C&P - trouble with one roller

a little help here guys….I’m a fair novice at this so please don’t give me a hard time for missing something simple :) The third roller down on my C&P is giving me fits. It is just “in” a little too far. I’ve used the strapping tape on the rails as a result of using the roller setting gauge and everything was A-okay. But for some reason, now the gauge won’t even fit between that 3rd roller and the bed. Can I put strapping tape on the roller truck (hope I’m using the right term here) ? It’s mostly on the right side.

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Since you have Morgan Expandable Roller Trucks, you could turn the nut on the truck to squeeze the “tire” and make the roller bigger that way. Ideally the trucks should be the same diameter as the roller (a straightedge held to the roller will bear against the truck, with no space showing on the roller or truck.

thank you Mike - unfortunately I don’t seem to have the beef to turn the nut :) ….I’ll have to wait til my muscle gets home from work. BUT you were very clear in your instructions and that’s a great help. I now remember my Dad explaining that process to me years ago when he trained me on the press…..I’d forgotten it - til now. Thanks!

I’m very excited to have found an old Challenge Paper cutter for sale at a flea market within driving distance. I’m working on building up my shop so that I can quit my job in a year or so and print full time….but now when it comes to spending $300 on this piece of equipment - my trigger finger is a little shaky. Can someone give me some encouragement here??


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Looks like a nice cutter. For $300 if you have the money it would probably be worth acquiring for you shop. However even when set up properly with a sharp blade, new cutting stick(s) and some lubrication you can not expect perfectly accurate and square cuts. (not doubt someone will write in to disagree with me)
I’ve had plenty of experience with similar equipment, it will be good for simpler work, but anytime you will need tight registration you will be frustrated. The best advice I can give you regarding the cutter would be mark you lifts so that when you feed the sheets into the press you remain consistent with how they came from the cutter. That is keep you guide and gripper consistent. Do not flip or rotate the lifts.
Good luck,
Steve Varvaro

Thank you Steve - that helps me know what to expect.

I don’t know about the wear on this cutter, but the back gauge can be adjusted to be perfectly parallel to the blade so your cuts are quite even. I think the major drawback to such a small cutter is the limitation on sheet size you can cut, and the fact that it probably does not have a measurement rule built in (I don’t see one in the photo). I had a similar small cutter (13 inch) and I was able to get precise cuts using a steel line gauge to measure from the front edge of the back gauge to the nick in the cutting stick.


Re paper cutter, A L P is spot on re adjustment for square etc but one little point worth a mention as the blade describes a small left to right (or vice versa) slice in operation, it is quite normal, natural and desirable to always knock up and cut against whichever side of the machine takes the thrust of the cut consequently the back stop is usually stressed in one direction only and what suffers is the rather small guide dog in the slot that is the length and limit of the machine. The adjustment works fine but cannot account for the slack in the guide dog. When and if possible do a little inspection and see if a thin slipper on the dog would take out the play 1point brass strip or similar carefully tapped into “G” formation and slid into place to move with the back stop in its slider. Or more hi-tech remove the guide dog and have a thin sliver of bronze weld deposited back to comfortable fit in the slider. As a tiny experiment watch the back stop bounce when just a mere ream of paper is put in to trim, the adjustment will be as good as it can be but the slack will betray you on clamp up. Re depth guide on many small and very old hand cranked cutters it was not unusual to see a built in tape (steel) incorporated on the top of the blade housing and terminating on the top of the back stop, as you cranked backward and forward the tape ran over a tiny pulley at eye level and indicated fairly accurately, your required size, of course it was checked with your PLASTIC scale or measure, EVERYBODY knows SOMEBODY who has left the steel rule under the blade.