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MADAM CHINO  |  1737A N. Palmer Street Milwaukee WI 53212 USA  | Fri-Sun 12pm-5pm  |  414-303-1981  |   madamchino@yahoo.com

DIY // STRIP CUTTER

For some this invention may be of use, however unperfected, and may put ease in the creation of certain items with use of scrap or reuse material for things like braided jewelry, rag rugs, and with perfection a group of tasks demanding more accuracy such as cutting of pieces in quilting.  I, Madam Chino, did not invent completely this idea, as this is simply an adaptation of a different invention called the "Strip It" which was created by a craft company in Plover WI in minature version that I picked up at a thrift store recently.  Before such a find, I was looking for an item that more resembled something like a handheld rotary cutter with 5 blades to accurately cut fabric strips rapidly, somewhat like what you will find in this T-YARN tutorial.

SO, if you are interested enough to keep reading, here are a list of materials that will be helpful for the project below, which is, a DIY Strip Cutter!

 

MATERIALS: 

-A strip of foam or polystyrene insulation foam (tyvek is popular brand) about 2" tall, 2" wide, and 8" long, length depending on the number of blades you prefer

-Saw, reciprocating saw (sawzall) or turkey cutting electric knife to get through the foam. 

-Basic straight razors in the amount that you want to create strips

-C-clamps large enough to mount the polystyrene to a table top

-Ruler

-Writing implement

 

 

 

Cut the strip of foam with the saw to the dimensions expressed above, have your blades handy, gather the ruler and pen, marking off distances between blades aka how wide the strips will be, where the blades will be set. 

 

Simply push each blade sharp side in to the foam to create a slit where the blade will sit at a 45 degree angle from the table top, and then reinsert the blade sharp side out! 

As you can see, at this point, it's necessary to use the C-clamps to mount the foam to the table.  Note that the razors are completely submerged in the foam on the lower side, but are poking out of the top at a 45 degree angle about 1/2 way the length of the razor.  Now that the blades are exposed, be extremely careful!  Do not allow it near children, and be very safe with it.  Be careful to lift your arms well above it when using it, not to brush your hands over it when setting fabric into it, etc.  When not in use, the blades should be removed and placed back in their case. 

 

NEXT, find some fabric!  Hold the fabric with both hands, at the top where you are pulling and at the bottom where you are feeding it in.  The issue of this mechanism is that the fabric must have an even tension between what is entering and exiting, which can be difficult if it is too wide or not evenly fed. Grasping between the two can cause the fabric to shift and must be done with care so not to lift the fabric off the blades causing it to reset in a new position and disturbing the accuracy of the cut.   

What I imagine will be a great solution to the difficulties is a mechanism much like the pant hangers using wooden dowels to hold the wider fabric evenly while feeding, perhaps have the bottom one weighted so that holding it isn't necessary, and a matching polystyrene foam cap with inverted slits for the blade tops, to set over the blades for safety and to hold the fabric between the blades while changing the grip of the tension!  

 

Not bad for a first try adaptation, what do you think?  Give it a try!