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Unread 07-28-2017, 09:09 AM   #1
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Default Intricate dies - shimming concerns.

I recently pulled out a bunch of SB sets that I had bought and have never used - Majestic Squares, Resplenant Rectangles, etc., all those sets that you're supposed to take and mix and match within the set to get different permutations of shapes and frames. I decided to cut samples of them in all their iterations and see if I might like them enough to start using them.

Of course, they were a bear to get a good cut with. Shimming helped. Then I pulled out the metal adapter plate I got from Cheery Lynn a hundred years ago and never used, and of course that thing cut everything perfectly (and also left an impression of the die on BOTH the top and bottom cutting pads).

All this shimming and adapter-plating made me nervous. I was working with my Big Shot because I am afraid of messing up my Vagabond or even loosening it up. And all of the sandwiches went through but, darn, some of them felt tight.


I decided I have shim parnanoia. I hate shimming because I fear breaking my machines.


How much do you shim with intricate dies? Do you use adapter plates? When do you say "this sandwich is too thick to roll through even though it is physically possible to do, and I'm not going to do it."?
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Unread 07-28-2017, 09:17 AM   #2
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PS: I was pleasantly surprised at how many of the dies I really liked. So I'd like to make my peace with this issue so I can use those dies without having an anxiety attack.
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Unread 07-28-2017, 09:53 AM   #3
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I have the same anxiety with my Bigshot. I only shim when I think I have to, the intricate ones, but I have a friend who metal shims everything. She has had to replace her Bigshot after two years. I am going on three years with mine. I realize that's not scientific evidence but I do think I actually use mine more. My first Bigshot was a used one that had been shimmed a lot and the part that broke was the little metal ring inside the handle. It was all mangled. I'm not handy so I didn't try to get a part. Also the whole machine was starting to loosen up. I'm thinking I will replace mine in another year on an Amazon sale and keep this one as a backup.
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Unread 07-28-2017, 10:10 AM   #4
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My Big Shot is my back up. And I've had it for six years and used it tons, but I rarely shimmed anything. Now I use it for my more demanding Bigz dies, and my Vagabond is my main machine. (I hate cranking, really. Maybe I should buy a second Vagabond and just assume I'm going to destroy it in a few years. A crazy thought.)

But if you want some of these dies to cut, you have to shim, I am finding. I've steered clear of most really intricate dies because I couldn't get a good cut using just the basic sandwich. It's why I have all these Nestie sets that I never used. But they are really quite beautiful.
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Unread 07-28-2017, 10:24 AM   #5
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Having a back up would make me want to go with these nice dies, especially if I had a swell Vagabond.
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Unread 07-28-2017, 10:43 AM   #6
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Yeah, I love my Vagabond. And the sandwich with the adaptor plate technically fits the key guage they gave me with it, but because you aren't cranking, you can't feel how tight it actually is. That's why I went back to my Big Shot for my Bigz when I use them with chipboard. If I'm going to break a machine, I'd rather break the BS.

But not having to crank is bliss. Just put the sandwich in and watch it go.
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Unread 07-28-2017, 12:40 PM   #7
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I shim as needed and use the metal shim sometimes. I never worry about breaking my Big shot or dies as I never have broke a thing. **Knock on wood** If I ever do I will replace it. (I do have the Big Shot Plus and it lets me turn the whole plate length ways as well as side ways as needed to get a better cut so very little shimming is needed.
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Unread 07-29-2017, 09:09 AM   #8
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I have a Big Shot that I got from Stampin Up a long time ago. 5 years now, maybe more? I use a metal shim all the time.
If it won't go through then I take out the shim or use thinner cardstock. I have cranked the handle a few times with a lot of resistance but that thing is a trooper.
You could try to use wax paper in between the die and paper, that may help the intricate ones cut and release better.
I agree with southgirl, if it does break I will get a new one.
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Unread 07-29-2017, 09:15 AM   #9
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RachelRose,Maybe you should try the Accuquilt Go cutting mat and you won't have anymore worries. I have pretty much all of SBs frame dies and a Vagabond machine. They all cut beautifully and I only run them through one time. No back and forth to get a good cut. I hated those frizzies on the paper from trying the back and forth method. The mat is fairly inexpensive and does not sound like it creates a hardship on the machine. Quite the opposite. I use my machine probably fifty or more times per day everyday and it's still going strong.
I try not to think too much about the cost if I had a piece of equipment failure. I just think about how much a tank of gas costs and I realize I've got more to show for my money with my equipment investment. And I enjoy it immensely. I figured if it can hold up to Tim doing all those shows, then it must be pretty hardy.
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Unread 07-29-2017, 09:34 AM   #10
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BlueFeather, what size do you have of this mat? And does it replace a cutting plate? What's the sandwich on the Vagabond/Big Shot?
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Unread 07-29-2017, 09:53 AM   #11
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It's the 6x12 and yes it replaces the cutting plate. I have the magnetic platform on the bottom (or the regular cut platform), a THIN piece of cardboard (the kind you get on packaged food box), acrylic plate, die face up, cardstock to be cut, GO mat. Run it through. I would try it without the piece of cardboard first. Depending on the tightness of your machine you may be able to use just cardstock as a shim. But the GO mat is soft and flexible so it has "squish" when it goes through the machine. Doesn't bog down at all.

And if it's a die that embosses as well, it adds that little extra texture into the die cut.
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Unread 07-29-2017, 12:22 PM   #12
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I rarely shim with anything more than a couple of sheets of copy paper and that usually does the job for me. I notice quite a difference between my Big Shot and my old Raspberry Wizard. And it's funny, because some dies cut better in one than the other, whereas you'd think they should all cut better in either one or the other. Frostyville border, for instance, I gave up using in the Wizard, and never used it till I got the Big Shot - but those SB ones you're referring to, whatever Majestic it is that I have definitely cuts better in the Wizard.
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Unread 07-29-2017, 01:51 PM   #13
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I happily shim with the Cheery Lynn metal adaptor plate (with the plate against the flat part of the die), and I love it. I use CS when needed - like a strip on an area that doesn't cut or covering the entire die. If I'm not forcing hard I'm not worried.

I have a couple really tough full coverage dies and have forced with brute strength. Not a good thing, and that's a whole different ballgame. (Go Nats!)


My LSS's shim too.


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Unread 07-29-2017, 08:02 PM   #14
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If the metal plate is worrying you....I would go with CS shims. You can really tweek that between 110, 80 and 65 and then copy paper...Once you have a good "stack" i might glue it together and write on it what you use it for. You might end up with a couple different stacks.

The Go thing...it sounds like what I would use to get embossing from a die...like a mouse pad kind of thing. Is that right? Because you said you have the cutting edge up into it-it isnt getting cut up?
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Unread 07-30-2017, 03:43 AM   #15
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Putting together CS stacks is a good idea, wavejumper.
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Unread 07-30-2017, 04:09 AM   #16
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Robin, thinking about your "shim paranoia," your not having access to a class, event or LSS to ever see shimming or mildly tough crankings could make it a harder to embrace the norm for our machines. Most videos edit out struggles, like trying three sandwiches and two shims before success.

Cheery Lynn's adaptor plate is made for some fussy delicate dies, just as you've experienced. They're not manufacturing them to break machines. Mine is beat up and works fine.


BTW, I put a post-it with dies that need an unusual sandwich or shim in a particular spot, IOW, not full coverage shims.



Instead of ommmm, shimmmmm. (Dumb comment as I wake up.)


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Unread 07-30-2017, 04:24 AM   #17
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Beth - that was a refreshing pail of cold water over my head (and I truly mean that, it's in the high 90's and muggy as all get-out down here).

It's so true! I have never worked with anyone else, ever, and the only die-cutting I've ever seen besides my own is on YouTube or Online Card Classes, where all the "unsuccessful sandwiches" are obviously edited out.


I think I need to get over myself. I have the gauge key from Sizzix. If the sandwich fits the key it should be fine in the machine.


What's the worst case? - I break a machine. That would certainly be a major drag, but I can get another. It's not like they don't still sell them.


I am starting to feel less paranoid already. Thank you! !
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Unread 07-30-2017, 04:42 AM   #18
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You're welcome. And just to see it from my POV, I'm pretty much in awe of your taking your creative journey without one iota of in-person assistance, ever. I can get paralyzed about "not doing IT right," and I doubt I would have started stamping or paper crafting without a teacher or LSS owner/employee to guide me at the beginning, especially, but even now occasionally.

I had a full coverage die that would not work come hell or high water, though I finally got a die cut by arm exhausting cranking and grunting. (Do NOT do that.) I took the die and various CS's to an LSS. The owner tried the die on her machines, different than mine, with umpteen sandwiches and shims. Same problem. Easy peasy, it was the die. Well not easy, it took time and experimenting, but in person resources can make my journey easier. Then again, no ocean, Key deer or The Fish House on Key Largo.

Anyway, you should be very proud of yourself and your work, including the card that can take three days. (Mine can too.)

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Unread 07-30-2017, 05:44 AM   #19
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I can honestly say that NONE of it would have been possible without you guys here on the forum. And that continues to be the case. Videos are very useful, but there is nothing like being able to "discuss" something that's tripping you up. Like this thread.

And as for my creative journey: Eight years ago my SIL and sister sent me a box of card-making stuff for my birthday. My SIL was a SU hobby demo at the time, so all SU. This gift was based on a casual remark I made to my sister on the phone, when she called to tell me about a weekend visit to my SIL, where she spent time playing around in her craft room. "Oh," I said "that sounds like fun." Seriously, I was just being polite. When I got the box I was flummoxed. I had never considered making cards, had never been interested in making cards, had very little understanding of what it was all about. But now I had to use all this stuff that had been so generously given to me (and there was a lot of it). I set up a small card table in my living room and started playing around. Of course, I soon found that I didn't have some stuff that I wish I had, so called my SIL and I ordered it. Now I had to keep making cards in order to show appreciation for a lovely gift and also because I'd spent money on supplies!


Then I found SCS. Where I could look at (examine) other people's work, ask a bazillion questions, whine and complain and rant, and generally hang out with the other crazy crafters... my people, as I was discovering.


Fast forward eight years. My SIL has long since quit being a demo, or even making cards. My sister tried her hand at cards for a short time after the visit and then moved on. But me – I'm still making cards. I'm still buying stuff at a rapid clip, although very little of it is from SU. I'm still here asking my questions and whining and complaining and now I'm chiming in when others ask theirs.


I guess somewhere along the line I decided I like doing this!
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Unread 07-30-2017, 07:51 AM   #20
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When I first got my CuttleBug I took a class at our local LSS. The owner taught the class and she can be a real hoot. When she started her demos (both CB and BS) she said to be sure and put your machine close to the edge of your table so you can use your hip to help "ram" the sandwich through the machine if it's a little tight. Fast forward three years and I'm still ramming away when necessary.....without a second thought and no problems.
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Unread 07-30-2017, 08:49 AM   #21
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Thank you! That's an image I need to burn into my brain!
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Unread 07-30-2017, 06:59 PM   #22
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Quote:
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When I first got my CuttleBug I took a class at our local LSS. The owner taught the class and she can be a real hoot. When she started her demos (both CB and BS) she said to be sure and put your machine close to the edge of your table so you can use your hip to help "ram" the sandwich through the machine if it's a little tight. Fast forward three years and I'm still ramming away when necessary.....without a second thought and no problems.
How funny!
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Unread 07-30-2017, 07:02 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rachelrose View Post
I can honestly say that NONE of it would have been possible without you guys here on the forum. And that continues to be the case. Videos are very useful, but there is nothing like being able to "discuss" something that's tripping you up. Like this thread.

And as for my creative journey: Eight years ago my SIL and sister sent me a box of card-making stuff for my birthday. My SIL was a SU hobby demo at the time, so all SU. This gift was based on a casual remark I made to my sister on the phone, when she called to tell me about a weekend visit to my SIL, where she spent time playing around in her craft room. "Oh," I said "that sounds like fun." Seriously, I was just being polite. When I got the box I was flummoxed. I had never considered making cards, had never been interested in making cards, had very little understanding of what it was all about. But now I had to use all this stuff that had been so generously given to me (and there was a lot of it). I set up a small card table in my living room and started playing around. Of course, I soon found that I didn't have some stuff that I wish I had, so called my SIL and I ordered it. Now I had to keep making cards in order to show appreciation for a lovely gift and also because I'd spent money on supplies!


Then I found SCS. Where I could look at (examine) other people's work, ask a bazillion questions, whine and complain and rant, and generally hang out with the other crazy crafters... my people, as I was discovering.


Fast forward eight years. My SIL has long since quit being a demo, or even making cards. My sister tried her hand at cards for a short time after the visit and then moved on. But me I'm still making cards. I'm still buying stuff at a rapid clip, although very little of it is from SU. I'm still here asking my questions and whining and complaining and now I'm chiming in when others ask theirs.


I guess somewhere along the line I decided I like doing this!
Like... and are maddened by it, and all kinds of other reactions and emotions - for me, anyway.


Funny how something happens, doesn't have to be big, and a chunk of life goes off in an entirely new direction.
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Unread 07-31-2017, 06:11 AM   #24
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So true...
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Unread 08-01-2017, 04:38 AM   #25
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When I have to shim something, I like to use masking tape right on the portion that needs the shim. It seems like when you use a large shim, it kinda defeats the purpose. KWIM?? If there is one portion of the die that isn't cutting, I just put a layer of masking tape on the back of the that portion of the die. I haven't had to worry too much about the sandwich being too think.
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Unread 08-01-2017, 06:32 AM   #26
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I like that idea of putting a note in with a die if it needs extra love since for SURE I wont remember what it needs and then will be spending that time over and over figuring it out!

I too think you (and anyone else) is great to forge on with this on your own. Of course that is how people used to do things all the time. (including me) Get a how to book and off they went...you know. Before this screen thingie we all are looking at that I do too much shhh. lol

It absolutely matters to have people who get what you are talking about!
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Unread 08-01-2017, 07:08 AM   #27
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I think without SCS I would have quit. I wouldn't have been able to grow. It was the progession that kept me interested. I still have my first efforts. They look so klutzy and clunky to me now.

And my SIL sent a rather elaborate card with the box, it was an acetate card with all kinds of other stuff on it. I put it up on the bulletin board. It was like an alien life form to me. A few years ago I was straightening up my bulletin board and took it down and looked at it and realized I now knew exactly how she had made it, and even knew what exactly some of the stamps were.


I don't think a book would have been the same. Well, I bought books and magazines and they weren't. So all hail the mighty Screen!
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Unread 08-02-2017, 07:05 AM   #28
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I usually just use one or two sheets of paper to shim.
I always feel if it feels like I am forcing the handle then it's too thick. Also if the handle spins when the plates emerge and nearly breaks your wrist, it's too thick!!!!
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Unread 08-02-2017, 07:07 AM   #29
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I usually just use one or two sheets of paper to shim.
I always feel if it feels like I am forcing the handle then it's too thick. Also if the handle spins when the plates emerge and nearly breaks your wrist, it's too thick!!!!
Paper crafting is a dangerous sport.
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Unread 08-02-2017, 07:09 AM   #30
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That's why I am using my Big Shot for anything that needs a lot of shimming. With a Vagabond you don't have that tactile clue. That you've maybe gone too far. And can stop before you do something you will regret.

Sizzix gave me a gauge key and told me I could trust it with the Vagabond. But I don't. Yet.

Yes, people don't understand the peril we put ourselves in constantly. Especially with regards to our credit card balances. !
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Unread 08-02-2017, 07:22 AM   #31
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That's why I am using my Big Shot for anything that needs a lot of shimming. With a Vagabond you don't have that tactile clue. That you've maybe gone too far. And can stop before you do something you will regret.

Sizzix gave me a gauge key and told me I could trust it with the Vagabond. But I don't. Yet.

Yes, people don't understand the peril we put ourselves in constantly. Especially with regards to our credit card balances. !
Margaritas may up the trust level.


Do you have the older Vagabond that can get stuck, or the newer type? I guess it doesn't matter, though, since you have the Big Shot.


I assume you've watched the Cheery Lynn video that talks about spot shimming versus full coverage shimming. I think it's Cheery Lynn, anyway.


And +1 for the credit card. {sigh} We just bought a Big Green Egg. Yet another big learning curve and credit card activity. Someone on the BGE forum reminded me that the first two words are "Big Green." As in $$. So we are not alone. (And my brain does not do well with two obsessions at a time. I haven't played with paper for two weeks, ugh.)
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Unread 08-02-2017, 08:19 AM   #32
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Originally Posted by bjeans View Post
I happily shim with the Cheery Lynn metal adaptor plate (with the plate against the flat part of the die), and I love it. I use CS when needed - like a strip on an area that doesn't cut or covering the entire die. If I'm not forcing hard I'm not worried.

I have a couple really tough full coverage dies and have forced with brute strength. Not a good thing, and that's a whole different ballgame. (Go Nats!)


My LSS's shim too.


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When I shim with the metal plate, it is outside my sandwich, on top of my magnetic platform. I don't want to get any die impressions on the metal plate itself.
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Unread 08-02-2017, 08:45 AM   #33
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I tried that initially, but some dies still weren't cutting precisely, so figured that since Cheery Lynn demoed them against the die, held my breath and jumped into the deep end of the pool. : ) If I have to buy another some day, that's okay. So much depends on the die itself.
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Unread 08-02-2017, 11:30 AM   #34
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can someone send me the cheery lynne site where this video is?
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Unread 08-02-2017, 11:34 AM   #35
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Sure. There are two - for the Cuttlebug and Big Shot, though if I recall it's the same process. The flexibility of the ss die seems to help a lot. Here's the first.

Last edited by bjeans; 08-02-2017 at 11:39 AM..
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Unread 08-02-2017, 11:35 AM   #36
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And the other one.
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Unread 08-02-2017, 11:47 AM   #37
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thank you so much! I think I need one!!
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Unread 08-02-2017, 12:46 PM   #38
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Notice how he waffles on the Vagabond and refers to the key gauge? He doesn't say to use the plate and he doesn't say not to. He just talks about the ability to "feel" the tightness of the sandwich on the CB and the BS.

I can get my sandwich with the plate inside the key gauge. But just. So I've not been using the plate in the Vagabond.


Yes, I was putting the plate beneath the bottom cutting plate until I found and watched the video myself. You're suppose to put it right against the back of the die. I put it on top of the sandwich at one point and the thing currrrrrrled right up. Duh. So I did it again with the plate reversed to straighten it out and now I put it where it's meant to go.
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Unread 08-07-2017, 11:24 AM   #39
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Default Intricate Die Cutting

Hey Rachel Rose,

I successfully cut all the intricate dies you have named and many many more. Most have only taken one time thru my Big Shot, but some have taken two times. My secret weapon is the Sizzix Precision Base Plate. Does a great job every time with no need for extra shimming. If you don't already know about it, you can see it here. Its on sale for $11.99 at JoAnns. I paid $25.00 at an LSS when it first came out:

http://tinyurl.com/y8qrvcov

Hope this helps someone save some money AND some headaches!
Lynne
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Unread 08-07-2017, 11:57 AM   #40
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I had heard that this plate can warp dies. So I have avoided it. This must not have been your experience?
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