View Full Version : Squaring Your Print Trimmer

29-Dec-2014, 13:24
When making the 4 cuts needed to trim the print and the dry mount tissue before dry mounting, I have been frustrated by the inaccuracy of my trimmer's squareness. I discovered a technique woodworkers use to make a cross-cut sled for their table saws that works beautifully for print trimmers that have adjustable squaring fences. If you are interested I have posted a crude PDF file at http://www.photobackpacker.com/5_cut_Paper_Trimmer_adjust.pdf

This is for photographers who hate the guy who invented 1/64th of an inch. :)

29-Dec-2014, 13:55
I have always found the lines on the table to be accurate, and the fence not, for every paper cutter I've ever had. So I use the lines and square manually.

Drew Wiley
29-Dec-2014, 14:10
That's one way, but still the hard way. It's easier to have a squaring feature built onto the trimmer to begin with, then have a flat weight to keep the print material or whatever dead flat during the cut, since things like paper and matboard are hardly precise materials (and never assume they're square from the factory). You need to choose a reference edge to cut first, to which you square everything else in relation to. I use a 4ft Rotatrim mounted to an equally big Formica table with a long precise stainless straightedge permanently mounted at 90 degrees, and various attachments for pre-sizing roll of paper in the dark etc. For squaring glass, plastic, backer board etc I have one of those big Fletcher wall-mounted cutting machines like glass and frame shops use. My matcutter has a squaring arm built onto it, though I wouldn't classify it as good enough for prints per se, prior to drymounting. The average office supply paper cutter is about as square as a slice with a double-bit axe by a one-eyed drunken Viking, though once in awhile a good guillotine-style cutter comes along, like the Dahle.

Michael Rosenberg
29-Dec-2014, 18:37

This is very ingenious. I have done something similar, and sometimes found that the paper is not square. So I do two rounds of cuts - the first to square the paper. At the end of the second round I align the paper on the cutter edge; the difference of the paper edge at the fence is divided by four, and the fence is moved. I move the fence similar to what you do, but loosen two screws slightly and tap it with a hammer. That way it does not shift when I tighten down.