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jmontague
18-Mar-2016, 15:07
I have been doing my best with a triangle, X-acto knife and a cutting board to get my prints trimmed and perfectly square/rectangular prior to dry mounting. My success rate is getting better but not perfect.

What are you folks using? Paper cutters (guillotine or rotary), T-squares?

Thanks.

Kevin Crisp
18-Mar-2016, 15:16
I've never had a problem with a guillotine cutter so long as the print/tissue is held flat against the bed. Index the first cut off a manufactured edge.

Drew Wiley
18-Mar-2016, 15:28
You get something totally smooth and non-scratching to hold the film flat as you cut. I like a polyethylene Bondo spreader.

dasBlute
18-Mar-2016, 16:22
I use a rotary trimmer with excellent results, cutting both the image and tacked-on tissue at once.

Jim Andrada
18-Mar-2016, 23:46
My Rototrim has a plastic piex that gets pressed down onto the photo to keep it from slipping as the cutter head slides along the track - does a nice job.

neil poulsen
19-Mar-2016, 00:49
What is it that suggests your prints aren't square?

Doremus Scudder
19-Mar-2016, 03:17
A Rototrim rotary trimmer, one of the good ones with the double rails (Mastercut I think) is the only one I've found to be consistently perfectly square. Plus they can be adjusted if needed.

I've used other trimmers, but they tend to need adjusting a lot. There are probably other quality brands, but I can recommend the Rototrim Mastercut from personal experience. Still, even they need adjustment from time-to-time, especially if they've been knocked or carried by the rails (just don't do this latter!)

If you have a different rotary trimmer, you can usually adjust them to be better in square. If there is provision for adjustment, do the following.

Get some large pieces of thin but stiff paper the maximum size your trimmer will take (I use interleaving sheets). Note the edge you use to align to (pencil mark) and the make three very thin cuts rotating away from the original edge you aligned to (in other words, using the edge you just cut as the next edge to align to).

After three cuts, you should have the original edge left uncut. Position this as if you were going to trim it and see if it is square to the cutting edge of the trimmer. If so, you're good to go. If not, you need to adjust the aligning edge to be square with the cutting blade. Using a good square will help, but I've found that fine-tuning this requires trim-trim-trim-check-adjust-repeat till you get it right.

If you're using manual tools, you need a good square, a good measure and a good straight edge. You can easily get opposite sides parallel with just measure and straight edge; it's getting the first right-angle correct that is difficult. A good square, larger than your work, will usually take care of this. Trim your right-angle first, then get the opposite edges parallel. A good work surface, sharp and straight tools and skill are required to do this well.

Best,

Doremus

N Dhananjay
19-Mar-2016, 06:37
A rotary cutter works best in my experience - the Rotatrim Mastercut is particularly good - you can slice away thin (less than a mm) pieces of the paper and you can get things very square with the guide bars etc. The plastic hold down is not set perfectly flush with the cut as it comes from the factory. My solution was to glue a thin sheet of white paper to its underside. I make one cut which slices this piece of paper perfectly flush with the cut. Then when I slide the finished print under it, it is very easy to see the edge of the black rebate of the film holder against the white of this paper. Gets things perfectly aligned. Cheers, DJ

Vaughn
19-Mar-2016, 13:51
I 'floated' my prints with 1/2" or so of space between the window and the edge of the print. The print had to be squared to the window, since it is easier to trim the print than change the window! In a perfect world, matboard would always be perfectly square, but alas, the world is not so.

The adjustable printing easel was squared using triangles, so I attached the dry mount tissue towards the center and trimmed the print along its edges. Once the window was cut, I placed the print inside the window and centered the print the best I could, measuring and by eye. Trimmed off any part of the print I needed to with a razor blade and a straight edge...easy to trim exactly what I wanted. Sometimes I wanted to cut right from the corner to maybe 1/16" inwards at the other end the print (16x20 prints).

bob carnie
20-Mar-2016, 06:49
Me too a Roto Trim is indispensable for print makers

I use a rotary trimmer with excellent results, cutting both the image and tacked-on tissue at once.

Jim Andrada
21-Mar-2016, 21:13
And I KNOW that you're never supposed to pick them up or carry them by the rails - but the way they're designed it's pretty hard not to do it! I'm going to put a carry handle on mine one of these days.

Randy Moe
22-Mar-2016, 03:01
How are you adjusting a Rotatrim Mastercut? I notice mine is not perfectly square.

bob carnie
22-Mar-2016, 05:58
Hardest thing to teach people is to not carry them by the rails..
And I KNOW that you're never supposed to pick them up or carry them by the rails - but the way they're designed it's pretty hard not to do it! I'm going to put a carry handle on mine one of these days.