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Author Topic: How to trim/finish edges of gatorboard?  (Read 20955 times)

jferrari

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Re: How to trim/finish edges of gatorboard?
« Reply #20 on: March 14, 2015, 08:01:44 am »

The thing now slices through 1/2" gator like butter, with absolutely straight edges. If there were such a thing as one-inch gator, it would do fine.

Single pass?
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Jan Becket

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Re: How to trim/finish edges of gatorboard?
« Reply #21 on: March 14, 2015, 03:52:51 pm »

Yes - single pass. The "like butter" comparison is bit of an exaggeration. I need to press the tension bar down with some force to hold the gator in place, and use some elbow grease to pull the blade across. I change blades fairly often. But the cuts are perfect - every time.
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huguito

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Re: How to trim/finish edges of gatorboard?
« Reply #22 on: March 14, 2015, 04:46:42 pm »

Jan;
Do you make the single pass cut with the print already mounted in top or below the gatorboard?
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Jan Becket

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Re: How to trim/finish edges of gatorboard?
« Reply #23 on: March 14, 2015, 06:33:32 pm »

Iʻve been wary of denting the surface of the print, so I cut the gator board down to size first before adhering the print - usually 16X20, sometimes 16X40. I make the print slightly larger than the trimmed gator, stick it to the board (a whole other can of worms) and then turn the print and gator around so that only the excess paper is in the trimmer, print side up, and the gator abutting the side edge of the trimmer. As I mention in the Amazon review, it is necessary to put a strip of something along the edge, to account for the slight distance between edge and blade. I also put some gator scraps under the mounted print, to hold it even with the trimmer surface. No need to use the tension bar to hold down the paper - I just push hard against the gator to hold it steady while I am trimming off the paper. If you get the spacing just right, the trimmer takes off the excess paper exactly to the edge of the gator. I ruined some prints figuring this out, as you can imagine, but when it is set up correctly, it works well. Hope that is not all TMI.

Still working on various kinks that crop up in other parts of the process, like acrylic coating ...
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bill t.

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Re: How to trim/finish edges of gatorboard?
« Reply #24 on: March 14, 2015, 08:17:23 pm »

FWIW, prints coated with solvent based coatings like Premier Art Print Shield and the Hahnemuehle spray, etc cut much cleaner and burnish down better than water acrylic coated prints.  The same is true for prints that are adhesive mounted versus glue mounted.  The solvent coatings are thinner and much better bonded to the print and each other.

Of course solvents sprays smell awful, annoy the neighbors/neighbours, and quickly reduce one's brain to an oozing mass of pink sludge.

I know somebody who loads up his car with prints, drives to a place downwind from the nearest houses, and sprays solvent there using a painter's easel for support if it's not windy.  No that's not me.  The good news is that with solvent coatings it's trivial to swipe off overpainted dirt between coats including the last one, and solvent dries in about 2 minutes per coat.
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Justan

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Re: How to trim/finish edges of gatorboard?
« Reply #25 on: March 15, 2015, 10:29:12 am »

Came across this fairly new addition to the Fletcher-Terry line up which will cut up to 1/2” media
http://www.fletcherviscom.com/all-products/Table%20Top%20Cutters/F-60%20-%20Semi-rigid%20%7C%20Flexible%20Cutter

Cost is ~ $700 + ~ $225 for a wall mount kit, if desired.

jferrari

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Re: How to trim/finish edges of gatorboard?
« Reply #26 on: March 15, 2015, 11:46:08 am »

Cost is ~ $700 + ~ $225 for a wall mount kit, if desired.

As it pertains to this thread, cutting gatorboard, there's consensus in changing the blade often to obtain acceptable cut quality. Any idea what a 10 pack of blades will cost?    - Jim
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bill t.

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Re: How to trim/finish edges of gatorboard?
« Reply #27 on: March 15, 2015, 09:49:13 pm »

Here's another interesting, cheap wall cutter.  But no aluminum panel cutter, and if you watch the video it cuts PVC only in a roundabout way.  But it seems suitable for classic framing chores.  Uses standard utility knife blades.  No, I don't own one. But I have seen one on the net.  The slightly more expensive Keencut wall cutters are probably a better choice for the likes of us.

http://framingsupplies.com/Onyx90/Onyx90WallMountedMediaCutter.htm

Don't watch the installation video if you are susceptible to hypnosis, it's weird.

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Peter McLennan

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Re: How to trim/finish edges of gatorboard?
« Reply #28 on: March 16, 2015, 12:16:33 am »

Quote
and quickly reduce one's brain to an oozing mass of pink sludge.

Ah.  That explains it.  :) :)  :)
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bill t.

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Re: How to trim/finish edges of gatorboard?
« Reply #29 on: March 16, 2015, 12:54:18 am »

^It's not really that big of a problem, as long as one remembers to put corks in one's ears and nostrils for a few hours after spraying.
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Justan

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Re: How to trim/finish edges of gatorboard?
« Reply #30 on: March 16, 2015, 06:59:52 pm »

As it pertains to this thread, cutting gatorboard, there's consensus in changing the blade often to obtain acceptable cut quality. Any idea what a 10 pack of blades will cost?    - Jim

Do you mean blades for the wall cutter above? I dunno. Iirc F-T sells most of their utility blades in quantities of 100 per box for ~ $20-$40 depending on where you find them. Ebay is always a good first place to look. I bought a bunch of boxes several years ago for my 2 F-T cutters and haven’t had a need since.
 
On a related topic, the F-T 05-004 blade is a thinner and a little shorter than a typical Stanley issue utility blade, but fits most standard handles. It is a delight to use compared to standard blades. The thinner cross section permits it to cut much easier. Once you use one you’ll wonder what is wrong with standard blades. They also seem to last longer, but that may be because they have less drag and that is the detail i use as a telltale sign that its time to flip or replace the blade.

huguito

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Re: How to trim/finish edges of gatorboard?
« Reply #31 on: March 16, 2015, 07:52:22 pm »

I just google "Foam tape" and the search returned a lot of hits, home depot has them, also many sizes and widts listed in the gringer catalog.
Looks like the soft side on self adhesive roll of wide velcro straps could be a good soft cover for the bottom of a cutting edge to be placed on a print surface.
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jferrari

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Re: How to trim/finish edges of gatorboard?
« Reply #32 on: March 16, 2015, 10:39:12 pm »

Do you mean blades for the wall cutter above? I dunno. Iirc F-T sells most of their utility blades in quantities of 100 per box for ~ $20-$40 depending on where you find them. Ebay is always a good first place to look.

The link that you posted shows that the Fletcher F-60 cutter needs special blade cartridges that are sold in boxes of 10. To me they look specialized and expensive. That's why I asked if you knew the price. You did have pricing for the unit itself and also the wall mount accessory so I thought you might know about the blades, too. I checked eBay and they have that cutter but not it's blades. Thanks.   - Jim
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Bob_B

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Re: How to trim/finish edges of gatorboard?
« Reply #33 on: March 17, 2015, 08:05:12 am »

Quick update: I practiced cutting and trimming 3/16" gatorboard over the last couple of days. I don't have a wall-mounted mat cutter, and use a straight-edge ruler and mat cutters. The first thing I found was that the Logan 701 cutter (straight cuts, designed for their cutting systems) wouldn't cut a straight line when using a straight edge ruler; the blade wandered despite my best attempts. This may be due to my inexperience, but I just couldn't get satisfactory cuts on gatorboard (mat board was no problem). What worked pretty well was a simple mat cutter (I forget the model #, but just a good old fashion cutting knife and fresh blade). This required 3 or 4 cuts, but 95% resulted in a clean straight cut.

I had a couple of questions and problems. First one small problem: I am using gator with self-adhesive backing. I found that the backing comes off the gatorboard rather easily when I was trying to remove the paper covering the adhesive. Any thoughts on preventing this?

Second, a question: I am coating with Premier print spray for durability and UV protection, and spray _after_ mounting. In another thread, I got the impression most people spray prints before mounting. Is this correct?

Today, I am going to fool around with sanding some of the edges of prints mounted on gatorboard. (I noticed after the fact that a couple of my gatorboard edges show a bit more than I'd like, hence the additional work.)

Bob
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Justan

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Re: How to trim/finish edges of gatorboard?
« Reply #34 on: March 17, 2015, 09:49:20 am »

The link that you posted shows that the Fletcher F-60 cutter needs special blade cartridges that are sold in boxes of 10. To me they look specialized and expensive. That's why I asked if you knew the price. You did have pricing for the unit itself and also the wall mount accessory so I thought you might know about the blades, too. I checked eBay and they have that cutter but not it's blades. Thanks.   - Jim

After your message I went to the f-t site and found the blade is an assembly for this and it is their part # 05-235 at $28 per 10 pack. This is a departure from their typical approach for this kind of thing. In their way, they appear to be following the lead of inkjet printer manufacturers where the printer is a “socket” to which an endless number of ink carts are inserted.
« Last Edit: March 17, 2015, 10:11:21 am by Justan »
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Justan

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Re: How to trim/finish edges of gatorboard?
« Reply #35 on: March 17, 2015, 09:55:16 am »

I just google "Foam tape" and the search returned a lot of hits, home depot has them, also many sizes and widts listed in the gringer catalog.
Looks like the soft side on self adhesive roll of wide velcro straps could be a good soft cover for the bottom of a cutting edge to be placed on a print surface.

There are a lot of good prospects. If you search for “grippy tape roll” you will find even more.

I contacted U-line and they suggested a sample of foam tape they have with adhesive on one side. I said sure. They sent me 2 2” x 36 yard rolls of double sided foam tape strong enough to permanently stick a 747 to concrete by it’s tires and then hang it upside down. Impressively grippy, but not quite what I was after so I’ll see if they want them back.

Justan

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Re: How to trim/finish edges of gatorboard?
« Reply #36 on: March 17, 2015, 10:08:43 am »

Quick update: I practiced cutting and trimming 3/16" gatorboard over the last couple of days. I don't have a wall-mounted mat cutter, and use a straight-edge ruler and mat cutters. The first thing I found was that the Logan 701 cutter (straight cuts, designed for their cutting systems) wouldn't cut a straight line when using a straight edge ruler; the blade wandered despite my best attempts. This may be due to my inexperience, but I just couldn't get satisfactory cuts on gatorboard (mat board was no problem).


Possibly a flaw in the design or maybe too much pressure being applied during the cut?

Quote
What worked pretty well was a simple mat cutter (I forget the model #, but just a good old fashion cutting knife and fresh blade). This required 3 or 4 cuts, but 95% resulted in a clean straight cut.

^That is what most do eventually. A ~2" wide straight edge steel or aluminum ruler that's about 1/16" thick helps a lot. Watch where you place your thumb and fingers and remember rule #1 is to not bleed on the art work :)

Quote
I had a couple of questions and problems. First one small problem: I am using gator with self-adhesive backing. I found that the backing comes off the gatorboard rather easily when I was trying to remove the paper covering the adhesive. Any thoughts on preventing this?

That's a common problem for this kind of media. Try using the knife blade to get between the paper and adhesive to help lift it from the adhesive.

Quote
Second, a question: I am coating with Premier print spray for durability and UV protection, and spray _after_ mounting. In another thread, I got the impression most people spray prints before mounting. Is this correct?

Yes to spray before mounting.

Quote
Today, I am going to fool around with sanding some of the edges of prints mounted on gatorboard. (I noticed after the fact that a couple of my gatorboard edges show a bit more than I'd like, hence the additional work.)

Another option is to think about cutting a beveled edge for the matt board. Of course, you'll need a matt cutter or someone who has one, to do this with the most consistency.

Another possibility is to use some 8 ply matt paper. The edges of gator are not really designed for show purposes.

Bob_B

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Re: How to trim/finish edges of gatorboard?
« Reply #37 on: March 21, 2015, 06:52:12 pm »

Follow-up --

   So, I mounted four 11x14 prints on 11x14 gatorboard over the last week. Overall, I was pretty happy with the results. They weren't up to "gallery" standards, but were good enough to give as housewarming gifts that were appreciated. I found in this process that the 11x14 gatorboard required quite a bit of work to square it and remove rough and/or curved edges. As a consequence, my 11x14 prints shrank a bit; something I didn't want.

    With this in mind, for future prints it seems that I should buy gatorboard at least a few inches larger than the print I wish to mount, and then cut the board to fit the print. Is this common practice? If not, please offer some alternatives.

 Thank you for your replies.

     Bob
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