Best way to cut Cotton Paper (guillotine type machine)

Hi there,

I just got a guillotine type machine and am practicing to get perfect crisp cuts with Lettra paper.

Is there any ‘best practice’ for this?

Right now, I’ve realised that I can get beautiful crisp flat edges, for the stack of the paper that is UNDERNEATH the pressure clamp. The other side (the part that just falls away) is not so nice (not smooth and crisp). I’ve realised this is because there is no clamp on the other side, so when the blade comes down, there’s nothing supporting that side of the paper from moving/falling away.

What I’m doing now is I’m cutting a sheet of paper into half, and intending to use both sides for printing (ie. part underneathe the clamp, and the part that just “drops off”). One side hence is not as “nice” as the other.

Am I doing this wrongly?

Is there anyway to “clamp” down the other side of the paper as well? Or do I have to make the stack of paper LARGER than it needs to be, and then separately trim off a small portion of all 4 sides (so anything that is not “clamped” is discarded).

Appreciate any advice.

Thanks :)

Log in to reply   3 replies so far

Your last scenario would be the correct way to trim soft papers like Lettra, and is best practice for all paper cutting. It makes for much more work when cutting, but you get much better results.

Also watch the stock as you clamp it down, as the pile may sink forward under clamp pressure, yielding a stack with “draw” charactaristics (bottom of pile longer than top.

Fussy stuff to cut, even worse in quantity. Also a near newly sharpened blade is a must, and the soft papers tend to dull a blade faster than harder/commercial stock.

Michael Seitz
Missoula MT

If at all possible, have a spare blade available so that when your first blade inevitably dulls in the middle of a cutting job you can switch to the fresh blade immediately and send the first out for sharpening. Much less down-time and frustration. And yes, it is always best to cut new, clean edges on all four sides of your paper. Assuming your fences are square, this will provide you with superior results every time.

Michael Hurley
Titivilus Press
Memphis, TN

I put a chipboard sheet on the bottom, to insure a clean cut. I also put at least a 1/4 inch on top to insure no marks on paper. Wash the cutter bed with blanket wash. Dry it really well. Wax it or use silicone. You can keep it cover to avoid getting dirt on your paper. Always keep a sharp blade on it.