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Need Help Cutting a full roll of media, how best to manage the material?

Discussion in 'Tips & Tricks' started by Danr2c2, Jan 9, 2019.

  1. Danr2c2

    Danr2c2 New Member

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    Nov 16, 2017
    Lincoln, CA
    I need to kiss cut and perf cut a full roll of media (54"x150') that I just finished printing. I've cut plenty of large stuff before but I've never cut a full roll all at once and I'm worried the media will get damaged if I don't manage it correctly. Ideally, I'd like to have it back on a roll when done for easy transport to the install location. What are other people doing for this type of situation? Is there a take-up reel available for vinyl cutters?

    Setup:
    54" Graphtec FC8600-130 vinyl cutter with media catch baskets
    Media is full roll of 8mil 54"x150' adhesive vinyl
    Cut areas are approximately 53" x 16' or less and there are around 20 large areas to cut
    Need to install on location the morning of 1/16

    Sidenote: I actually used the Graphtec's rear rollers to act as the take-up reel during the printing portion of this project but that's obviously no longer an option once I'm using the cutter to cut.
     
  2. shoresigns

    shoresigns Very Active Member

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    You've set it up as a single 150' cutting job, or have you printed crop marks every so often so you can do it in batches?
     
  3. Danr2c2

    Danr2c2 New Member

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    Nov 16, 2017
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    It’s setup in batches of lengths of between 12 and 16 linear feet. So I have some control over how much is cut at once.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  4. CanuckSigns

    CanuckSigns Very Active Member

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    Just cut it like you normally would, send the first batch, let it cut, then set up for the second, unless I'm missing something it doesn't seem like a big deal, you may have to readjust the media between runs if the vinyl shifts, bit it shouldn't if it's loaded properly.
     
  5. Danr2c2

    Danr2c2 New Member

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    Nov 16, 2017
    Lincoln, CA
    I wish it were that easy. The problem is how to manage the output without separating it from the rest of the roll. I see Summa cutters offer a take-up reel system but I haven’t seen anything like that for Graphtec cutters.

    I can’t just let it all fall in the media catch basket since I’m sure that would eventually damage the media with creases or something.

    I’m thinking the best option is to try to reel it up as it comes off the cutter but I’m not sure how to accomplish that and not cause other issues since I’ll be mostly cutting really long curvy rectangles which would push out 12 or 16 feet and then take it back to cut the other side.
     
  6. Bubba06

    Bubba06 Just Somebody

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    Feb 13, 2005
    Manning SC
    Just curious...........Why not cut each "cut" job apart, instead of trying to handle that much material, on the cutter? Then afterwords if you want them all on one roll........ roll them up on one roll.
     
    • Agree Agree x 2
  7. SightLine

    SightLine Very Active Member

    We just reach into the basket between cutting each group and hand roll what is cut loosely up. After a couple of groups we will sometimes then cut between somewhere and remove the bulk of what is already cut. Not much of any other way. We have a Summa S160T but not the takup option.
     
  8. JBurton

    JBurton Signtologist

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    Sep 28, 2017
    Arkansas
    Is this a situation where the sales guy sold 151' of vinyl and order 150' roll?
    That is to say, I'm assuming you don't have enough waste between sets of registration marks to cut this into pieces. I've had guys trim laminated prints far too close to the reg marks for the graphtec to read, and ended up just adding material to either end of the sheet. Just take a piece of white, lift one inch of film, and slip your print into it. Not impossible, but it is difficult to work with.
     
  9. Windcalmer

    Windcalmer New Member

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    Aug 20, 2018
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    I always let it roll itself in the basket as it cuts, then once a piece of a job is done, I cut it with a pair of scissors and then cut the next portion. Yes it take time, but it assures that there are no issues and re-cuts.
     
  10. ikarasu

    ikarasu Very Active Member

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    Jun 10, 2016
    Port Coquitlam, bc
    If you're worried about it creasing... Setup an output table on each side of the graphtec. It'll wind it in and out onto the table. We have 4 8 FT tables we made out of plywood... so we can throw 2 on front, 2 on back... Cut 20+ FT and it'll never crease / wrinkle, roll it up... hit cut again, do the same thing.

    Pretty much the only way if you have the space. Sounds like your printer doesn't even have a takeup reel though... are you in a small shop / home based business?

    I'd do what others are saying. Cut the 16 ft... Do a Crosscut (If theres space... if not... Cut 2 panels, cut the first off with a knife) Roll it onto a core... Tape both sides... and attach the second piece to the core once you're done cutting the third panel, etc. Might be the easiest way.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  11. Danr2c2

    Danr2c2 New Member

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    Nov 16, 2017
    Lincoln, CA
    Maybe it wasn’t clear but I wanted to keep everything on a single roll since it was all going to the same place and would also facilitate install. I didn’t want to end up with nearly 20 individual rolls.

    After reading all your advice I decided to build my own take up reel system out of 4x4s, inverted caster wheels, 1” metal conduit, and some 3” pvc pipe. Got it all at Home Depot in one trip.

    After each cut job I rolled up a bit more into the reel. Afterward I re-rolled it all back onto the cardboard core it started from.

    Delivery and install went perfectly aside from the rain which caused us to limit the install to a fraction of the total job size.

    Either way, everyone was pleased with the final results so all is well that ends well.

     
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