Best way to trim prints before drymounting?

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Sean

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I used to tack on the tissue, then use a steel ruler and an xacto knife to trim, then line up and press. Is there a more easy way to do this? I was looking at those rotary cutters but they don't seem to hold the print firmly in place. What works best for you? thanks!
 

bmac

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I use the ruler / exacto knife. usually works pretty good. My experience with the roto trimmers is from working in community college darkrooms. The blades were dull, so it was hard to cut, and I had problems lining the print up straight with them. The ruler is more "visual" for me.
 
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Sean

Sean

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doughowk said:
I use ruler + exacto; but have problem keeping print square - when matting wider than print for signature space. Any suggestions?

doug, that's eaxctly what I want to start doing and fear I'll run into the same problems...
 

Tom Duffy

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I think that there are rotary cutters, and then there are rotary cutters. I think you want a Rotatrim with the two guide bars. The model is the Mastercut II.
 

Doug Bennett

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I use a ruler and X-Acto. I buy a dispenser that holds 50 blades, and change every other print or so.

I too like the "floating mount", where there is space between the outer edge of the print and the inner edge of the window mat, with extra space at the bottom for a signature.

Here's what I've come up with. A standard 11x14 mat for 8x10 artwork has a window that is 7-1/2" x 9-1/2". For a floating mount, I leave 1/4" around the two sides and the top, and 3/8" at the bottom, for the signature. For 11x14 prints, I add 1/8" to all sides, but that's just me.

So, I had a window mat cut with an opening that is 7" x 8-7/8", and the opening is 1/8" above center in the vertical plane. I use this mat to overlay the print and mark it for trimming. Then, I put this mat on top of an 11x14 mount board, line them up and fasten them together with clips. I can then drop the trimmed print and mounting tissue into the opening, put a shot bag on it, and tack it down.

Seems to work pretty well.
 

Flotsam

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I picked up a great little rotary made by Carl a couple of months ago. Metal base, holds the paper securely flat while cutting and was very inexpensive. The drawback? It only cuts up to 12". It works wonderfully for my 8x10s and cutting test strips in the darkroom but that's about it. Apparently there are 15" and 18" versions and also other models but I haven't tried them.

WARNING! My last rotary was an X acto with a plastic base. It was awful. It didn't flatten the paper under the blade very well and the base tended to flex under pressure and cause the cuts to vary. Mercifully, the thing fell apart within a year of light use and I was able to do to it what I should have done to it as soon as I brought it home. It would have saved me some aggravation.
 

glbeas

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I use my mat cutter to trim the prints. It usually has a fresh blade and holds the paper down quite well. I have a Logan 650 with the twin rails to guide the cutter.
 

photomc

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Just picked up an Omega MediaCut rotary trimmer, 24 in. and it is nice. Was using a 12 in. Dahle, OK, but cheap and nothing like the Omgea. BTW, the Omega was much less than the Rotatrim, but I must say the Rotatrim is very nice. Have used a metal straight edge and X acto as well, fresh blade is the key with this and a steady hand, I used a clamp to hold the straight edge.
 

Deckled Edge

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Rotatrim Mastercut II. If you make the investment your cutting wheel will be sharp and last for decades. Don't judge the concept by an abused institutional model. The Rotatrim comes with a sliding stop which assures that all 4 edges will be square. Just mount the tissue a little eccentric, so it doesn't overhang on one edge. Make your first cut 90 degress to that edge and all the others will be square. I also have a Logan mat cutter but visibility is poor and damage to the print can occur.
I too like to float my prints, and there is no better way to do it than the Rotatrim.

Elmo Schmidlapp
Director of Marketing
The Rotatrim Corporation

Not.
 

KenM

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Deckled Edge said:
Rotatrim Mastercut II. If you make the investment your cutting wheel will be sharp and last for decades. Don't judge the concept by an abused institutional model. The Rotatrim comes with a sliding stop which assures that all 4 edges will be square. Just mount the tissue a little eccentric, so it doesn't overhang on one edge. Make your first cut 90 degress to that edge and all the others will be square. I also have a Logan mat cutter but visibility is poor and damage to the print can occur.
I too like to float my prints, and there is no better way to do it than the Rotatrim.

I'm with Edge - I purchased a Rotatrim about a year ago, and I have not damaged a print since. With the ruler/exacto-knife routine, I had troubles keeping the corners square.

If you do get a Rotatrim, do make sure you get the double-rail version.

It's a purchase that you'll only make once in your lifetime.
 

dr bob

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Instead of the Xacto type cutter, I use a small utility knife which uses break-off blade segments. Keeping a sharp edge just requires breaking off the used section with whatever available (I use needle-nose pliers). Been doing this figuratively forever and rarely have an accident.

dr bob.
 
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