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'[OT]:PCB Cutting ?'
2002\02\11@215130 by Peter Barick

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Hi All,

I would like to cut PCB straight but without a special cutter.

Has anyone experience using a table saw with a small dia. (4 inch)
"metal, plastics" blade? I have the saw but not the metal blade yet.

In prior hobby pcb work, I used a coping saw or even a hack saw. These
methods left uneven edges which I then filed, sanded straight.

I'm looking for a better way.

Peter, PIC Newbie

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2002\02\11@220445 by Ashley Roll

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Hi Peter,

I use an electric tile cutter, bit like a table saw, but it has a diamond
blade and it keeps the blade and PCB wet which is VERY important to keep the
dust under control (you don't want to be breathing it in) and also keeps
everything cool.

It works very well. If I use the guide rail I get nice smooth cuts. If I
don't, I get smooth cuts with lots of wiggles :) It just eats through the
fibre glass laminate.

I bought one pretty cheaply from a local hardware store. My only grip would
be that the blade on it is a little thick (about 4mm) but I haven't been
bothered to get a different one.

I suspect that you'd need a carbide blade if you wanted to use your table
saw as the fibre glass will eat anything else up pretty quickly. However I'd
be very concerned about the dust.

Cheers,
Ash

---
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Digital Nemesis Pty Ltd
http://www.digitalnemesis.com
Mobile: +61 (0)417 705 718




> {Original Message removed}

2002\02\11@222941 by Jinx

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> Has anyone experience using a table saw with a small dia.
> (4 inch) "metal, plastics" blade? I have the saw but not the
> metal blade yet.

In addition to what Ashley said, I use a bandsaw to cut mine
and a belt sander after. Previously it was done with a fretsaw,
but GRP board is hell on blades and the small Dremel ones
hardly lasted at all. It's very important to support the cut exit
side of the board with a piece of scrap wood sheet (eg mdf)
or the blade will just lift chunks out of it and make all hairy. If I
could get a bandsaw blade with carbide tips.........

Same with drill bits - HSS has nothing on carbide or cobalt
by a factor of 100s, possibly 1000s

Often considered scoring and snapping or guillotining but
never got around to it. I think that's the preferred method for
board houses, but if you want to do it with a circular blade,
get the finest pitch thinnest carbide one you can

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2002\02\11@223819 by Tony Nixon

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Peter Barick wrote:
>
> Hi All,
>
> I would like to cut PCB straight but without a special cutter.
>
> Has anyone experience using a table saw with a small dia. (4 inch)
> "metal, plastics" blade? I have the saw but not the metal blade yet.
>
> In prior hobby pcb work, I used a coping saw or even a hack saw. These
> methods left uneven edges which I then filed, sanded straight.
>
> I'm looking for a better way.
>
> Peter, PIC Newbie

Router??

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mICros
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2002\02\11@231925 by Terence Ang
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Hi,

For small pieces I use a guillotine type paper cutter, I know I shouldn't do
that but it work for me!


On 2/12/02 10:50 AM, "Peter Barick" <.....A20PJB1KILLspamspam@spam@WPO.CSO.NIU.EDU> wrote:

{Quote hidden}

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2002\02\11@232401 by Dwayne Reid

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At 08:50 PM 2/11/02 -0600, Peter Barick wrote:
>Hi All,
>
>I would like to cut PCB straight but without a special cutter.

We used to use an Olfa "P Cutter" which looks something like a hooked
linoleum cutter except with a smaller blade (replaceable).  It works OK for
small quantities of boards.

dwayne


Dwayne Reid   <dwaynerspamKILLspamplanet.eon.net>
Trinity Electronics Systems Ltd    Edmonton, AB, CANADA
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2002\02\11@232800 by Kathy Quinlan

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----- Original Message -----
From: "Jinx" <.....joecolquittKILLspamspam.....CLEAR.NET.NZ>
To: <EraseMEPICLISTspam_OUTspamTakeThisOuTMITVMA.MIT.EDU>
Sent: Tuesday, February 12, 2002 11:30 AM
Subject: Re: [OT]:PCB Cutting ?
> Often considered scoring and snapping or guillotining but
> never got around to it. I think that's the preferred method for
> board houses,
>

The ones I have been in use a big guillotine like the ones you use for sheet
metal :o)

Regards,

Kat.


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2002\02\11@232821 by Tim McDonough

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> Has anyone experience using a table saw with a small dia. (4 inch)
> "metal, plastics" blade? I have the saw but not the metal blade yet.

The fiberglass will eat table saw blades very quickly. As others have
suggested a carbide blade will probably work best.

Wear a mask! You do not want to breathe in the dust from this. If the
fiberglass chews up metal saw blades you can imagine what it does to
your lungs.

> I'm looking for a better way.

Where I used to work we would shear prototype boards with metal
working shear. If there were odd shapes we used a Dremel tool with a
router base and carbide cutters.

Tim

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2002\02\12@013427 by Jinx

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> The ones I have been in use a big guillotine like the
> ones you use for sheet metal :o)

Oh yes, they ain't toys

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2002\02\12@015307 by Simon-Thijs=20de=20Feber?=

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For small pieces (euro card size) i make a cut with a
sharp knife on the front and back of the PCB (cut a
couple of times) and brake it on the edge of a table.


grtz

Simon

--- Peter Barick <A20PJB1spamspam_OUTWPO.CSO.NIU.EDU> wrote: >
Hi All,
{Quote hidden}

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2002\02\12@050500 by Vern Jones

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Peter,

Harbor Freight Tools sells a 12" Sheer, Roller, Break tool, works great
for PC Boards.

Vern

Peter Barick wrote:
{Quote hidden}

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2002\02\12@061137 by Ray Gallas

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Hi Peter,
Well, from reading all the responses on this topic, I can see that there
are a lot of different approaches.  For what it's worth, I'll share what's
worked fairly well for me.

I use a Dremel tool with a #540 emery cut-off wheel.  It's about 1.25"
dia., and 0.0625" thick, so it leaves a nice, thin kerf.  I use the top
speed, about 30,000 rpm.  You can also use the smaller #409 wheel (15/16"
dia.).  It has an even smaller kerf, as it's only .025" thick.  It's
more fragile, so you need a gentle touch to avoid breaking it.

As someone else pointed out, the wheels often don't last very long.
Luckily, they're pretty inexpensive, and come in packages of 20 and 36.
The trick to getting them to last is to be gentle, and sort of "skim"
where you want to cut.  Make a few passes, if necessary.  Unlike a conventional
saw, you don't want to force it.  Let the speed of the tool do the work,
and don't bog it down.  Always keep the cut-off wheel in a straight line
with your cut, ie. don't twist it.  It will break.  I don't go through
many wheels now that I've got the knack.

It's a good idea to clamp down your board, so you can use both hands
to guide the tool.  I usually work freehand, and then straighten out
the cut with a file, after I've photo-etched the PCB.

If I were making a lot of boards, I guess I might try to rig up some
sort of a jig to hold the Dremel, and get creative and clamp down some
guides to feed the board straight -- kind of like a mini-table saw.
When using presensitized boards, I put a piece of masking tape over the
line I'm going to cut.  This keeps the protective plastic backing stuff
from lifting at the edges and getting ragged.  It also helps keep the
photoresist material from chipping.  For sensitized boards, I think this
is better than scoring with a knife, since you don't apply any pressure
with the Dremel, which might damage the resist.

Obligatory safety precaution: DEFINATELY wear a good dust mask.  Glass
particles, and whatever other crap is in the PCB, is bad news for your
lungs.  Your body can't get rid of glass dust, since it's completely
inert.  I think the condition is called silicosis.  And of course, safety
glasses are mandatory when working with fragile cutoff wheels spinning
at 30,000 rpm.  You probably don't want a shard in your eye, and they
DO break from time to time.

Hope that's helpful,
Ray
Dremel Tool Shill

P.S.  If you guys play your cards right, I may even explain how to make
a suicidally dangerous "Dremel Tool Helicoptor".  Hint: have 9-1-1 on
your speed dial.

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2002\02\12@070127 by Stuart Meier

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I use an inverted jigsaw with a fine metal-cutting blade, to cut out
upto 48 pieces from a 100mm x 220mm board. Width of kerf about 2mm, the
accuracy of the cut depends on your manual dexterity ( a guide could
help here). It works fine for my 16-out-of-a-board but I'm looking for a
better approach for the 48-ers (I shall check out the Dremel approach
which could be good for that...) SAFETY NOTE make sure you mount the saw
so you cannot inadvertently make contact with the oscillating blade
mountings etc and rig up a cover to protect you from the oscillating tip
of the blade, so only the edge of the blade is exposed; this greatly
reduces the safety hazard.

I clean up the edges with a small belt sander. Takes around 15 seconds
to sand 4 sides and round off 4 corners.

Stuart

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2002\02\12@084808 by Spehro Pefhany

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At 08:50 PM 2/11/02 -0600, you wrote:
>Hi All,
>
>I would like to cut PCB straight but without a special cutter.

I use a shear. It's efficient enough that for 100 boards if it is
a bit cheaper to get 2 boards joined I'll do that and cut them apart.
You can even do paper-based phenolic, but you have to heat the
material a bit first to keep it from cracking at the shear line.
You can also cut metal for housing prototypes with these machines.

>Has anyone experience using a table saw with a small dia. (4 inch)
>"metal, plastics" blade? I have the saw but not the metal blade yet.

Makes me itch just thinking about it!

>In prior hobby pcb work, I used a coping saw or even a hack saw. These
>methods left uneven edges which I then filed, sanded straight.

Very time consuming.

Best regards,

Spehro Pefhany --"it's the network..."            "The Journey is the reward"
@spam@speffKILLspamspaminterlog.com             Info for manufacturers: http://www.trexon.com
Embedded software/hardware/analog  Info for designers:  http://www.speff.com
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2002\02\12@090051 by Chris Loiacono

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I use a 42" shear/brake/roll to get perfect cuts. At times I wish it were 12
or 24 inches wide, because I could sure use the space. The only
consideration is that repeatedly cutting glass boards in the same section of
the blade will dull it in a hurry. I cut in different areas, so as to extend
the useful life of the blade.
Before I bought the shear, I used a saber saw when I only needed a few
boards. I often chose to clamp a straight-edge to the board, then used the
edge as a guide for the saw. One quick pass along the edge with a fine file
takes off the copper burrs. Makes near perfect cuts, but is time consuming.

Chris

{Original Message removed}

2002\02\12@091452 by Douglas Butler

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If you are cutting boards that are stuffed beware of ESD!!!  Any
sanding, grinding, or anything with fast repetitive motion should be
done wet to prevent damaging the chips.  I use a stone cutting wet
diamond circular saw for stuffed boards, a fine toothed band saw for
unstuffed ones.

Sherpa Doug

> {Original Message removed}

2002\02\12@112147 by Chris Loiacono

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Forgive my asking, but why would anyone ever want to cut stuffed boards?

C

>If you are cutting boards that are stuffed      >beware

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2002\02\12@113350 by Colin Constant

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Ashley, about what size is this unit?  What size are the blades?

Thanks,
Colin





Ashley Roll <KILLspamashKILLspamspamDIGITALNEMESIS.COM>KILLspamspamMITVMA.MIT.EDU> on 02/11/2002 07:01:41 PM

Please respond to pic microcontroller discussion list <RemoveMEPICLISTTakeThisOuTspamMITVMA.MIT.EDU>

Sent by:    pic microcontroller discussion list <spamBeGonePICLISTspamBeGonespamMITVMA.MIT.EDU>


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cc:     (bcc: Colin Constant-NR/RMD/Raytheon/CA)

Subject:    Re: [OT]:PCB Cutting ?


Hi Peter,

I use an electric tile cutter, bit like a table saw, but it has a diamond
blade and it keeps the blade and PCB wet which is VERY important to keep the
dust under control (you don't want to be breathing it in) and also keeps
everything cool.

It works very well. If I use the guide rail I get nice smooth cuts. If I
don't, I get smooth cuts with lots of wiggles :) It just eats through the
fibre glass laminate.

I bought one pretty cheaply from a local hardware store. My only grip would
be that the blade on it is a little thick (about 4mm) but I haven't been
bothered to get a different one.

I suspect that you'd need a carbide blade if you wanted to use your table
saw as the fibre glass will eat anything else up pretty quickly. However I'd
be very concerned about the dust.

Cheers,
Ash

---
Ashley Roll
Digital Nemesis Pty Ltd
http://www.digitalnemesis.com
Mobile: +61 (0)417 705 718




> {Original Message removed}

2002\02\12@114106 by mike

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On Tue, 12 Feb 2002 11:21:04 -0800, you wrote:

>Forgive my asking, but why would anyone ever want to cut stuffed boards?
So you can stuff and then flow-solder a whole panel at a time - a very
common practice in industry.
>C
>
>>If you are cutting boards that are stuffed      >beware

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2002\02\12@122128 by Chris Loiacono

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OK, I'm showing signs of my age now. In my earliest days, we made carriers
for the wave solder machines that served two purposes: 1. let us keep the
chains at the same width all day and night (it took over 20 minutes for the
chain to travel the length of the machine, so this saved lots of set-up
time); 2. held multiple quantities at once. Later  we began to design in
either perfs, scoring, or routing between panels. Then to the wave & wash
machines, then either to be snapped apart by hand, or at one point we used a
small machine that gave a bit of mechanical advantage to snap panels apart.
That was later abandoned because of the high incidence of damage to
populated boards. At 7 - 10,000 boards each day, it was a bit labor
intensive to do so by hand.

I can't think of a production facility that still saws boards, and
mechanical shears would require large unpopulated sections for the tooling.
Just doesn't make sense.
Sounds like it would be a neat idea for low-to-mid volume assembly though-
perhaps router-cutting stuffed boards - is that what you are referring to?.
Are there any articles around that show how this process might actually work
effectively? I would love to get up to speed. My experience in manufacturing
goes back to the '70's and could use some updating.

Chris

On Tue, 12 Feb 2002 11:21:04 -0800, you wrote:

>Forgive my asking, but why would anyone ever want to cut stuffed boards?
So you can stuff and then flow-solder a whole panel at a time - a very
common practice in industry.
>C
>
>>If you are cutting boards that are stuffed      >beware

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2002\02\12@123147 by Alan B. Pearce

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>I can't think of a production facility that still saws boards, and
>mechanical shears would require large unpopulated sections for the tooling.
>Just doesn't make sense.
>Sounds like it would be a neat idea for low-to-mid volume assembly though-
>perhaps router-cutting stuffed boards - is that what you are referring to?.
>Are there any articles around that show how this process might actually
work
>effectively? I would love to get up to speed. My experience in
manufacturing
>goes back to the '70's and could use some updating.

I think if you look at photographs of SMT stuffing machines you will find
that the panels are multiple boards, waiting to be broken apart after
soldering. I believe grooves are routed or sawn in the PCB as part of the
PCB manufacture process allowing the boards to be broken apart after
stuffing, in the manner you describe. I have handled fibreglass PCB's where
there are little rough bits where this has obviously happened.

For an SMT machine it makes sense to have large panels as these stuff the
boards that fast any stop time due to changing the panel becomes a
significant portion of the operating time.

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2002\02\12@124240 by Douglas Butler

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A company I worked for had boards used in two different products.  The
boards were stuffed, tested, calibrated, and stocked.  <warning...bad
idea ahead>  One product supported the board by soldering to header
pins.  The other product used connectors on the pins and supported the
board by sliding it in grooves in an aluminum extrustion.  The extrusion
required 0.1" unpopulated edges to slide in the grooves, but those edges
made the board too big for the soldered product.  So we had to saw the
edges off of about half the boards.  I tried clamping the boards in ESD
foam but still got electrical problems.  The wet diamond saw worked
fine, though a bit messy.

Sherpa Doug

> {Original Message removed}

2002\02\12@131006 by Rick Sherman

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----- Original Message -----
From: "Alan B. Pearce" <RemoveMEA.B.PearcespamTakeThisOuTRL.AC.UK>
To: <PICLISTEraseMEspam.....MITVMA.MIT.EDU>
Sent: Tuesday, February 12, 2002 9:29 AM
Subject: Re: [OT]:PCB Cutting ?

>
> I think if you look at photographs of SMT stuffing machines you will find
> that the panels are multiple boards, waiting to be broken apart after
> soldering. I believe grooves are routed or sawn in the PCB as part of the
> PCB manufacture process allowing the boards to be broken apart after
> stuffing, in the manner you describe. I have handled fibreglass PCB's
where
{Quote hidden}

For small SMT boards it is usually easier to assemble the boards in panels.
It takes less time for the pick and place machine to stuff one large
panel than a bunch of small indivdual PCBs. The last board I did at my
old job had 8 small  boards on each panel. We had the PCB house
score between the boards so all we had to do was snap them apart after
assembly.

The little rough bits you saw were probably mouse bites. These are usually
sections about 1/4 in. wide left in between boards in a panel. A series of
holes is drilled in this piece so that it snaps apart easily.

Rick

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2002\02\12@133431 by Alexandre Domingos F. Souza

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>I can't think of a production facility that still saws boards, and
>mechanical shears would require large unpopulated sections for the tooling.
>Just doesn't make sense.

       Laser cutting anyone?


---8<---Corte aqui---8<----

Alexandre Souza
EraseMEtaitospamterra.com.br
http://planeta.terra.com.br/lazer/pinball/

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2002\02\12@133642 by Jim

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PCB cutting -

- I use a large shear I picked up for 500 bucks at
an auction. It took two of us using ramps to move it
into a pickup truck to move it. I had to drag it
into the garage and there are still marks on the
concrete where I dragged it -inches at a time- side
to side to get it to moved into the garage.  I
almost bought the pan break they had too <grin> ...

Probably not the most economical or small way to
go - but I wanted speed, accuracy and the ability to
cut metal too.

It's an old shear - so I'm not worried about cutting
fiberglass on it!

Jim

{Original Message removed}

2002\02\12@183434 by Ashley Roll

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Hi Colin

http://www.gmcompany.com/Tabletools.htm "WDC650 Tile Cutting Saw" not much
info there but there is a small photo.. Actually mine seems to be an older
model but you get the idea.

The table is 500mm x 335mm, the blade is 150mm by about 2mm.

Cheers,
Ash.

---
Ashley Roll
Digital Nemesis Pty Ltd
http://www.digitalnemesis.com
Mobile: +61 (0)417 705 718




> {Original Message removed}

2002\02\18@171424 by Colin Constant

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Would this be the cordless Dremel or the corded model?

Colin




P.S.  If you guys play your cards right, I may even explain how to make
a suicidally dangerous "Dremel Tool Helicoptor".  Hint: have 9-1-1 on
your speed dial.

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2002\02\19@004803 by Vern Jones

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Peter,

Northern Tool at http://www.NorthernTool.com sells a small shear/bending
brake combination. It can cut up to 7 7/8". It is priced at $169.99 USD
they have others at times in the 12" and 30" sizes as well.

I use a 12" model, it has cut many boards, it is the fastest, least
messy method that I know of, the blades can be re sharpends, but I
haven't had to have mine sharpened yet...

Vern

Peter Barick wrote:
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2002\02\19@084726 by M. Adam Davis

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I've got five aces, and a cordless dremel.

Do tell!

-Adam

Colin Constant wrote:

{Quote hidden}

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2002\02\19@092845 by Rick C.

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I have been using an old 12"  x 12" paper cutter (never seems to get dull,
never sharpened it). It cuts pretty close to the shear line. I finish the
edges with a cheap table type belt/disk sander available from your local
Home Depot or Lowes hardware store. Been using this process for over 25
years with excellent results.
Good luck,
Rick

Vern Jones wrote:

{Quote hidden}

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2002\02\19@094359 by Stuart Meier

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> I have been using an old 12"  x 12" paper cutter (never seems to get
dull,
> never sharpened it). It cuts pretty close to the shear line.

Hmm, #UK45 for a 10 sheet paper guillotine with a 3yr guarantee, could
be worth a try

Stuart Meier

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