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Cutting out tiny round stickers


enodenlover

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I have several sticker sheets from Kato, Greenmax etc. that have tiny round highway signs on them and so far all my attempts to cut them out have been a disaster; they always come out with ragged or uneven edges and end up being unusable. I've been using a standard size pair of scissors but I've concluded this this isn't the way to do this. Is there a technique to this or a particular tool that I should be investing in?

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I've taken to using the scissors on my Victorinox "Climber" knife to cut stickers out, mostly as they're small and wickedly sharp. They work pretty well for curved stickers if I'm patient, I've had to cut out more than a few clocks (and the stickers for the top of whatever that disc-on-a-stick thing is on the Kato platform sets) and I'm reasonably happy with the results. The little flat-tipped tweezers tucked into one end of the knife are brilliant for positioning stickers too (and holding the really tiny ones while you cut the last bit of backing sheet away).

Edited by Welshbloke
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Thanks Welshbloke. I have a miniature Swiss army knife that has both of these tools and I'm going to give them a try on a round sign or two tonight. Hopefully this will be just what I need.

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The only thing I don't use the Swiss Army Knife for is cutting out long markings (like the dotted lines that go along platform edges). Those are best done with long scissors as that gives you a fighting chance of getting a smooth line. While the sticker film is transparent apart from the markings it's easier to get them straight if your cut edges are too.

 

My circular cuts aren't perfect, but they look ok from a normal viewing distance.

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These are the best I've found for cutting curves, surgical castroviejo scissors. They are spring loaded like the Swiss Army knives and very sharp.

 

http://www.ebay.com/itm/CASTROVIEJO-Scissors-Ophthalmic-Surgical-Instruments-Curved-4-5-/121106468854?hash=item1c32820ff6:g:hNcAAOxy79JRh4P-

 

You can get very nice ones for like $20, but the more inexpensive ones work great for decals and stickers like this.

 

To get round done perfectly, look at punches

 

http://www.ebay.com/itm/New-Round-Hollow-Punch-Set-Hand-Tools-Hole-Punching-Leather-Gasket-CARBON-Steel-/401031721784?var=&hash=item5d5f5a7338:m:mbJ6rQrsXOCXtad4ms-ncEA

 

Cheers,

 

Jeff

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Oh dear...those surgical scissors are now on my wish list. I should probably buy some decent sprue nippers too, at the moment I'm using a set of very small wire cutters from a brand which is synonymous with cheap shonky tools here - Rolson...

 

You wouldn't believe the looks you get if you mention having bought a pair of forceps and some long tweezers. Both have proven invaluable for grabbing wires that you're trying to thread behind panels or removing random objects from the car dashboard (JDM car whose previous owner evidently had a kid with a Pokemon addiction, judging by the trading card I removed from one vent)!

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Groan, use a pun, go to jail, we have strong pun control laws on this forum and you may need to be punched out!

 

If you want the ultimate in cutting circles a jeweler's disc cutter. Really does very clean cuts. But they ain't cheap...

 

http://www.micromark.com/micro-punch-set,8603.html

 

http://www.ebay.com/itm/18-PC-Round-Disc-Cutter-Punch-3mm-14mm-Jewelers-Metal-Puncher-Set-Wooden-Base-/181920891115?hash=item2a5b5480eb:g:9GcAAOSwstxVSnsf

 

Jeff

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LOL! I wasn't fully awake when I typed this, so the pun was not only unintentional, I didn't even realise I'd done it until you pointed it out!  :) 

 

Mark. 

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You will be PUNished severely next time, maybe even PUNched out, so next time wake up!

 

Back to punches, I've always eyed the micro mark micro disc punch

 

Jeff

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I own a machine called cameo silhouette that cuts out from sticker sheets well with blade setting at one. It's an expensive tool for this application! But, if you have other stuff to do or a Mrs who is into crafts, this will do the job perfectly. Though I own this machine, my brothers girlfriend uses it more! :) she is into digital art and is always dreaming up projects on this! I am not complaint cause she has learnt to use the machine well and I am happy to get here to configure, print and cut for me whenever I need some work done.

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John,

 

hey cool, glad to hear the silhouette is working for you! I picked up a portrait a number of months ago and just have not had the time to sit down and get it all set up and going. looks perfect to cut out stickers on all the building sheets! 

 

how small of circles have you done with it?

 

jeff

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Jeff,

I have not cut a really small circle with it as yet. But, I remember cutting a line about a millimetre thick. It can only be achieved with cutting mat. I would think it is difficult to do such a thin cut with only the edges taped to a non-sticky mat or any other surface.

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thanks i have to get the time here to just set it up and start experimenting. first thing is to be able to just cut around all the stickers on a sheet just thru the sticker and not backing. most all of those are rectangular so should be able to go pretty small there. also hoping it can cut masks for painting complex windows like the himiko water bus. later i hope to see if i can layer up card stock to try sankei type construction with it.

 

are you using their blades or did you pick up one of the heavier vinyl cutting blade holders? from the reviews it sounded like the heavier holder and vinyl blades did a nicer job on tougher materials.

 

jeff

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Guest keio6000

I realize that this does not apply to all round stickers, but there is a company that makes pre-made circular headmarks for numerous trains. sorry i forget the company name, but i got a pair for my akastuki blue train for i think around JPY 1000.  The headmark is circular with a little metal or metal-like bezel and if i recall the back may be self stick or something don't remember exactly. anyway, long story short, the pre-made ones are spectacular - much nicer than even expertly cut out ones that i have seen and well worth the investment.  i got mine in poppondetta in akihabara but they are available in many well stocked shops.   i did a few google searches but was not able to find it immediately - the key is that they are already cut out and not on a sprue.  i will try to keep looking and will update this message if i find the brand.

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somewhere i do remember seeing a nice set like that that even had i think a small raised edge on them. probably was in one of the HS sales as they tend to try to clear out a lot of the head marks each time.

 

with a punch you can also cheat and make your own head marks (hs had many up with large high quality pictures of them, especially the coasters) with some paper and use a metal backing if you want to make it easily removable with a small magnet behind the railing. trick again is cutting them out, but again the punches work great to do this! but this is cheating!

 

cheers

 

jeff

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thanks i have to get the time here to just set it up and start experimenting. first thing is to be able to just cut around all the stickers on a sheet just thru the sticker and not backing. most all of those are rectangular so should be able to go pretty small there. also hoping it can cut masks for painting complex windows like the himiko water bus. later i hope to see if i can layer up card stock to try sankei type construction with it.

 

are you using their blades or did you pick up one of the heavier vinyl cutting blade holders? from the reviews it sounded like the heavier holder and vinyl blades did a nicer job on tougher materials.

 

jeff

Jeff, I have not purchased additional blades. The blade depth setting of 1 on the blades supplied with the printer worked perfectly well on the stickers sheets we purchased at the local office supplies store. The non-square cuts were clean as well. My brothers girlfriend makes lots of stickers with uneven shapes. She is an illustrator and so made stickers of characters she sketches. All the sheets came out clean! With no breaks even on tight corners and edges.

 

Couple of things I learnt though:

The cutting mat supplied by cameo has a strong adhesive (though not transferable). So peeling of the sticker sheet with the stickers still on them tends to curl the paper. I suggest peeling of the stickers while the backing is still stuck to the cutting Matt

 

Print the images on the sheet directly from the cameos software to the colour printer you have connected to the PC. The cameo picks up the list of installed printers and sends it off to the colour printer. That way, the cameo adds the reference guides to the sheet. When you load this on the cameo for the cut, it aligns the sheet and cuts perfect around the images.

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