Fax Roll Slitter

by Marcus Foreman

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Fax Roll Slitter
Here are some photos of a fax roll slitter which I made over the course of a couple of days. I had bought a Fiskars rotary cutter for the purpose. My idea was to place a guide on a board, run the wheel along and then shift the paper along and repeat the process. Well there were a couple of problems:  a) a guide had to be held exactly 140mm away from the edge of a board;  b) pressing the sharp wheel into the board would blunt the disc and the board would end up with an unnecessary groove.

After much pondering, I came up with the design shown.  I decided on the rotary layout so that the cutter would be cutting the roll underneath rather than being blunted on the underlying board.  Retaining the roller-cutter in a bracket was going to be difficult because of its rounded shape. However, I used a template device in order to mark the shapes to rest the roller-cutter in and its retaining clamp. I was quite surprised how easy it was to position the template along each side of the position of the chosen support in order to give the cutting lines each side of the blank. Whilst marking out, the roller-cutter was held over the surface plate (MDF) with the aid of a retort stand. Only a small amount of cleaning up had to be performed. It lined up vertically and horizontally quite well.

The hinge at the back was 'adjusted' in the vice in order to reduce the backlash between the pin and the bent metal. Maybe I should have used a much longer rear piece and used two hinges. The two wing nuts cover an oversize hole to provide a small adjustment to the cutting width.  The axle for the fax roll is inserted into the hole in one side of the support and laid into the slot at the handle end. In use, pressure must be applied inwards on the winding handle to make sure that the paper keeps to the 140mm width. This is probably the least satisfactory part of the design.

There had been a choice of about five roll-cutters in the shop where I purchased it, and at the time, I had not given a thought to the design of this form of cutting jig. If I had, maybe I would have made a different choice.

In use, the base-plate is clamped to a piece of wood held in a vice. The fax roll is loaded onto the axle. The retaining nut is tightened on the LHS. The handle and RHS washer should not need to be touched unless 216mm fax roll has been purchased. The spigot is inserted into the hole in the LHS, and the axle is laid in the slot on the RHS.

The cutting blade is engaged (press the top button) and the position of the cutter is measured to make sure that there is a good chance of cutting a strip 140mm wide. Adjust the position if necessary. Press down lightly on the cutter and wind the handle.  By drilling two more holes in the base-plate, 110mm wide strips can be created.

General view

Cutter resting on fax roll

Ready to cut

It works!

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