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Old 02-07-2018, 06:34 PM   #1
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Question die sharpening

how do you keep dies razor sharp?
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Old 02-08-2018, 12:08 AM   #2
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A die is not like a scalpel blade, it's not really sharp in the first place. Dies do something called "crush cutting" - essentially your machine is concentrating pressure through small areas (the raised portions of your die) to separate whatever you're cutting. I always draw the comparison of walking over a soft field in sneakers or stiletto heels - the sneakers spread your body weight evenly across the soles of your feet and you won't sink in; the stiletto heel concentrates your body weight into a very small area and your heels will sink down into the field.

If your dies are not cutting cleanly, there's probably another explanation. If you're having problems, let us know what they are and we might be able to help.

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Old 02-08-2018, 03:47 AM   #3
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Oftentimes, a die not cutting needs some shimming. Or there are special plates to help with it, different plates for different machines. Mostly, the problem lies with the intricacy of the die. Plus, machines rarely distribute weight evenly across the whole surface, so that issue, coupled with an intricate die, means either a shim- just in the area not cutting well- or an intricate die plate should solve your problem. Just go carefully adding shims- start thin, like a sheet of copy paper, and gradually increase thickness until it cuts.
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Last edited by shazsilverwolf; 02-08-2018 at 03:48 AM.. Reason: typo
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Old 02-08-2018, 08:47 AM   #4
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Also, depending on the type of die cutting machine you are using, the plates may be warped or worn from previous cutting. I have an ancient Cuttlebug, which still works very well, but I've replaced my cutting plates a few times.

Sometimes you can keep using warped/worn plates and use shims to help, but sometimes you need to get new plates.
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Old 02-08-2018, 11:12 AM   #5
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I've also found that dies which are extremely thin or small, they seem to work better in in the sidekick which I have instead of my C-bug.
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Old 02-14-2018, 05:41 AM   #6
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I've recently added the Precision Base Plate (for Big Shot) for cutting intricate dies. That helps a bunch!
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Old 02-14-2018, 07:58 AM   #7
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I agree that the Precision Base Plate has been a HUGE GAME CHANGER! #bestpurchaseever
My problem is how on earth do you guys remove the sticky gummy mess on the back of dies? Lawn Fawn is the worst.I absolutely love Lawn Fawn dies but I spend a huge amount of time trying to get the sticky off and snipping and de-burring them. MFT dies used to be just as bad but a few years ago they switched to a removable glue dot and I think I heard angels sing. So, what do you ladies do to remove the sticky off the back? (I have tried Goo-Gone, and eraser remover and a regular white eraser)
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Old 02-14-2018, 08:31 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jeffnval View Post
I agree that the Precision Base Plate has been a HUGE GAME CHANGER! #bestpurchaseever
My problem is how on earth do you guys remove the sticky gummy mess on the back of dies? Lawn Fawn is the worst.I absolutely love Lawn Fawn dies but I spend a huge amount of time trying to get the sticky off and snipping and de-burring them. MFT dies used to be just as bad but a few years ago they switched to a removable glue dot and I think I heard angels sing. So, what do you ladies do to remove the sticky off the back? (I have tried Goo-Gone, and eraser remover and a regular white eraser)
I hate the sticky on the back of new dies, too. I've had good luck with Goo-Gone, under a strong light to see if I got it all off.
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Old 02-14-2018, 12:38 PM   #9
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I use Un-Du. It works on so many things and does not damage them. You can remove a postage stamp from an envelope and when the Un-Du has dried the stamp will be sticky to use again. I use it on all the things I buy with the annoying stickers on them. I have used this for at least 15 years if not longer.
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Old 03-16-2018, 07:10 PM   #10
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sticky on the dies ? from the package? I've never had a problem with it.... if that's what you are talking about. It is hard to remove from the package sometimes.
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Old 03-17-2018, 08:47 AM   #11
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I agree, some companies use a ridiculously sticky tape to hold the dies down. So much so, it can be difficult to remove the dies from the backing without bending them.
On the plus side, can you imagine how well that adhesive tape company would do out of crafters, if we could buy it to stick our layers down, rofl! They're selling to the wrong section of the market.
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Old 03-17-2018, 09:23 AM   #12
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I saw a quick 2 minute video, by Simply Stamping (Connie Stewart), where she showed to heat the dies on the card before removing to loosen the sticky tape. I tried it and it helped. My dies didn't bend as much and came off a little easier. I didn't heat so long that I couldn't hold the dies, though, but just heated for a few seconds. Here is a link: 2-Minute Tuesday Tip - Removing Framelits from Packaging with Ease - Simply Simple Stamping
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Old 03-20-2018, 11:21 PM   #13
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As an alternative to Un-do and the like, you could always wipe an anti-static bag across the stickiness.
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Old 03-21-2018, 07:53 AM   #14
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My long time "sticky" remover from anything has been regular Lighter Fliud. It can be used on sterling silver, best crystal, your skin for bandaid residue, and any sticky surface with no harm done. It dries fast but of course you need to be aware of the smell and use only on smaller items. Like Goo Gone but a bit faster and cleaner. I have used it for over 50 years before other removers were invented! Yes I am an "older crafter" ��Good luck.
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Old 03-21-2018, 07:56 AM   #15
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I use Un-Du...works great, or dust the sticky part with baby powder. I keep a small travel size in my stash for just that purpose or to make stickers unsticky!!
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Old 03-21-2018, 09:52 AM   #16
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Vegetable oil works well to remove sticky tape. I had this sticky glue on my new medicine chest and nothing would take it off the mirror completely, so I googled it and it said to use vegetable oil and then glass cleaner. Worked very well.
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Old 03-21-2018, 12:34 PM   #17
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I am another one who uses the anti static bag to 'null' the glue. I pull of what adhesive I can and then just dust the rest. I find the magazine dies are some of the worst.
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Old 03-22-2018, 05:04 AM   #18
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Never had a problem (except with bent dies) until this week. The oval dies I wanted to use had been packaged with clear acetate behind each oval. I removed the acetate a while ago but when I went to use the dies. they we so sticky and gooey on the back, my hands were sticky. Did not have Un-Do, so I used Lemon Pure Essential Oil , my go to for anything sticky. Even soaked them in it. Had to end up with nail polish remover to get more sticky off and a lot of elbow grease. They are still somewhat sticky but they work. Will buy some Un-Do to really clean it up.
Now, why would a company do that? Grrr!
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Old 03-22-2018, 10:56 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jeffnval View Post
I agree that the Precision Base Plate has been a HUGE GAME CHANGER! #bestpurchaseever
My problem is how on earth do you guys remove the sticky gummy mess on the back of dies? Lawn Fawn is the worst.I absolutely love Lawn Fawn dies but I spend a huge amount of time trying to get the sticky off and snipping and de-burring them. MFT dies used to be just as bad but a few years ago they switched to a removable glue dot and I think I heard angels sing. So, what do you ladies do to remove the sticky off the back? (I have tried Goo-Gone, and eraser remover and a regular white eraser)
Pharmacies sell adhesive remover pads (they're just like alcohol pads peeps use for administration of injections, etc) except they hold adhesive remover. They're individually wrapped and are really used for removal of, like, colostomy adhesive, etc. They are on the slightly more expensive side, but are near, clean, and easy to use. Plus it's really a strong adhesive remover. I find that using them makes my life easier for many things, and they last longer for me than the liquid removers. 100% Acetone (Nail Polish Remover) works well, too, on items that are not plastic.
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Old 03-22-2018, 11:40 AM   #20
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Tracyr2, I can second those wipes! I have a colostomy, so get them with my supplies, and they are fantastic for removing ll sorts of adhesive from scissors dies etc. If anyone needs to buy a product, and want a liquid rather than wipes, can I suggest you have a look for a product called Sticky Stuff Remover? This link goes to Amazon .com.
The beauty with this product is that it will remove pretty much any adhesive from anything, and has a really pleasant Citrus smell, rather than the chemical smell usually associated with these types of remover. Hubby put some on a foam pad stuck on the top of the printer, left it for 10 or so minutes, then just wiped it off with some paper towel.
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Old 03-22-2018, 12:40 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by snowowl View Post
Never had a problem (except with bent dies) until this week. The oval dies I wanted to use had been packaged with clear acetate behind each oval. I removed the acetate a while ago but when I went to use the dies. they we so sticky and gooey on the back, my hands were sticky. Did not have Un-Do, so I used Lemon Pure Essential Oil , my go to for anything sticky. Even soaked them in it. Had to end up with nail polish remover to get more sticky off and a lot of elbow grease. They are still somewhat sticky but they work. Will buy some Un-Do to really clean it up.
Now, why would a company do that? Grrr!
It's quite possible that with this die the company intended that the acetate be left on, especially if each die had it. It would help the die keep it's shape.
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Old 03-23-2018, 03:21 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shazsilverwolf View Post
Tracyr2, I can second those wipes! I have a colostomy, so get them with my supplies, and they are fantastic for removing ll sorts of adhesive from scissors dies etc. If anyone needs to buy a product, and want a liquid rather than wipes, can I suggest you have a look for a product called Sticky Stuff Remover? This link goes to Amazon .com.
The beauty with this product is that it will remove pretty much any adhesive from anything, and has a really pleasant Citrus smell, rather than the chemical smell usually associated with these types of remover. Hubby put some on a foam pad stuck on the top of the printer, left it for 10 or so minutes, then just wiped it off with some paper towel.
I also have a colostomy! That is how I discovered the wipes, too! Thanx for the tip on the liquid. I'll grab a bottle.
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Old 03-23-2018, 03:48 AM   #23
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It's quite possible that with this die the company intended that the acetate be left on, especially if each die had it. It would help the die keep it's shape.
I have thought of that, but if you want to layer for frames, etc. it seemed pointless and the dies are firm enough they wouldn't lose their shape. The dies are Cherry Lynn Classic Ovals XM-7 set of six. They cut very well so no problem there.
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Old 03-23-2018, 06:15 AM   #24
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I have a die that I love but it does not cut well. It is a very pretty color that I think may be an overcoating and I've wondered if trying to lightly sand to remove that coating would help it would work better. Not very excited about trying to sand metal but don't want to give up on the die either.
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