Bench end guillotines

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Bench end guillotines

Postby MikeSwannick » Thu May 18, 2017 12:51 pm

I'm looking for user experiences of bench end guillotines (like the big red one Lion sells) when cutting 2mm MDF. The edges are very clean on the boards from the factory and I'd like to know if a bench end guillotine can reproduce this or is the cut similar to the slightly coarse edge you get when cutting the board with a Stanley blade?

I watched a demo on Youtube and the operator made the cut in sort of a two stage motion as though it was a bit of a struggle and I got the impression that the cut wouldn't be as clean as the factory edges.

Mike.
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Re: Bench end guillotines

Postby Steve N » Thu May 18, 2017 1:36 pm

Shouldn't think they will be the same, as the factory produced edges are cut at very high speed with a saw, been years since I used a bench end guillotine like the big red one Lion, we use Keencut wall cutter. Also we don't use MDF very much, we use a board much like Simon's BACK/14 , we get it from a local supplier who delivers in his own van, that way Tuffnells don't get to damage every corner of the boards :head:
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Re: Bench end guillotines

Postby prospero » Thu May 18, 2017 3:27 pm

For years I used a HD Rotatrim for MDF. It cut up to 3mm. It gave one clean edge but the edge on the 'waste' side
was a bit chewed and you need to trim 1/4" off to neaten it up before having that edge on another piece.
Cheaper than an Excalibur by a wide margin.
It was a good sturdy piece of kit though. I mounted it on a sheet of 3/4" chipboard leaning against the wall.

You can get motorised ones. :P

Never had a bench end slicer and frankly I'm a bit frit of them. :shock:
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Re: Bench end guillotines

Postby featurepiece » Thu May 18, 2017 4:09 pm

prospero wrote:
Never had a bench end slicer and frankly I'm a bit frit of them. :shock:



Aye, I've often thought I'd probably loose a digit or two by even looking at one.

BTW I use the Fletcher 3100 and it cuts 2mm MDF nice 'n' clean (with the proper head of course) :)
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Re: Bench end guillotines

Postby muffinski » Thu May 18, 2017 4:55 pm

Steve N wrote: Tuffnells don't get to damage every corner of the boards :head:


you aswell, whats up with them, some framing suppliers will use another company they have access to if you complain about tuffnells.
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Re: Bench end guillotines

Postby pramsay13 » Thu May 18, 2017 8:33 pm

I use one. Previously I used 2mm mdf although now I use 2mm artcraft.
The cut has always been nice and clean although the motion is much easier now with the artcraft.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=In8RyM1xDVY&t If you skip to 1:30 ish you can see me using it and I reckon it was mdf when I got this video made.
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Re: Bench end guillotines

Postby Not your average framer » Thu May 18, 2017 10:15 pm

Where I first worked as a framer had an Ideal guillotine and it was brilliant, it had a five foot blade and cut 2.5mm MDF backing board with ease and it was a very clean and smooth cut edge. The waste piece that was cut off was not so perfect and was easily cleaned up by re-cutting that edge.

The ideal guillotine was of very heavy construction and included it's own bench where the timbers for the legs at the corners were about 8 inches square and the bench had a metal top surface. The guillotine has a name plate on one side which said that it's cutting capacity was something like 18 gauge steel.

We thought that it was originally manufactured in about the 1930's, I don't think that it had ever had the blade sharpened in all the 40 odd years that it had been used for framing, it was also used for cutting mountboard and it was incredibly fast to use. The blade was made from 1/2 inch thick steel and had a large steel counter balancing weight the other side of the pivot point on the blade.

Today's bench guillotines are just not in the same league. I have two bench guillotines my self, one is fitted to a work bench in my shop and the other one is just a spare. I bought the first one from a framer who was closing down and the other from a local auction sale. Both of these have 2 foot 6 inches long blades and still work just fine. I mainly use them for cutting down MDF strut backs to fit other frame sizes. I think that they are the ultimate tool for this sort of job. The blades are 5/16 of an inch think and have never needed to be sharpened while I have had them.

Sorry to say this, but in this case the older ones are much better that the newer ones! They are much more solidly made and will last several life times. The item below is the same style as both of my own guillotine, but there's no mention off what size of guillotine it actually is. There were originally produced in sizes up to three foot long blades and usually can be picked up for not a lot of money.

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/STUNNING-VINT ... SwX9FZFcxh
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Re: Bench end guillotines

Postby Jamesnkr » Fri May 19, 2017 9:40 am

Not your average framer wrote:There were originally produced in sizes up to three foot long blades and usually can be picked up for not a lot of money...


... because nobody with any employees could ever have one in the shop...
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Re: Bench end guillotines

Postby MikeSwannick » Fri May 19, 2017 11:55 am

Thanks everyone for your comments. I've taken your advice Mark and bought an old one from ebay for~£30.
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Re: Bench end guillotines

Postby Not your average framer » Fri May 19, 2017 6:18 pm

A few tips. My guillotine that has been fitted to the bench needed to have the angle of the ruler that I screwed to the bench top adjusted by doing trial cuts until it produced an accurate 90 degree cut. Don't expect to just set the rule square and think that's all there is to it. It doesn't work like that!

In use you will need to put a bit of side wise pressure on the handle, which will slightly bow the blade and keeping the cutting part of the blade in contact with the bottom blade at the point of cutting.

When the blade is all the way down and can't go any further you will be able to see that the cutting blade only ever touches the bottom blade in one place at any time , This is normal and is just fine!

Don't bother getting the blade sharpened. They work just fine as they are and blunt blades are good for safety as well. Enjoy.
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Re: Bench end guillotines

Postby MikeSwannick » Fri May 19, 2017 7:16 pm

:D every day's a school day. Thanks.
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Re: Bench end guillotines

Postby sable filbert » Sat May 20, 2017 8:13 pm

pramsay13 wrote:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=In8RyM1xDVY&t If you skip to 1:30 ish you can see me using it and I reckon it was mdf when I got this video made.


Your bench Peter....too low!
Your back must play up after a long day or it will do as you get older :(

I'm just over 6'3 and my bench top is 39 1/2 inches.
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Re: Bench end guillotines

Postby pramsay13 » Sat May 20, 2017 10:03 pm

It's okay, I've got it on a few blocks all round, so it's around 6 inches higher. Not sure what height it is but if feels fine after a 12 hour day :P
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Re: Bench end guillotines

Postby MikeSwannick » Thu May 25, 2017 7:58 am

My guillotine has arrived and I'm very pleased with the results. After a quick once over with a wire brush to remove some rust it's now in service. The cut edge on the thicker material like the 2.4mm card is very clean and the cut edge on the 2mm MDF is more than acceptable. Amazing results from a well used unit that has been in service in a south coast college since 1944 apparently.

Thanks all for the advice.

Mike.
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