Repairing a Paper Cutter

Introduction: Repairing a Paper Cutter

About: I enjoy hiking and plant foraging... but most of time I do chores!

I have a paper cutter at home which I use for many activities that would probably void its warranty. Thankfully, I purchased it for a low price at a thrift store, so there was no warranty to begin with. The other day I was cutting some sheet metal, when it broke. Here's an instructable on how to repair it so that's even stronger and less prone to breaking.

Pictured in this step is the end product and the broken piece of the previous cutter. The final cutter uses hardwood as opposed to the inexpensive MDF (medium density fiberboard) in the original.

Step 1: Cut to Size

In this step, cut the board to size. I would have used a miter box, but it was too narrow, so I ended up using some blocks and clamps to make a straight cut.

Step 2: Cut the Edge

In this step, I used a mortising bit to strip the edge off of the wood to make room for the blade. Pictured are the following:
  1. A mortising bit, because of how they're machined they are more expensive than regular drill bits.
  2. To create an even edge, I used a drill press, two wood blocks, and clamps.
  3. I pushed the wood along the mortise bit as it spun to create the edge.
  4. The final edge was rough because there was some vibration.
The main point of this step is that you should try to make the edge as even as possible. It may require some planing or chisel work after to get rid of rough edges.

Step 3: Drill Holes

In this step, drill holes for the handle and for the blade. Pictured are the following:
  1. Flip the board and trace holes for the handle. Make sure the handle-blade is close to the wood before tracing. To make a straight drill, use a center-punch to create a dent. I used a tungsten carbide scribing tool for this.
  2. Drill the holes.
  3. Flip over and drill some counter-holes for the screw edges.
  4. Trace the blade holes.
  5. Drill the blade holes.

Step 4: Add Legs

In this step, add legs to the cutter. These are necessary because the blade sinks below the wood bottom when material is cut.
  1. Add glue to wooden legs.
  2. Put the legs on wood.
  3. Add rubber feet to the legs.
  4. Flip over and apply weight to the wood.

Step 5: Finishing Touches

In this step I added finishing touches:
  1. Added 1/3 bee wax + 1/3 walnut oil + 1/3 mineral oil finish.
  2. Cut a relief for hand using a scroll saw.
  3. Added a handle stop using a screw and silicone tubing.
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    Fikjast Scott

    I like the milling idea. great project. I can not live without my paper cutter.


    Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

    The bearings in drill presses are not usually designed for side loads. Plus a drill press does not really spin fast enough to cut wood like a router. So if you have a wood router it might be a better tool to perform the rabbeting operation with.


    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    That's true, the side-cutting made really ugly dents. Ultimately, I ended up planning the edge.


    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    Yes planes can plane surfaces rather well. Must be how they got their name? Then again it could be a coincidence too. I bought a similar paper cutter to what you have, used, and the base of it was cracked when I got it, but I didn't notice it until I got it home. I ended up gluing it, and putting a little piece of steel angle iron inside of it, to beef the plastic base up. Let me take a picture of it, because it is difficult to describe.

    Pushing down on the blade using the cutter the whole cutter base would flex, and it just didn't work right. Now it works good. The manufacturer probably should have put that reinforcement in themselves. But they're in business to make money, not decent paper cutters I guess. Let me upload a side shot of my repair too.

    The screws are countersunk into the plastic. so the blade does not hit them.