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Old 07-18-2019, 04:51 PM   #1
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Default What to do about my die cut machine

that seems to press way too hard and ends up creasing my dies in certain spots?
I have an older Spellbinders Grand Calibur that I bought from the Amazon warehouse several years ago. I love that the opening is wide enough for 8 1/2 by 11, even though I mostly use the junior cutting plate sandwich. So I don't want to give up that size of the opening.
But this thing just eats my dies no matter the thin or thickness of the paper.

I haven't found anything that directs me to be able to adjust the pressure exerted by the rollers...is it hopeless?

And do all die cut machines do this?

thanks for your help!
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Old 07-19-2019, 02:57 AM   #2
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To answer your question... No, all die cut machines do not press so hard as to damage the die. Anna Griffin has a machine with an opening like your machine. You might check it out. Hope you get more info from the readers that will help.
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Old 07-19-2019, 03:59 AM   #3
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I was wondering if you were talking about the actual metal die being damaged, or the paper/cardstock die-cut? I notice that I sometimes get a crease in more open die-cuts (like large circles, squares), but I've never had a die damaged. I haven't fully analysed it but I think it happens more when my plate is warped.
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Old 07-19-2019, 05:00 PM   #4
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Oh sorry! My metal dies themselves aren't damaged...I meant to say it was the die cuts themselves. They are warped and wrinkled and those little punch out holes in dies end up being pressed into my die cuts...
It doesn't matter if the plates are brand new or quite used the die cuts end up with all manner of distortion. Some more noticeable than others. Some I can smooth out to a degree. But for the most part I can't get rid of the pimples (rather than dimples) left by the small holes in the dies and the wrinkles are generally there to stay.
So maybe I need to look for a new manual die cutter!
Sounds like I'm talking about aging and acne! hahaha
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Old 07-19-2019, 05:30 PM   #5
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Have you ever thought about taking a picture of what you are doing and seeing if someone has an idea from that? ( just a random thought) I have one of those machines at work ( its something I do not use hardly ever) because, I have a lot of steel ruled sizzix dies so, at home I have a bigshot. and I ended up taking the grand caliber and the cuttlebug to work.


at any rate I am also wondering if it would help to have say a sheet of printer paper in between the paper you are diecutting and the cutting pads to absorb any of the pressure from the imperfections in the cut plates. and or if there is a different configuration of ways to arrange those cut pads. ( for instance the cuttlebug has B & C thickness plates) and its been so long since I looked at the SB machine I cannot remember what it has)


seems to me one of the plates for that one was a big sheet of flexible rubber?


it also seems to me the most pressure those roller machines have is towards the edges, so there is less pressure in the very center of where the rollers are. try moving the die off the edge of the cut pad and more towards the center?
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Old 07-20-2019, 05:43 AM   #6
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Also experiment with different "sandwiches". For example, I have a gemini jr and recently replaced one of my cutting pads with one sold for the Big Shot. It's a bit thinner than the ones sold for the gemini. When using the original plates, it often cut into paper I was embossing, that doesn't happen with this new plate because there's not as much pressure.
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Old 07-20-2019, 06:38 AM   #7
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Thanks for the response. Yes, I do move it to the middle but the pressure there is weaker and sometimes doesn't cut the whole die out. The rubber mat is for embossing, which is what i'm getting in some instances without it...and what I'm trying to avoid.
It's been this way from day one, I've just lived with it til now. Forgot to say - the reason I bought this machine is that it has such a small footprint which is great because I don't have a large surface area for the Big Shot or similar machines.
Thanks again

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Originally Posted by JBgreendawn View Post
Have you ever thought about taking a picture of what you are doing and seeing if someone has an idea from that? ( just a random thought) I have one of those machines at work ( its something I do not use hardly ever) because, I have a lot of steel ruled sizzix dies so, at home I have a bigshot. and I ended up taking the grand caliber and the cuttlebug to work.


at any rate I am also wondering if it would help to have say a sheet of printer paper in between the paper you are diecutting and the cutting pads to absorb any of the pressure from the imperfections in the cut plates. and or if there is a different configuration of ways to arrange those cut pads. ( for instance the cuttlebug has B & C thickness plates) and its been so long since I looked at the SB machine I cannot remember what it has)


seems to me one of the plates for that one was a big sheet of flexible rubber?


it also seems to me the most pressure those roller machines have is towards the edges, so there is less pressure in the very center of where the rollers are. try moving the die off the edge of the cut pad and more towards the center?
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Old 07-20-2019, 06:44 AM   #8
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You might need to use a heavier cardstock. These machines exert a lot of pressure, and the lighter cardstocks can't always handle it. Or maybe your cardstock is too thick. Try experimenting a little with the weight. HTH
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Old 07-20-2019, 07:04 AM   #9
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When It does not cut all the way having something in the middle, I tend to do multiple passes, so I rotate the die on the cut pad so the part that did not cut goes in closer to the edge.


with really intricate dies I use wax paper inbetween the what I am cutting and the die surface. and I always do my dies with the cut blades facing UP. so the scored marked up plate is the top of my sandwich on every machine. ( I also have a slim metal shim sheet for booger dies that cannot be done with just wax paper)
what I think is that there is a learning curve for most the dies in your room and after you get one that works you kinda start to get a feel for when you will have to tinker more for something similar.

one other thing I noticed is that papers with a slick waxy feeling coating on them pick up the detailing imperfections of the cut plates marking it up more than say a heavy plain cardstock.


you'll get it eventually, its just like everything else you may have to practice a while first.
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Old 07-20-2019, 01:10 PM   #10
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Well my machine has decided to give up! It's more than just too much pressure, the whole housing is coming apart. It's never been dropped, but it has been stored away for quite a while (stored in my house, in an air conditioned environment)
Well it was an Amazon Warehouse deal I got for $45 back in 2014 or 2015.
Now to figure out what to get to replace it. I still have limited space. One thing I loved about this machine is I didn't have to have any clear plastic cutting plates.
I'm bummed....
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Old 07-20-2019, 02:24 PM   #11
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well, if you wanted to go electronic... I think an Gemini Jr. is about the same size. I have one but, I have to haul mine downstairs to use it as my room if I want to use electricity I am doing it on extension cords. which is kinda how i ended up with a big shot that never moves. ( its the big one, it weighs too much to haul it around)

you'd just have to have a way to plug it in.
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Old 07-20-2019, 05:23 PM   #12
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Thanks Y'all for your help...I was able to glue the housing back together and it seems to be working okay.
We will see how it goes in the coming days. I think I know now why it split in the first place. I tried to emboss with an embossing folder some time in the past and was not successful because it wouldn't go through. I forgot that I tried that.
The Grand Calibur does not let you emboss with embossing folders...only their own dies.
So...all's well that ends well!
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Old 07-21-2019, 06:27 PM   #13
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Well, that's good. To 'remove' the tiny bumps which are pressed into cardstock by the release holes, once it's out of the die, I press over mine with scissor handles...a relatively soft pressure will mash them down.
I agree with another poster who recommended different weights of cardstock to solve the wrinkles, too.
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Old 07-22-2019, 09:01 AM   #14
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Thanks, I do press them out and I've used mostly heavy weight card stock 100lb and above, but it doesn't seem to matter.
I will try to replace this machine later in the year...maybe Black Friday if there are any good deals!

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Well, that's good. To 'remove' the tiny bumps which are pressed into cardstock by the release holes, once it's out of the die, I press over mine with scissor handles...a relatively soft pressure will mash them down.
I agree with another poster who recommended different weights of cardstock to solve the wrinkles, too.
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Old 07-23-2019, 04:58 AM   #15
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The machine I have allows you to adjust the rollers to control the pressure and allow different thicknesses of materials - I have a review on it here:

http://www.dinakowalcreative.com/201...ii-fabric.html
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Old 07-24-2019, 08:49 AM   #16
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Thanks, Dina, for the link to your machine. It sounds wonderful! If I were into many different kinds of crafting (meaning using many different kinds of materials, etc) this would be an excellent machine to consider. I love that the pressure is adjustable, especially when using embossing folders or metal dies. My other big caveat is not having a dedicated craft room anymore since moving into this tiny condo. My bedroom has become my craft space and I just don't have the space for the size of this machine...though it does make me drool a little (oops!)
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The machine I have allows you to adjust the rollers to control the pressure and allow different thicknesses of materials - I have a review on it here:

http://www.dinakowalcreative.com/201...ii-fabric.html
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Old 07-24-2019, 09:43 AM   #17
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I went from the raspberry colored machine to the teal machine. I haven't had the problems you mentioned, however sometimes if I want to emboss I have a problem with the rubber mats sticking to the paper (or the pressure) causing the paper to wrinkle. That that's usually with lightweight paper. I see that the teal machine is on sale at Walmart if you want to get a different one to try out and see if it has the same issue for you. Not sure what the return policy would be if you decided you didn't want it. Oh, and the Platinum machine is only $5 more. Spellbinders Grand Calibur, Teal Die Cutting & Embossing Machine - Walmart.com
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Old 07-26-2019, 02:33 PM   #18
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Interesting puzzle. hmmmmm...This is usually the kind of weirdo thing that happens to me!

I also thought about heavier paper.
It feels like you are applying too much pressure to me? To drag the paper like that...and the bursting housing....
I'm with Adriana on changing your layering up. I usually run wafers through twice without even thinking about it to be sure.
But then you mention it is not tight enough either and is embossing instead of cutting? Yeah, play with additional copy paper sheets. Once you get to a certain thickness that would inform you of maybe a mylar shim or metal plate.

I'm bothered that the housing was imploding too...
Can you remember if this has been happening SINCE you did the EF boo boo? Maybe something got unbalanced internally?

I dont care if you got this on a sale...it should be a new machine. UNLESS....do you remember if the packaging was truly factory sealed? It might have been a return for this very reason....AZ is not going to get what we are talking about and might have restocked it. They would crank the handle and think it works.
Unfortunately it has been so long now that I cant recommend reaching out the to the MFG about it...although...that housing problem...that should not happen in 5 years time with these things either.


I had a brain wave...maybe to help keep your paper from shifting you could try tacking it down with repositionable tape? Or purple tape at the two ends? If that works, then we know the issue is the paper is moving and not the die is doing some kind of weird shift during the run.

I also like Stacey's idea of trying it cutting side UP.

Lastly, if you can feel the roller itself-see if there are sticky patches on it.

Unfortunately all factory made items may not be EXACTLY calibrated and we have to play with it to get where we want to go.

HTH
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Old 07-31-2019, 06:29 AM   #19
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I had that problem too sometimes with my Cuttlebug. It went away after I bought a Gemini. I am so impressed with this machine I can't even begin to explain it to you! My hands would get sore from hand turning the CB manually so I got the Gemini. It is amazing! I don't have to use any special shims or runs dies through more than once or turn them around - just one time through and I have a beautiful clean cut. I had quit using my intricate dies on the CB because I was so frustrated with using shims and not having one part cut all the way through. I now use all of my dies in the Gemini.
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Old 08-02-2019, 07:05 AM   #20
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I’m sorry your machine is not functioning as you want it to. I’ve read through all the responses and these are all great suggestions. Personally, it sounds like you just have a “lemon” of a machine. My crafting time is my “de-stressing” time. If I had to deal with those problems it would cause MORE stress. If I couldn’t make one or two slight adjustments in sandwiches and fix the situation I’d get a new machine.
I know they aren’t cheap, and it might take some planning to fit it in your budget.
If a small footprint is necessary I think the Vagabond would work. Of course, It has the smaller opening.
I was “enchanted” by the Grand Calibur when it was first released, loved the idea of the wider opening. But the truth is I originally bought a Big Shot for the embossing folders.
I’ve since amassed quite a collection of dies, both thinlits and the square rule Sizzix.
The opening of the basic Big Shot works fine for how I ACTUALLY craft.

If you really use and need that larger opening, I’d invest in a new Grand Calibur Having to make all those adjustments and deal with die cuts being messed up makes crafting time too much work for me!
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Old 08-03-2019, 07:51 PM   #21
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Sorry your machine is not acting nice.
As far as the pimples from the release holes goes, someone here, years ago, suggested running it through the machine again(after you’ve released it) inside a folded piece of copy paper. It works like a charm and the scratches from the plates don’t transfer to your die cut. HTH.
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