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Gerber Swivel Knife Assembly

Discussion in 'Gerber' started by rfulford, May 29, 2012.

  1. rfulford

    rfulford Active Member

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    I have checked with 2 local sign supply companies and the blade holder for a Gerber Envision plotter is nearly $150. This looks to be almost 2 to 3 times as much as anything I can find for Graphtec, Suma, or Roland. Is there a good source for these or am I stuck paying $150?
     
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  2. Fred Weiss

    Fred Weiss Merchant Member

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    I know of no alternative. Fortunately, they don't go bad very often. I'm on my third one in 14 years.
     
  3. Ditchmiester

    Ditchmiester Active Member

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    I was going to get a second one So I could have one set for cutting vinyl and one for cutting magnet and Lexan. Then I found out they were 150 bucks. I decided to just keep adjusting the knife and pressure. I couldn't believe it either.
     
  4. rfulford

    rfulford Active Member

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    That is what I was afraid of. I do not know for sure that mine is bad but I have a strong suspicion. I seem to lose a cut here and there on smaller letters. For example, I might cut a job where the letter "M" completely misses the cut where the knife has to reverse over 90 degrees in the bottom of the M. This is the knife holder that came with the plotter when I bought it used. I have no idea how old it is.
     
  5. How do you know if it is going bad? I have had my HS15plus for a half dozen years and never replaced it. Mine has not been doing a very good job "connecting" the beginning and ending of a cut. Perhaps this is the problem with it?
     
  6. signage

    signage Major Contributor

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    Have you tried cleaning it and lubing the bearing?
     
  7. Jillbeans

    Jillbeans Major Contributor

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    Does it need a new theta belt?
    (assuming it has one)
    That's how my 4E acted before I replaced the theta belt.
    Love....Jill
     
  8. rfulford

    rfulford Active Member

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    This machine was the deal of the century for me. I bought it for $100 from a guy who bought the building that used to house a sign shop. I cleaned it up, replaced the cutting strip, bought new blades and did some minor repairs. The previous owner was using some tape to hold the right bale arm down. New springs and an allen screw fixed that. Honestly, the machine cuts well. I ran a job for 3000 4x6 logos and lost about 6% to the problem I described above. A drop of oil in the pen seemed to fix the problem.

    I do not think it is the belt or lack of lubrication. I cleaned the rails and bearings with 3 in 1 oil initially. I have no idea how often I should do this however.

    The cover for the blade holder I have needs to be taped into position for the correct exposure. The threads are barely in place on the aluminum pen. I think the plastic cap is a bit stripped. I am still cutting and making money with the machine. So far, it does not seem $150 bad. I guess I will buy it anyway. I would hate to go down.
     
  9. Fred Weiss

    Fred Weiss Merchant Member

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    Yes, you got a helluva deal. I paid $10K for mine 14 years ago.

    My Envision has been in continuous operation since 1998. I think I've cleaned and lubed the rails twice in all that time. I've replaced the blade holder twice ... each time it was because the internal bearing went bad and there would be a loud grinding sound when the blade would fail to swivel freely. Other than that, I had to replace the entire tool head once and the cutting strip about once a year.

    The plastic cap on the blade holder if, as you described it, is stripped, then you should definitely replace the entire blade holder. The cap is used to set the exposed amount of blade for depth of cut control and is marked on the side for .001" per increment. Setting it to the correct depth is critical to problem free cutting and allowing a greater tolerance to your other cut settings.

    Are you cutting from Omega? If not, how are you controlling your downforce, cornering, acceleration and speed? There was a downloadable upgrade to the Envision firmware a few years back. You might want to check the GSP website to see if you have the latest version.
     
  10. Gino

    Gino Premium Subscriber

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    I have two Swivel holders from HS750 Plus plotters. Will they work for you ??

    I only need one. I'll sell the other one to ya.
     

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  11. Jase

    Jase Member

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    Why don't you just buy some smart knives, the blades are pre-set and it just fits in the holder. We use these now, very good.

    Jason
     
  12. rfulford

    rfulford Active Member

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    Thanks Gino but the blades you have do not look like they will work.

    I am cutting with vinyl master and setting the force, speed, acceleration and corners with the settings menu on the plotter. I've not had any problems so I've not upgraded the firmware. Interesting about the grinding sound. I have not heard anything like that. The cap for the pen is not completely stripped but the correct exposure seems to be just a couple of ticks past the point where the cap actually grabs. I have been taking a strip of cut vinyl and wrapping the holder to keep the cap from turning.
     
  13. Fred Weiss

    Fred Weiss Merchant Member

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    That definitely sounds wrong. My blade holder caps are probable at about a turn and a half to two full turns before the blade begins to be exposed. I doubt that you can buy just the cap but it would be worth checking into.
     
  14. critterluver

    critterluver New Member

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    Do you happen to still have an extra swivel plotter blade ? I know this was a few years ago, but I took mine out and lost it :covereyes: If so, I would love to purchase it.
     
  15. jfiscus

    jfiscus Map Wraster

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    I have one I would sell; PM me.
     
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