After the comment yesterday by Julia (no, not THAT Julia, another one) about her struggles with the D-Lites, we carried on an email conversation – I suggested things, she said she had tried them, I suggested other things, but she had tried them too. I decided to work with what I considered to be the most intricate die, the garden gate one (which I had not yet cut) to see what I could discover.
Here’s the deal – it’s hard to get a good clean cut. I was using pretty heavy card, not sure of the weight as the package was one I got the Newbury Stamp Show, but def. greater than 160 gsm
What I tried, using my Grand Calibur (a new one).
I tried cutting as is – rubbish. The gate tore all over the place.
I tried cutting with true waxed paper between the die and the paper. I tried pulling out the cardstock only, with not a lot of success. The die-cut piece was very distorted and tore a bit.
I tried freezer paper and waxed paper in combo. Whichever way you cut (die up on the base plate or down on the cutting plate) the order is die blades, waxed paper, freezer paper (with the plastic side towards the waxed paper) then cardstock. My thoughts on this were that the freezer paper would add more body, and if I peeled away between the freezer paper and the waxed paper, the freezer paper would support the actual die cut. It worked pretty well, after a fashion. Some bits were not cut at all – although not anywhere near all the bits you see still in place here were not cut :
At this point I *thought* that the trio of papers was too much for the die to contend with, so I tried using JUST waxed paper again, but instead of trying to peel away the top layer of cardstock, as I first did, I flicked the corner of the die and peeled off from the waxed paper layer (ie both waxed paper AND cardstock in one go.)
That worked the best of all but there were still areas that did not cut – I felt, from my experiments, that was down to the die – maybe it was not as high in that area?
But I think you can see the die-cut is quite flat, not distorted, and looks good in the other areas.
So then I used a bit of the packaging to stick a shim to the back of the die:
With just the waxed paper between the die and the cardstock, with the shim added, and peeling away the waxed paper layer (so the cardstock on top comes with it) flicking the back of the die got rid of virtually all the bits, except ONE area that is STILL not cut. That has to be down to the die!
I see I forgot to peel away the waxed paper on that one, but the only part that didn’t virtually fall out was the one bit on the right side gate.
DH is a bit of a geek and we always say that it’s best to wait a while when some new bit of technology comes out to give them time to iron out the wrinkles – cutting edge of technology is fine, but bleeding edge, not so much. That never seems to stop me in my CRAFTING life, however, when the lure of the NEW is strong! I am also a bit of a cynic and it did occur to me (as I said to Julia) that releasing the dies in the UK first, as an exclusive, might have been quite a calculated strategy on the part of Spellbinders It gave them a large pool of people (but from their POV a “secondary market”) to try out the first release so they could weigh the issues and complaints so the 2nd run, released in the USA, I’m sure, would be less … flawed. They can collect feedback and tweak the product. we get them first, but the second batch could be better quality.
Am I happy with my purchase? I have to say, that for the most part the medallions cut perfectly with very little effort (although the waxed paper is needed so technically that ever so slightly increases the cost of the dies) but the really detailed ones, like this gate, are a struggle. Unfortunately I cut my packaging (how else do you get in to them??) and ripped some of the inserts (that they were stuck to) so not entirely sure I could return them if I wanted to – not entirely sure I want to return them. I love them all in principle and want to use them, darn it. So I have a few more ideas to try and want to try other machines and slightly lighter weight card, and we will see what happens. I’ll share if I find out anything else.
Oh, and to correct my total brain fade yesterday…..