Thursday, March 17, 2011

Technique Thursday: Fiskars Trimmer

Today I would like to point out some features of the Fiskars Deluxe Portable Trimmer.

  • This arm swings out from the side of the trimmer to allow you to accurately cut papers that are wider than the main platform of the trimmer. The ruler goes up to 15" so it handles scrapbook papers without effort! On my trimmer I used a permanent marker pen to mark 5 1/2" on the ruler to simplify measuring a standard card.

  • This transparent guide helps to hold the paper in place while it is being cut as well as housing the blade unit. The newer trimmers use a deep blade and a triple track system to ensure the blade glides smoothly.

  • The blade is on the underside of this blade unit which slides up and down the guide. The blade is bi-directional, able to cut while sliding in either direction. For best results the blades should be changed frequently. If you begin to get fuzzy cuts or ragged edges, it is definitely time to change the blade.

    The arrows on the side of the blade unit indicate the cutting position of the blade.

  • The cutting groove allows the blade to cleanly cut through paper or card-stock and not touch the trimmer. Be sure to occasionally clean the groove to remove any paper residue that may accumulate.

  • The guide also acts as a vertical cutting guide. The guide has English units from 0 to 12" on the right side, and comparable metric units on the left. Cut exactly positioned vertical slits by aligning the arrows on the blade unit with the ruler.

  • The cutting blade is one inch from the right edge of trimmer making 1" cuts easy to measure. The edge of the metal plates on either side of the cutting groove are 1/8" from that groove. The "bumpers" at the top on the left and right of the cutting groove are 1/4" from the groove. These measurement guides can really help with fine cuts.

For an example of one of those fine cuts, here is a clip of using the bumper at the top left of the cutting grove to cut a perfect 1/8" mat for any sized rectangle of card-stock.

To make a 1/16" border, start with the 1/8" border as shown above. Then use the edge of the metal plate on the right of the cutting groove as a guide and cut 1/8" off one side and either the top or the bottom of the mat. When centered the border around the top layer will be 1/16".

I hope you've enjoyed this introduction to the Fiskars trimmer. Come back tomorrow to see a project from one of our design team members.

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