- Oct 12, 2009
- Reaction score
Anyone know of an easy way to cut circles in heavy card board stock?
I have one of those, too, but I rarely use it. (In fact, it's been years since the last time.) It is great for cutting circles in thin paper, but in order to cut anything thicker, I have to put pressure on the cutting end. I do that by pressing on the cutting end with my free hand. This ends up throwing the whole thing off balance, and it is very difficult (nearly impossible) to keep the center point on the correct spot during the process. The last couple of times that I used it, I just scored the cardstock or cardboard with it, and then I finished the job freehand with my X-Acto. Subsequently, I dispensed with the initial scoring step, and just attacked the circles with the knife. My circle cutter has been sitting neglected in a box ever since. It's a nice concept; I just wish that I could find a better way to make use of it.Here's how I do it...
Works like a champ... Hobbico Circle Cutter, got mine for $6 at LHS... (local hobby shop) Should be available at any good hobby shop or online.
Later and good luck! OL JR
B-4 I get a drill press I'm saving up for a bench sander.
Andrew From Texas
Andrew until then Powderburner & Mark have about the best suggestions, the Olfa cutter is by far my preference for heavy cardstock, Sho-Card and Railroad board (OD waterproof 14 and 28ply sho-card).
About the only thing we have to remember is to let the tool do the work, don't try to force it or it will undercut or "run out" of it's path.
Here are a couple other options for circle cutters i've used in the past. the big red handled thing is a Mat cutter for photo mounting picked up at Pearl discount Art Center. While it worked very well, I snapped the pot metal body cutting some thick 28Ply sho-card awhile ago and have not been able to find a replacement since Pearl Art Centers went out of business in my area.
Stropping, you whippers snappers who don't know what it is, is using a plain ole peice of leather (hide, not suede) to sharpen an already pretty sharp blade. Instead of a whetstone, you run the blade at about a 45 to 30 degree angle along the leather, pulling backwards (go forwards and you'd cut into the leather). Yer grandpappies used it to keep their straight edge razors sharp, and the leather they stropped with to keep their kids in line.
Pemberton Technologies Art Department and all around cheerleader
Did you buy the compasses with blades in them or add the blades later? I have a nice compass like that from way back when I had to take drafting classes as an undergrad. Can I just buy a blade for it instead of pencil lead? what sort of blade would you use?
In addition to the sources that Micro mentioned, you can also order one online from Micro-Mark. (See the link in my earlier post. Or here.) With the exception of the Hobbico cutter, I don't really know how the price of the Micro-Mark compass-style circle cutter compares to similar products from other sources. If it is only a little bit more expensive, it might still be a suitable buy if you don't have ready access to one of the craft stores mentioned previously, or if the stores don't carry them. BTW, the compass-style unit isn't the only circle cutter that Micro-Mark carries; see this accessory for this item. (Yes, it's expensive, but it goes out to 6 feet! OK, probably way more than what any of us need.) But they also have this item, too, which is probably a bit more affordable.Try any good Art supply store, some of the larger Craft type store like Micheals, AC Moore, or Pearl Discount Art Centers (I seem to recall they were based in Texas?) If no luck locally try www.dickblick.com on-line.
You might also look at framing shops as some of these cutters are used in cutting matt backgrounds for photos and pictures.
For fly cutters or gasket cutters, I need to have a drill press. I am still trying to save up enough money to buy one.
Anybody got a link to one of these gasket cutters somebody mentioned?? I goofed around on yahoo looking for them for a bit, but everything I found was in the $100+ range... sure made that $30 "drafting compass" style cutter look affordable!
Finding a gasket cutter in usable condition is not going to be cheap. Check ebay, and you might get lucky, but if the item is in good working condition you may end up bidding against a mechanic.
I would like to emphasize that I have had pretty good luck with simply drawing an accurate circle and using a free-hand Xacto to cut out the part. It's not as hard as you might think. Make the first pass (or two) with light pressure on the blade as you follow around the circle, without trying to cut all the way through. After I have the circle cut into one side of the material, I pick it up and "saw" the Xacto blade through the rest, working around the circumference and staying in the circular path already there. It takes a few minutes but it's the sort of thing you can do while half-watching TV or something. If you need a really precisely sized CR, you can still order them, but home-made CRs will do fine for 90% of your building.
And high-quality cardboard (smooth on one side for laying out patterns or laminating pre-printed paper patterns) is on sale for half-price this week at Hobby Lobby in the form of picture framing matte board. You can get a darned big sheet of the stuff for a few bucks, enough to last for years of making CRs.
I was going to suggest that too, but you beat me to it. Good point!Good tips...
I'd add that for folks who find the Hobbico-style circle cutters hard to use, there is another trick that's a hybrid of powderburner's method... use the Hobbico cutter to scribe the circle by making a couple passes, and then switch to a regular hobby knife to finish the job. The circle cutter should leave you a nice smooth even groove for your hobby knife to follow almost effortlessly to finish cutting them out. I've done that once or twice on really thick stuff...
Good luck! OL JR
Probably with enough practice, you can do that reliably and accurately. Me? Well, I'd be too afraid that my cuts on each side wouldn't line up. And I'd probably be right. :bang:Another thing I've found helpful on thicker stock and harder materials is to flip the material over when you've cut about half way thru to finish with most of the compass or bow compass type cutters. by that time you'll have already penetrated or have a very good dimple to locate center with.
Works on most woods, Polycarbonate and styrene plastics also.
Enter your email address to join:
Register today and take advantage of membership benefits.
Enter your email address to join: