Saturday, October 8, 2011
Book Give Away!
A bit about disc cutters. I now have a Swanstrom disc cutter from Rio Grande (though other folks sell them too) after going through a Harbor Freight one (don't bother!) and a Pepe tools (it's fine if you can ever get one!).
There is a video on the Swanstrom cutter here.
I ADORE my Swanstrom. I would HIGHLY recommend you skip the crappy ones and go right for the top. You will never want for another! Normally you will want to wax the cutting punch but the mica might get all gummy, so I didn't when cutting mica. I also normally use a brass hammer and I hold the punch in place the first two or three taps. This is to prevent the punch from possibly bouncing up and down in the shaft and potentially getting stuck. It's really more of an issue when cutting metal. a colleague of my thinks one should just whack the heck out of the punch, VERY hard so it cuts in one blow. That seems harsh to me but, he's a burly guy... I like firm hard taps until the punch cuts through. With the mica it'll probably cut in one hit. I have not noticed the mica dulling the cutting edge. Also don't forget! Once your punch has cut through, you will feel this, revert to very gentle taps to push it to the bottom of the shaft. Then lift the entire disc cutter up and off the punch which should still be sitting on your table. Don't try to pull the punch backwards out of the shaft. You may jam things up and have a terrible time getting it dislodged. And another thing, I prefer a very hard, firm sub-surface under the cutter for resistance and optimum cutting. In other words no bouncy card tables. In fact, if your work table is not very thick and sturdy put the disc cutter on the floor. It will cut WAY better with a firm surface under it. I use mine on top of my 70lb anvil with a couple of pieces of thick leather under it to protect it, the punches and my anvil's surface.
Well, happy mica punching! And be sure you visit the other artist's blogs who are all participating in this blog hop. Then you may become eligible for a grand prize!
Sunday, October 9th: Deryn Mentock
Monday, October 10th: Jen Cushman
Tuesday, October 11th: Jill Berry
And don't forget to visit Ricë's blog here.