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Extended plates for the Sidekick – re-purposing old stuff and saving £18

I have mentioned in the past that I am loving my Sidekick! This is very much a case of bigger is not better for me. I still have a Grand Calibur, and a Big Shot Pro (I gave my smaller Big Shot away to the local craft club last year) and loads of cutting plates, especially for the Grand Calibur. I think at the time I was buying them you had to buy the pack of all the plates, not just the one you wanted – or maybe buying the pack was more economical. Whatever, I am glad I did it then. Here’s why:

The cutting plates that come with the Sidekick are short. About 4.5 inches by about 2.5. But actually the space allowed is slightly larger, at least 2 3/4 inches with some to spare. I have some dies that just miss out on being usable in the Sidekick and it was super annoying. Like these:

Or this one, where it is possible to cut the longer dies but only to the 4.5 inch length, so not long enough to fit across a 6 inch card front.

The first thing I did was look for extended cutting plates for the Sidekick. Someone makes them but they cost a lot more that I would have expected (between about £14 and £19, depending on the size) and that was much more than I wanted to spend. I checked out the dimensions of the plates and it is the thickness that gets you, by design I am sure. The standard Sidekick thickness is 1/8 inch, or .32cm. Places that sell cheap perspex to cut to size do round numbers, 3mm, 4mm, etc. Also annoying. I worried that the beveled end might matter a lot in getting the plates to move thru the Sidekick, but just wasn’t sure how much it would matter. I was looking at my old cutting plates, and had a brainstorm. I stacked the pink Embossing plate and the raspberry Adapter plate from the Grand Calibur on top of each other and miracle of miracles they matched the stacked Sidekick plates perfectly! Then it was just the cutting. Hard to believe, and yes, OMG it took some time, but I managed to cut thru (mostly) then snap off cleanly the raspberry plate.

I think because I had little hope it would actually work, I cut across he short width. Mistake. Knowing it DID work, I wish I had done in height-wise for a longer plate. Oh well. No WAY I was going to spend hours scoring the pink plate, as it is much thicker, so The Hubster to the rescue. The Dremel leaves a melted raggety edge, but the hacksaw gives a pretty clean cut. Actually the trick was a table saw for the two ends then a hacksaw to join the cuts – we used the tools we had, what can I say?

And, yeah, it works! BTW, the lack of a beveled edge doesn’t seem to matter at all.

I could have made it ever so slightly wider, and wish I had. I still have one piece of the pink plate we can cut, but by the time we got this one done we really needed to get to the garden centre and get on with essential tasks. But other dies I can now cut on the Sidekick include these two:

So the question becomes how much is your time worth? Or in this case, The Hubster’s time LOL! Was it worth saving the money, the shipping, the order time, etc? WHY is Sizzix missing a trick here and not offering sightly longer plates? Are they trying to push people towards the Big Shot to get that slightly longer length? And if I did get two plates, one 3mm and one 4mm, would the .6mm difference matter enough? Or the .4 if I went with 2 x 3mm? Is it worth the £10 for three 3mm and one 4mm pieces to find out? maybe….