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Cutting greyboard - Hints & Tips - Reference Area. - Your Model Railway Club
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 Posted: Thu Apr 21st, 2016 09:06 am
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shaunabeer
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I am currently building the scalescenes high street backs and am seriously losing the will to live cutting through 2mm greyboard.
I have tried using thinner card on other scalescenes models but as the kits are designed for primarily 1mm and 2mm card this causes issues in itself.
I have tried all the usual stuff, Stanley blades, roller cutters etc but still time consuming and hard labour. I was wondering if anyone else had any other ways of doing it. I was thinking of trying a small bandsaw but worried the straight edges may not be straight enough...

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 Posted: Thu Apr 21st, 2016 09:48 am
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Colin_A_Jones
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I have always used a modelling knife and just kept going over the lines using a metal rule as guidance.  Agree that its a time consuming process, so i will look forward to hearing others solutions.

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 Posted: Thu Apr 21st, 2016 10:31 am
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Ed
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I'm the same, Stanley knife and plenty of spare blades.

I think some of the guys might use guillotine type cutters, but not sure.

Hopefully one of the experienced card modellers will be along in a minute, they do some brilliant stuff that I couldn't hope to match.


Ed






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 Posted: Thu Apr 21st, 2016 10:36 am
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shaunabeer
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Colin_A_Jones wrote: I have always used a modelling knife and just kept going over the lines using a metal rule as guidance.  Agree that its a time consuming process, so i will look forward to hearing others solutions.


Colin, that's what I do now. Not wanting to cut corners (no pun intended) but it does take a bit of the enjoyment out of it when you spend more time cutting than actually building....
I suppose you could argue that cutting is all part of the modelling, unfortunately at that thickness for me its the part I hate.

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 Posted: Thu Apr 21st, 2016 11:17 am
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GreenBR
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Hello,
I'm the same run out of sanity after a while. It would be great if one of the suppliers of card buildings could doctor a kit to be used with 1mm card (00 scale) and make it available for sale would like to try one i am sure it would be much more friendly to "old" persons like me. Perhaps one day?
Regards
Stephen



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 Posted: Thu Apr 21st, 2016 11:23 am
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Multiple passes with a good plotter cutter, cheaper ones would not be able to apply sufficient cutting force.

(I never have that sort of problem though, N gauge models don't need the heavier card)



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 Posted: Thu Apr 21st, 2016 11:39 am
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Longchap
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It's often useful to re-read the guide below, as good results can more easily be achieved from these superb tips:

http://yourmodelrailway.net/view_topic.php?id=10095&forum_id=101

Regarding cutting thicker board, several passes with a craft knife, or as many as are required, is much easier than trying a larger knife and brute force. The danger of the blade slipping and consequent loss of blood just isn't worth it, so patience is the order of the day. As Ed said, you will need plenty of spare blades!

Good luck and happy modelling,

Bill

 



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 Posted: Thu Apr 21st, 2016 12:07 pm
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MaxSouthOz
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What I use is an Olfa draw knife.  Sometimes called a laminate cutter.  It still takes a few passes, but they cut deep.

I'll see if I can find one on line somewhere to show you.

http://www.olfa.com/plastic-%2F-laminate-cutter-%28pc-l%29/1090486.html#sz=18&start=16

You can see that the cutter faces backwards.



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 Posted: Thu Apr 21st, 2016 12:26 pm
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Petermac
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Scalescenes kits never were a quick answer to a model building - as much designed for the enjoyment of the build as for the finished article.

If you want "quick", buy a ready to plonk model.

Reducing the card thickness would either weaken the finished article or mean you'd have to laminate 2 x 1mm to get your 2mm.  My maths may be out but I think that means cutting everything twice and gluing the two pieces together - with all the associated warping and delaminating problems ............

As Bill said, patience is the key.

I use a stanley knife for the long straight cuts and a Swann Morton scalpel with No 11 blades for the smaller windows etc.  I do use lots and lots of blades - I buy both in boxes of 100.  You'd be absolutely amazed at how much easier and deeper a fresh blade cuts.

Scalescenes are great models - well designed, imaginative, prototypical and tough as boots but they are neither quick nor particularly cheap once you take ink, card, glue and blades into account.  You have to like modelling buildings to want to do them ............

I'm told most good modelling (unless you're a professional like Allan), takes time. :roll::roll:



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 Posted: Thu Apr 21st, 2016 12:28 pm
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shaunabeer
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MaxSouthOz wrote: What I use is an Olfa draw knife.  Sometimes called a laminate cutter.  It still takes a few passes, but they cut deep.



I'll see if I can find one on line somewhere to show you.



http://www.olfa.com/plastic-%2F-laminate-cutter-%28pc-l%29/1090486.html#sz=18&start=16



You can see that the cutter faces backwards.


Are the replacement blades readily available Max ?

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 Posted: Thu Apr 21st, 2016 12:30 pm
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Gary
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Why not print out two copies of the same section, glue each one to 1mm card, cut them both out and then laminate together... 1mm card is easier to cut. ;-)

Cheers, Gary.



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 Posted: Thu Apr 21st, 2016 12:35 pm
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shaunabeer
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Petermac wrote: Scalescenes kits never were a quick answer to a model building - as much designed for the enjoyment of the build as for the finished article.



If you want "quick", buy a ready to plonk model.



Reducing the card thickness would either weaken the finished article or mean you'd have to laminate 2 x 1mm to get your 2mm.  My maths may be out but I think that means cutting everything twice and gluing the two pieces together - with all the associated warping and delaminating problems ............



As Bill said, patience is the key.



I use a stanley knife for the long straight cuts and a Swann Morton scalpel with No 11 blades for the smaller windows etc.  I do use lots and lots of blades - I buy both in boxes of 100.  You'd be absolutely amazed at how much easier and deeper a fresh blade cuts.



Scalescenes are great models - well designed, imaginative, prototypical and tough as boots but they are neither quick nor particularly cheap once you take ink, card, glue and blades into account.  You have to like modelling buildings to want to do them ............



I'm told most good modelling (unless you're a professional like Allan), takes time. :roll::roll:

Thanks Peter, I have been building scalescenes for a couple of years now and have almost built the complete range (mainly for fun) but I built them in thinner card which was ok as I was just building for fun and not for my layout. I now want to build a whole row of high street backs to add to my layout(I will kit bash a lot of them so as not to duplicate too much). I am also now going to build with recommended thickness of card as I obviously need them to be more substantial was just hoping there might be a way to speed up the process of cutting.
I assure you patience is not an issue but the aching wrists are....

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 Posted: Thu Apr 21st, 2016 01:28 pm
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An alternative might be foam board which is quite rigid and lightweight, comes in sheets 3mm, 5mm and 10mm thick available in sizes from A4 to A0, example linked -

http://foamboard-store.oxatis.com/a4-white-foam-board-c102x2394010.

You can cut foam board very easily with a craft knife, Stanley knife or you can get cutters which can cut at both 90 degrees or 45 degrees, the 45 degree option is handy for corners of buildings

(Some of the cutters on Ebay are listed at quite attractive prices, problem however is they come from USA and postage is quoted at around £33, which for a £7 item doesn't make economic sense to me!)

You may find something suitable in The Range, Hobbycraft or other arts & Craft shops



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 Posted: Thu Apr 21st, 2016 01:56 pm
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Campaman
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I have found that cheap (Poundland pack of 5) snap off blade knives best for 2mm card, usually through in 2-3 passes, as soon as you feel its getting tougher to cut, snap off the blade, I have tried stanley knives but find the extra thickness of the blade makes it more hard work.



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 Posted: Thu Apr 21st, 2016 01:57 pm
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60019Bittern
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I was going to suggest the same. I have found those disposable knives good, even up to 5mm MDF. The secret is to take many passes and use a fresh cutting point regularly.



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 Posted: Thu Apr 21st, 2016 02:04 pm
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Petermac
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I also iuse the snap-off blades.  They're good but I find it's easy to apply too much pressure and deflect (or break) the blade.  They are thinner than Stanley knife blades but not as strong.

The problem with foam board Mike is that, as far as I know, it doesn't come in 1 and 2mm thickness and as Shaun says, you have to stick pretty much to the recommended Scalescenes thickness otherwise things stop fitting !!!

Our master modeller, Doug (Doofer), is away at present but I'll try e-mailing him to see if he can log on to read this thread.  He eats lots of corn flakes ..............................;-):lol:

p.s. I see you're from Sheffield Shaun - strength shouldn't be a problem from there ...........:mutley:cheers



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 Posted: Thu Apr 21st, 2016 05:52 pm
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Sorry I can't easily search as I'm on a slow camp site wifi in Croatia, but if you look for my thread on Scalescenes Edwardian school building I have deliberately built it with much thinner card, step by step pictures etc.

Lengths are fine, a little thought about thicknessses for stacked components is needed. Where 4 x 2mm is called for, I have cut the 4 in 1mm-ish and glued that to several more to get about 8mm for chimney stacks etc.

A Dutch modeller I have read has found in Holland a 2mm light beige softer card.
Hope this helps,

Doug



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 Posted: Thu Apr 21st, 2016 07:12 pm
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allan downes
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Oh dear gentlemen, I'm going to sound like a right Moron here !

I've been cutting through 2mm thick grey industrial card by the truck load for well over 40 years now with absolutely no problem whatsoever.

All I use is a standard Stanley Knife loaded with Draper - the very, very best, a 100 for a fiver on Ebay - heavy duty blades and all it takes is two cuts to cut through  - just put some weight behind it, that's all.

The same applies when cutting apertures out of Wills 80 thou stone sheets - a Stanley knife will see it off in a couple of good passes and that's why I won't even look at a silly little Swan Moreton, let alone buy one. 

Apart from that, lately I have been using 3mm MDF for building carcasses ( my son dropped off a load of off cuts ) and a Stanley knife has no problem whatsoever cutting through that either.

And if you think that a Stanley knife is too bulky to cut out fine detail - then check this lot out, all done with the same blades that cut through 3mm, and even, 6mm MDF.










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 Posted: Thu Apr 21st, 2016 08:30 pm
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Petermac
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If you read my earlier post Allan, I did say "unless you're a professional modeller like Allan" .....................:cheers:cheers:cheers

Your comment is a bit like Lewis Hamilton saying "you just get in the car and drive it" - whilst we can probably all drive, we can only dream of ever being that good. ;-)

Fantastic model by the way ........I'll let you use my Stanley knife anytime you want to. :cool wink



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 Posted: Thu Apr 21st, 2016 08:49 pm
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There is a spare blade in the handle, Shaun.  I'm still on the original one after about two years.

Being Olfa, I'm sure that they are.



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