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Old 06-20-2020, 04:11 AM   #1
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Question HELP-How to die cut watercolor paper

I decided to try using some brand new Tim Holtz Wildflower thinlits to cut 140# watercolor paper in my Big Shot. I used the magnetic platform and my plates but I had to run some through 2-3 times before they cut all the way. And then the die cuts had those little 3-D circles embossed all over. Ugh. Is there a trick to cut wc paper? And no...I do not have a precision plate😞
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Old 06-20-2020, 05:28 AM   #2
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are you trying to cut the shape with the die cuts facing down or up?

on my big shot, I lay the die on the paper, add a scrap of washi tape to it so it does not wiggle, then I flip it over so that when I lay the die with the top/back side down, so the cutting edge is facing up and the paper is above the die, then the cut pad then run it through the machine.

( I do have a big shot pro) but, that should not make a difference, I have cut that paper with the exact dies you are using and I just roll it through once then back it up the other direction.


I think that most machines have more pressure on the edges of the rollers than smack in the middle of the cutting surface so, you may want to try it closer to a side edge?

hth,
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Old 06-20-2020, 05:44 AM   #3
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Wow. Thanks for your suggestions. I was cutting with the dies facing down which is what I always do but with card stock or paper. This was my first attempt with watercolor paper. I did notice the sides cut a little better too. Did you run the dies through lengthwise, or across the width of the paper? Maybe that doesn’t even make a difference...except some dies are too long to lay across. I’ll give it another go later today.
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Old 06-20-2020, 05:59 AM   #4
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sometimes if you run it through once and it has not cut all the way ( if the die is taped to the paper) you can shift it without picking it up, use your finger to spin it a little, so that if you went length wise with a long die the second time if you make it the other way or even so the die is feeding in at an angle ( not perfectly lined up straight and square on the cut pad) that helps too.


( esp with really big dies that are intricate in the centers)
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Old 06-20-2020, 06:22 AM   #5
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Part of the issue may be the thick watercolor paper’s thickness and unless it’s hot press it isn’t smooth. Plus watercolor paper has more give, for lack of a better term.

Like Stacy said, many machines have more pressure in some locations than another. If you have a slightly thinner watercolor paper that you haven’t already inked or painted, perhaps try that?

Some electric machines like the Gemini Junior seem to have equal pressure. I have an older set of Tim’s wildflowers that I die cut just two days ago that cut easily using 100/110 (?) lb. watercolor paper out of some backgrounds I didn’t like. 

Also, if you see a location(s) pattern where it’s not cutting well, shimming by putting small pieces of cardstock or even printer paper only where the problem areas are can sometime work - without having to increase pressure all over, and may avoid marks.

I used to have to experiment a lot with my old manual machine, and once it was finally figured out I put a Post-It with the sandwich in with the die so I’d never have to go through all that again. Good luck!
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Old 06-20-2020, 04:10 PM   #6
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I have a Precision Plate and it cuts through the 140# WC just fine (with cutting edge facing up.."more pressure on the cutting surface that way in my BS)

. And I do have those annoying tiny bumps from the poke-out holes. Someone here on SCS said to use your Teflon bone folder to smooth out the bumps. It really works.

As others Have mentioned, the dies cut better if they are placed at an angle going through the BS rather than straight alignment.
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Old 06-20-2020, 06:10 PM   #7
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Some people have said to run the die cut alone thru the machine again to get rid of bumps.

The more I use my Big shot the more I find some spots are tighter than others. So I might move it around if you have the room.

Shimming-sometimes even copy paper 1-2 layers may make the difference.

For sure there are dies I have to run more than once all the time. Esp highly detailed ones or thick paper. Just the nature of it. 

Let us how it goes. 

Once in awhile, I find if my cut plate is very used/scratched, it may be time to flip it to the smooth side. Less resistance for cutting when they get super scratched up.
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