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Old 03-12-2014, 07:33 AM   #1
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Default Warped Cutting Plates&Metal Shims

After ten passes through my Big Shot, brand new Sizzix cutting plates and Memory Box Metal Adapter plate are markedly warped, making it just about impossible to accomplish precision die-cutting. Given the $24 price of the combo, and the thin wimpy look of these useless tools, I can only conclude that the manufacturing process has changed since my ancient used plates aren't nearly as warped as the new ones. So I'm returning the new ones.

I know I can rehab my old cutting plates by wrapping them in foil, putting heavy bowls or cast iron pans atop, and baking them in a 325 oven for thirty minutes.

I would guess I could do the same thing with my old metal adapter plate, but I'm chicken. In a million years I wouldn't have baked the cutting plates without first hearing on SCS that it works. Have you any thoughts about the safety of baking the metal adapter plates?

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Old 03-12-2014, 07:38 AM   #2
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Wow... I've never heard of rehabbing the cutting plates! I'm so glad I clicked on your thread! I have to give this a try.... I don't have a metal adapter plate, so I can't tell you if that would work.
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Old 03-12-2014, 08:18 AM   #3
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I don't think baking a metal plate will have any effect. On the plastic, baking would have a temporary softening effect and the weight on top would straighten your plastic plates out. (I have not yet tried this)
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Old 03-12-2014, 08:54 AM   #4
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One wonders about the toxicity of plastic baking? My plastic plate is so warped, but still cuts. I will keep an eye on this post and Thanks.
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Old 03-12-2014, 10:43 AM   #5
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I saw the idea of baking Cuttlebug plates to flatten them on Pinterest. The lady that did them said she had done them 3 times, so I assumed it was ok. I did my 'bug plates and they came out fine, lovely and flat, and still going ok a couple of months later. I posted the info up here, and one lady tried it out with her Big Shot plates. A couple of days later she posted up that after a couple of uses, they broke. I don't know if the chemical composition of Big Shot plates plastic is different to that of 'bug plates, or if the reason is something different, but from that one try out, it seems possible that its risky doing it with Big Shot plates. I'd say its only worth giving it a go with a set of old plates, if you have already bought new ones, its no real loss then. HTH.
P.S. Here is the link to the Pin, you can follow it to her post. For some reason, when I tried to pin the link from her page, it doesn't work.
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Old 03-12-2014, 11:18 AM   #6
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1st contact Sizzix. They may be defective.

2nd you can bend plastic plates back with hot water. how to clean and straighten die cutter plates - YouTube

I don't know about the metal one.
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Old 03-12-2014, 11:59 AM   #7
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My plates have always warped; I just flip them over each time I send them thru, and it seems to keep them from getting too awful.

And I was too cheap to pay for a metal adapter plate; I'm using a piece of roof flashing and permanently stuck it to a new cutting plate and with that plate always on the bottom, it doesn't seem to be warping. Not sure why, but I'm not questioning it as long as its working.
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Old 03-12-2014, 12:12 PM   #8
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Quote:

Originally Posted by RiverIsisView Post
1st contact Sizzix. They may be defective.

2nd you can bend plastic plates back with hot water. how to clean and straighten die cutter plates - YouTube

I don't know about the metal one.
Thanks for the link! I just tried it with my Cuttlebug plates...it did get them slightly flatter but not a flat as hers did in the video. But good to know I can revive my plates...I just bought new ones when they warped badly...now I may not have to!
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Old 03-12-2014, 11:29 PM   #9
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Why is the metal plate warped? Do you cut on it?
Curious.
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Old 03-12-2014, 11:42 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by sprtchickView Post
Why is the metal plate warped? Do you cut on it?.
I use the metal plate between the cardstock and the cutting plate because it makes intricate dies cut evenly. The rollers of the Big Shot warp the metal plate eventually, as well as the cutting plates. But the new Memory Box metal plates are thin and whimpy, so useless for anything after the first couple of passes through the Big Shot.
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Old 03-13-2014, 12:25 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by cbetView Post
I'm using a piece of roof flashing and permanently stuck it to a new cutting plate and with that plate always on the bottom, it doesn't seem to be warping. Not sure why, but I'm not questioning it as long as its working.
Great idea I'm going to do tomorrow, after I get my cutting plates flat by baking them. What did you use to stick your roof flashing to the cutting plate?
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Old 03-13-2014, 04:10 AM   #12
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Bahb - I had to go back and look, and it's not as permanent as I thought - I used Scotch Poster Tape The metal plate hasn't come loose, but I must have been thinking I might want to be able to remove it eventually.

The only reason I mounted it to the cutting plate is that with the roof flashing, I was afraid I'd grab it when I was in a hurry and cut myself on the edge of the metal. It's not that it's all that sharp, but I have a history of finding ways to injure myself that are rather unique.
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Old 03-13-2014, 04:27 AM   #13
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Have you tried putting the plates without dies through your machine with the hump up. I flip mine to that direction to keep them as flat as possible.

Also I'm wondering if the metal shim is supposed to be on the flat side rather than the cut side of the die.

Hope you get it sorted
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Old 03-13-2014, 04:46 AM   #14
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I would try doing a bunch of cuts with cheap cardstock on the other side of your plate before doing anything drastic like heating those plates up. I've seen mixed reviews on that.

But you should always flip the cutting plate to keep the number of cuts on each side relatively even. That's what keeps it flat.

My problem is that I don't remember which side I used last and which way to have the slight curve in order to fix it!
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Old 03-13-2014, 07:02 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by fionna51View Post
I would try doing a bunch of cuts with cheap cardstock on the other side of your plate before doing anything drastic like heating those plates up. I've seen mixed reviews on that.

But you should always flip the cutting plate to keep the number of cuts on each side relatively even. That's what keeps it flat.

My problem is that I don't remember which side I used last and which way to have the slight curve in order to fix it!
Because when I got my die cutter I didn't know about the flipping thing (seriously my plate was nearly U shaped) I remember that the bump of the plate seems to need to be away from the die and the rest of the shim plates to flatten it.

I guess I am not as prolific a die cutter as most because after hearing about people's plates breaking I bought a spare set of cuttlebug plates and am still on the 1st set of plates 7 years later. I flip very regularly.
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Old 03-13-2014, 07:46 AM   #16
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DO NOT BAKE YOUR PLATES.

I tried it and they look good but after a few passes they break. Baking makes them brittle. I ruined 4 plates trying the baking method.

I flip mine on a regular basis and after awhile they will curve anyway. I know that we would all like our tools to last forever, but this is not the case for the plates. I look at the cost of the plates like I look at the cost of trimmer blades, adhesives, etc. as a necessary cost of paper crafting.

I keep one plate that I use exclusively for the bottom plate so it stays flat and the top plates I just keep rotating until it breaks.

When my metal plate curves I put it through with a few shims (no die) and it flattens back out.
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Old 03-13-2014, 09:15 AM   #17
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When I use the metal shim it is always on top of the base plate, under the plastic plate. My stack is:
Cutting Plate
Paper
Cutting plate
Metal Shim
Base Plate

I've never had the metal shim warp. I now use an Ebosser and haven't needed the metal shim.
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Old 03-13-2014, 01:13 PM   #18
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I saw this just a few minutes ago on pinterest...
Pin by Jessica Bavier on Cards {Techniques} | Pinterest
She shows cleaning and straightening bigshot cutting plates...without the high heat, just hot water. I'd be tempted to try this way first

I've cleaned my plates of the residual paper in the cuts by soaking in the sink and then using the brush like she does. Soaking really softens the paper and it comes right out. It's smoother for sure...
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Old 03-14-2014, 11:36 PM   #19
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The metal plate isnt meant to be cut on. It should go on top of the A plate then the rest of the sandwich. They should last you for a very very long time.
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Old 03-15-2014, 01:28 AM   #20
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Quote:

Originally Posted by sprtchickView Post
The metal plate isnt meant to be cut on. It should go on top of the A plate then the rest of the sandwich. They should last you for a very very long time.
Blessings.
My complaint isn't a matter of "Operator Error". Metal might last forever, but what good is it when it's warped so much it warps your dies? My old metal adapter is one made by CuttleHug. I am back to using that one because even though it is VERY old and warped now, it is far less warped than the new Memory Box one I've used to cut 8 dies. If you carry the Memory Box one in your store, you might try it yourself to see what I'm talking about.

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Old 03-15-2014, 01:43 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by ceramicat1View Post
When I use the metal shim it is always on top of the base plate, under the plastic plate.
I've always assumed the purpose of the metal plate is to get a more even cleaner cut when cutting intricate dies, in which case your method makes the metal shim too far away from the die and cardstock to make any difference that you couldn't just as well make with cardboard or any other shims.
On the platform I put a cutting plate, the die face up and the cardstock face down, then the metal shim, another cutting plate and however many cereal box shims I need to make the sandwich tight.
Putting the die face up, the cardstock face down and then the metal shim gives the die the very hard surface of the metal shim to cut against, instead of it cutting against the soft surface of the cutting plate, so that ALL the little tiny cuts of intricate dies get cut cleanly every time. A side benefit is that your top cutting plate doesn't get all cut up and colored by the die because the metal plate is taking the "beating" instead. The metal plate is between your cardstock and your top cutting plate.
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Old 03-15-2014, 01:58 AM   #22
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Originally Posted by stamphappy1650View Post
DO NOT BAKE YOUR PLATES.

I tried it and they look good but after a few passes they break. Baking makes them brittle. I ruined 4 plates trying the baking method.

When my metal plate curves I put it through with a few shims (no die) and it flattens back out.
I baked mine months ago and am still using them without any problems, except the usual warping.

I've not been able to flatten my metal shim even when I put a very heavy cast iron pot on it and left it for a month.

But I think you've missed my point on all accounts. I'm complaining about plates and shims I've owned less than a week and used 8 times. They are more warped, by far, than the plates and metal shim I've put through the Big Shot many hundred times. And the Memory Box shim does NOT flatten out by running it through the Big shot without a die. Have you used a new Memory Box metal adapter plate?

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Old 03-15-2014, 07:26 AM   #23
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A metal shim is a shim not a plate to cut into. Once you cut into plastic or metal it will warp as the integrity is weakened.

Would be interested to see a video of these metal shims in action. The metal to metal action will damage the die over time as well because of same material friction. Cutting into plastic, plastic is weaker and doesn't damage the dies.
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Old 03-15-2014, 07:53 AM   #24
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Quote:

Originally Posted by RiverIsisView Post
A metal shim is a shim not a plate to cut into. Once you cut into plastic or metal it will warp as the integrity is weakened.

Would be interested to see a video of these metal shims in action. The metal to metal action will damage the die over time as well because of same material friction. Cutting into plastic, plastic is weaker and doesn't damage the dies.
Here's a video from Memory Box using the metal shim: How to Shim Intricate Memory Box Dies - YouTube

The "spot shim" idea was pretty cool, as I don't have a metal shim (yet). I remember seeing a video where Jennifer McGuire used a metal shim, but she put hers between the multi-purpose plate and the first cutting plate.
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Old 03-15-2014, 08:14 AM   #25
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In theory a metal die cutting into plastic should last forever. I'm not too sure about metal to metal.

Also as this type of die cutting is really a compression cut I don't see how cutting into metal would sharpen the cut.
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Old 03-16-2014, 05:41 AM   #26
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If I have a die that just will not cut and it's too late to return, I cut metal to metal. My feeling is that if the die won't cut no matter how many shims I use, I won't worry about dulling the cutting edge of the die by having it cut into metal because I couldn't use it anyway.
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Old 04-29-2014, 01:14 PM   #27
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I baked my Big Shot plate at 350 for 1/2 hr a month ago and am still using it. I don't bake until I would throw it away because of the warping and stuck paper. Any extra time after that, I consider bonus. I would like to check out the hot water method tho' as well.
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Old 03-01-2016, 11:15 AM   #28
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I watched a video a few weeks ago about the science behind what makes this happens and how to correct it without baking the plate. I thought I had bookmarked it, but can't find it now. If anyone else has watched that video could you post the source. Thanks.
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Old 03-01-2016, 12:04 PM   #29
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I use my metal plate right under the die. So my sandwich is plastic plate, die facing down, paper, then metal plate, then plastic plate. A lot of Spellbinder addicts use this to get a clean/doable cut.

If you put the metal plate between the 2 plastic plates instead of next to the die, what's the point of having a metal plate? There are many plastic shims that will do this job better than the metal plate. The die cutting off of a metal plate is what makes some difficult dies operational.

I use roofing shims. I have 8 of them in various thicknesses (and I handle them carefully). They were cheaper than the 'crafting metal shim plates) and they fit through my Big Shot. They don't seem to warp that bad.

I did bake my plates - worked wonderfully on 1 plate, but I frosted the 2nd one (making it brittle). Now I rotate all the time and warp is minimal.

The warp hump is always up - it doesn't matter what side you cut on yesterday, just hold it in front of your face and find the 'hill' in your plate, and put down so that the hill is facing up. Draw a hill on the side of your Big Shot so you remember. Do it with both plates - turn your bottom plate over once in a while.
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Old 03-02-2016, 03:31 AM   #30
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Stacy at Scrapbooking Made Simple did a video as to why our plate "warp" and how to make your plates last longer. You can watch it on her youtube #141 HELP with Warped Cutting Plates & NEW Simply Defined Dies & Stamps. This will surely help you understand WHY this happens and WHY baking the DOES NOT HELP.
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Old 03-02-2016, 06:15 AM   #31
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That is the one I was looking for. Thanks! The one place I didn't think to check. Her videos are so informative.
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Old 03-02-2016, 07:12 AM   #32
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[QUOTE=Peezie;21188204]Stacy at Scrapbooking Made Simple did a video as to why our plate "warp" and how to make your plates last longer. You can watch it on her youtube #141 HELP with Warped Cutting Plates & NEW Simply Defined Dies & Stamps. This will surely help you understand WHY this happens and WHY baking the DOES NOT HELP. [QUOTE]

heating the plate while keeping it flat stretches the plastic molecules, doing roughly the same thing as cutting a million cuts into one side and continually running it through the torque of the machine. But it's faster, easier, and the flattening is more uniform across the plate.

Baking does work. Just don't burn the plate. It's better to error on the side of not cooking it enough then to over cook it. If I had to do it all over again, I would put a pan of water under the plates on the first rack of the oven. Then put the plates wrapped in tin foil (and clean/scrub your plates really well before doing this because heating them can help flatten the million little cutting scars on them) on the middle rack in the oven. This way the first pan takes the brunt force of the heat from the bottom of the oven.

I didn't know about rotation of plates in my early days which caused my plates to cup really bad. And I kept using them with the cup down against the platform, so it went from bad to terrible pretty fast. Now I flip the plates all the time and I can see that I'm uniformly warping the plates on both sides at the same time. I also try to cut dies on the sides now, and not always put my project in the center of my plate.
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Old 02-26-2017, 06:48 AM   #33
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I came across this when I googled how to straighten the plates. I found this one that doesn't require baking. -L8
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Old 02-26-2017, 07:32 AM   #34
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I tried this as well, even asked my husband to use his strong hands and really did not get great results. I would suggest checking out Scrapbooking Made Simple videos on You Tube. Stacy did an excellent segment on why these plates warp and what to do to help flatten them. She also says you should NEVER bake them in the oven. Sorry I can't give you the name Myers of the video at the moment.
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Old 02-26-2017, 07:34 AM   #35
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Sorry for the typo. My iPad thinks it knows better than I what I want to say. It should say "the video number".
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Old 02-26-2017, 07:36 AM   #36
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I like the video with using the hot water - going to give it a try since I tried the baking method and my plates cracked. I'm not going to try the hand sanitizer because they contain ethyl alcohol which weakens acrylic. It's also a bad idea to use the hand sanitizer on your stamping blocks for the same reason.
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Old 02-26-2017, 07:42 AM   #37
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If you scroll back a bit in this thread to Peezies post, you will find the video I was referring to.
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Old 02-26-2017, 07:48 AM   #38
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Mm! I posted a reply that didn't show up so will post again, and apologize
if it does show up twice.

F you scroll back through this thread a bit to franb or Peezie's post you will see the video I was referring to.
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Old 02-26-2017, 08:37 AM   #39
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Tried the method in post #33 and it only worked on my slightly bowed plates. My water is hot enough to scald but maybe not as hot in the demo. I did get a lot of paper shards off but on some of the plates the toothbrush was just too soft so I figured since they were already scratched up I used an SOS. I didn't need to use as much pressure to get them clean and they don't look any worse.

I think I'm at the place where I give up on the plate fixing methods and just be a peace knowing that at some point they will become useless and I'll replace them. : )
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Old 02-26-2017, 09:53 AM   #40
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I have used the hot water technique and found it to work pretty well. As for getting the paper out of those small cuts, I soak the plates for a bit after I get them as flat as possible and then use my Scrub Daddy. It's hard when it's used with cold water and soft with warm water and I've never had it fail me when cleaning anything. Best of all it doesn't scratch anything either!
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