Sunday, November 29, 2015

My New Machine...

I've been thinking hard about what tools I could use to help with my wooden projects. There are a few things I put on my Christmas list; a scroll saw and a belt sander. But, I really want something that would easily cut simple shapes like squares, rectangles and circles in various sizes.

I started thinking of ways I could make wooden cuts more precise and it dawned on me…a die cutting machine! For the last few days, including a 6 hour drive to Los Angeles and a 6 hours drive back to the Bay Area, I researched, watched videos, visited forums, compared machines until I couldn't any more.

By the time we arrived home, I decided on a machine called the Silver Bullet. It is super awesome, but at a price of 1300.00 for the smaller machine and accessories, it's a little steep.

I started wavering back and fourth on my decision. Although the Silver Bullet is the "king" of die cutters, I probably would not use it to its max and I still want the sand belt (not sure if I will need the scroll saw if I get the cutter).

I kept going back to the less expensive Cricut Explore Air. There are tons of wonderful reviews, it's one thousand dollars cheaper, I can purchase it locally (no shipping fees), and it would serve the purpose of what I need a cutter for. I quickly talked myself out of the Silver Bullet, headed to Michaels, purchased the Cricut Explore Air and within 1 hour, I was cutting Basswood. I am ecstatic!

Regarding the basswood, the machine (using the normal blade) did not cut all the way through 1/16 basswood, but I ran an Xacto knife through the cuts and the shapes came out with no problem.

There is a "deep cutting" blade and housing that I just ordered. Once I receive these items, I will test again to see if the cuts go through the 1/16 basswood. I am still happy that I can create my designs, import them into the Cricut software and have precise cuts.

I can imagine many uses for this machine using different types of materials and intricate cuts for my mini creations. I am super excited about this purchase!

*Once I receive the correct deep cutting housing unit, I will update this page.

Cricut Explore Air

Basswood cuts using the Cricut Explore Air using the normal blade. Had to run the Xacto knife through the cut.
Waiting for the Deep Cut Housing and Blade to test again.