they give it more slack but still clear the block of the blade assembly. The reason being that I'm able to slip paper under it easier.

    A typically sized RT will max out around 3-4 sheets of DW fiber before it starts getting iffy in the accuracy department. Also, don't try to push it as I've notice one's propensity for "dirty" cuts rises - i.e. you'll get emulsion cracking on edges if the cut isn't clean.
    Stop worrying about grain, resolution, sharpness, and everything else that doesn't have a damn thing to do with substance.

    http://www.flickr.com/kediwah

  6. #36
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    Posted wirelessly..

    I too vote for a Rotatrim - had mine for 20 years and still going strong. Only needed to replace the blade - on my 4th now.

  7. #37

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    I've got two rotarys, an old Rotatrim and a Dahle. They work swell.
    I wouldn't pass up an old Ingento wih a maple base if it were in good condition though.
    IMHO paper cutters are way over-rated, either they work (and Rotatrims work very well) or they don't. If you're buying new and spending serious money invest in good one.I'd rather save a few bucks and buy used (but only if the trimmer is in excellent condition!)

  8. #38
    Nicholas Lindan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Poisson Du Jour View Post
    The sharpest of sharps is unbeatable: #23 scalpel blade
    I have had better luck with Xacto blades: They aren't as sharp (though they are awfully sharp) when new but the grind isn't as acute so the edge is less given to rolling and they stay sharp throughout the cut.

    Peter Spangenberg related a story at this weekend's NE Ohio APUG gathering: It seems that rotary cutters throw up a very fine spray of steel particles - they constantly sharpen themselves as they are used - and these particles were causing black spots on his Pt/Pd prints. Giving a good brush to the paper before coating seems to get rid of the spots.

    A guillotine cutter will also shed metal, as the examination of a used cutter blade will show. They just shed macroscopic slivers rather than microscopic dust.

    The inexpensive Fiskars style rotary cutters are possibly the only ones that won't shed metal: they use a steel cutting disk and a strip of rubber to back up the paper, the blade cuts through the paper and into the rubber.
    Last edited by Nicholas Lindan; 05-16-2010 at 02:06 PM. Click to view previous post history.
    DARKROOM AUTOMATION
    f-Stop Timers - Enlarging Meters
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  9. #39

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    My darkroom came with a heavy-duty (albeit very old) guillotine trimmer. It's fine for cutting unprocessed paper into smaller sizes and of course fine for test strips...I use it all the time. But I can't get good cuts on fiber prints at all--although it doesn't help that mine are only "flat-ish". Much better luck with a retractable razor knife ($9), a cutting mat ($15), and clear ruler ($5 but I already owned it for other purposes). I can't say I can get as precise as the rotary but definitely much more precise than the guillotine, and shaving off 1/8" is not difficult.

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