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Re: Cutting Davey Binders Board

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Just to clarify: You are not allowed to cut board on the guillotine at
the Center for Book Arts. There is a sign on it that says so. The
garbage that occurs in Davey board can nick the blade. The guillotine
there is used to cut paper only, and to trim bound books. At the CBA
you cut board on the board shears. There are several board shears,
sometimes generically referred to as "Jacques" shears, like "Kleenex"
means tissue. One of them may be a Jacques. A Guillotine has a blade
that comes down parallel to the bed of the machine. The Center has a
36" guillotine with a 2 hp motor. The board shears is a hand operated
device with a slightly curved blade that is pulled down next to a flat
blade that is even with the table of the shears. It operates sort of
like a scissors.

I cut paper, board, and thin metal on the shears in my studio, with no
damage to the blade.  I have not sent my blade out to be sharpened in
over 30 years.  When it gets a little dull, I sharpen it with a stone,
without removing it from the shears.

The reason some people have to send their blades out is that they pull
the blade in as they pull it down. That makes one blade cut the other
blade. When properly adjusted, you can put a piece of very thin paper
on the table and cut it perfectly by just giving the blade a little
push from its "up" position and letting the weight of the blade do the
cutting. I do most of my cuts this way, up to 2-ply museum board.
Heavier board requires a little force, but you have to be careful that
the force is straight down, not in or out.

Red label Davey board sucks. I still have a little gold label, which
is wonderful. I still wouldn't cut it on the guillotine. I also have
some blue label left, which is ok. Red label used to be better than it
has gotten since Davey sold the business. Now I wouldn't use it for
anything. My friend has a big production bindery and has no board
shears. He has many guillotines and cuts his board on them.  But he
has sharp blades coming in all the time, and has a complete machine
shop in-house, with milling machines and everything.  He can make his
own parts if needed. It all depends on how much production you do and
how you are set up.

If you can't get anything better than the new red label Davey board,
laminate some permalife paper or some such on both sides of it with
flour paste.  That will stiffen it up without making it too much


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