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Structures on th LP-and-N RR, vol.4

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  • Good Morning Bob,

    Looking forward to the cutting machine reviews.

    Keep taking good care of your wife and yourself. We know your always checking in on our model work and count on your advise.



    • Bob, take care of both of you. And even though you're not doing any modeling at present, it's good to know your keeping an eye on us all. I may have access to a Cricut Explore in the near future, so am eager to read your thoughts about the cutters in general.


      • Hi Bob, Good to see you again on your thread'. Don't worry about the cataract surgery, And it is true what people say about seeing better than ever after having it' done'.. Most have it in their late 60s and 70s. So you are way over due'..(LOL) . As always Bob, I wish you the best for your wife, and look at that beautiful model you sent me often. Look forward to your report on the new machine'...[:-dopey]



        • Bob, I hope your wife's health problems improve. You have three years on me and so far I haven't had cataract surgery. They are there, just not a real problem - yet.

          Keep us posted on your experiences with the Cricut machine.

          With sufficient thrust pigs fly just fine.


          • Carl, Ted, Dave. Bill, Ted, and George, thank you very much for your comments, they are very much appreciated.

            There have been many models of cutting machines such as cricut over the years. I

            forget the name of the first one I bought and when the cricuts came out I bought one of the

            early ones. It was a very basic cutter on which you could not make up your own designs,

            it come with a plug-in that had a lot of basic shapes and you could buy additional

            plug-ins. I did find a third party software called "Sure-Cuts-a-Lot" that allowed one to

            design anything and then cut it on the cricut machine. Just what I wanted. Some time later

            something happened and SCAL no longer supported cricut but I had the software and

            it still worked so I continued to use it. I made scale roofing shingles of several

            shapes, weather vanes, crates, chairs and benches, windows and doors, and even a

            telephone booth, and more, all in scale.

            I tried to use SCAL recently and I received a message from them that SCAL has been changed

            and upgraded and if I wanted to use it I would have to buy the latest version which

            was over $100.00. If I bought that I would still be using an old cutter with very

            limited usefulness. I had to look for something new.

            More Later.



            • I started looking around at new machines including the newer model cricuts, the

              Silhouette, and the Brother Scan-N-Cut. At 83 years old I was NOT looking for anything that

              requires learning a new drawing program. The idea of simply being able to make a drawing

              on paper, scanning that in, and being able to cut it out so interested me that before I knew it

              I bought one.

              I am not trying to sell you on any machine, that is entirely up to you, but I did buy

              this one and it's the one I will talk about here. I have very little time right now but I

              have read through the instruction manual and played with it a bit (you can download the

              instruction manual from the Brother site without buying the machine). I'm very early

              on checking the machine out but I must tell you that I am impressed. You can connect this

              machine to your computer via a USB cable, a Flash Drive, or wirelessly, however, you do

              not need to connect them at all. In fact, you do not even have to own a computer, the

              machine does it all. I am going to use mine in an entirely different room. I will be

              keeping a backup file of any cutting files that I want to save on my computer but I will

              simply bring the Flash Drive into my computer room and upload the files, they will be

              saved on the machine and the computer.

              The machine comes with a whole library of built in shapes and the ability to easily

              change and combine them to make new shapes and the ability to save them. The instruction

              manual is very clear with tons of illustrations. What really makes this machine

              different from all others is that you can make your drawing on paper and then scan it

              in to make a cut file.

              The other big plus for someone like me who works in a big scale (I use 1/24 scale) is

              that the cutting mat is 12 x 12 inches and you can buy a mat that is 12 x 24 inches. I

              see that there is an add on kit that allows you to make embossed metal items which might

              come in handy too.

              I want to spend some time experimenting with different thicknesses of card that can be

              cut, there is a table in the manual that even has the setting for cutting thin plastic

              (styrene ???). I will play with this as time allows. I did cut some shingles from some

              card I had on hand which is about 1 mm thick and it cut through it like a hot knife

              through butter.

              More later.



              • Thanks, Bob. This sounds very interesting!


                • Thanks Bob for the cutter info,

                  When ready, please post photos of the test pieces you make. It will be a big help to understanding seeing actual samples.



                  • Thanks Bill and Dave.

                    Here's a drawing on paper of a shed wall and the same cut from card by the scanning the paper and saving the generated cut file.


                    • This is a simple example of using basic shapes to generate something different, a 3-tab shingle.


                      • Oh boy Bob,

                        Now I have a new item for my wishlist. The Scan and Cut looks ideal for model making. Your two ideas are perfect for scratchbuilding!

                        Thank you so much for sharing. Look forward to new use could be for box and crate making. Do you think it can cut out an O scale box with fold tabs?



                        • I broke down last week and purchased a Brother CM350 ScanNcut die cutting machine last week and so far really like it except I need to practice more to get the cutting speed, deep cutting setting, and a few other things learned so I can get perfect items cut every time.

                          My first project was a roof truss which I copied from an online image and then scanned it into my machine. First I cut out an outer cutting on a piece of thin cardboard and it came out OK. Then in using Brother Canvas Workspace which is a free online program that lets you do alot of things I then chose to print out the inside lines of the roof truss too. It tore on me because I think I chose a too fast of a cutting speed. I know that it can be done but I have to experiment with the cutting speeds.

                          If you want to see what the machine is capable of doing there are a ton of YouTube videos online, just type in YouTube CutNscan and they will pop up. Rather than saving the links I used a free program called YouTube Downloader which allows you to download the videos and copy them and save them to your computer as an individual file but it only works with YouTube videos. I also have used this program to strip the music out of videos and save them as a MP3 music file.

                          If I knew how to use CAD I would have instead purchased a laser cutter but since I don't I picked the ScanNcut machine instead. The only limitation of this machine is that it will only cut up to 1.5 mm (about 1/16" thick) so in cutting rood trusses in O Scale I will have to cut two and glue them together to get the thickness that I need.

                          I purchased the Cutting Pen Holder and the Deep Cut Blade in order to be able to cut the deepest cut in basswood.

                          One other thing that I didn't like is that I had to order the machine from Walmart and have it shipped to the store as I don't like home delivery due to all the thefts that we have here. Then I had to order the Deep Cut Blade and Blade Holder from Joann's since you can't order them through Walmart and have it shipped to your local store. I do like to use Walmart for ordering things as you can order alot of things online that Walmart doesn't stock in any of their stores and have it shipped to your local store.

                          If I would have chosen a laser cutter I saw one online somewhere last week for around $2000.00 which doesn't require that you install a ventilation system to get rid of the smoke and burnt smell of laser cutting wood. The laser machine lets you cut alot deeper in wood, 1/4" deep at least.

                          A question was asked in a previous post if you could cut out an O scale box with fold marks. It should be able to as the machine will cut down to a 5MM area. I have downloaded a box image and will try to do it sometime this week.

                          The ScanNcut CM350 machine sells for $299.95 and will cut up to a 12" x 12" area while the ScanNcut CM650 sells for $699 and will handle a 12" x 24" cutting area. I mainly purchased the CM350 machine to cut out roof trusses for an O scale sawmill and engine house that I want to scratch build. Roof trusses are not fun to build as they have to be precise and even building them in jigs they might not all turn out the same. I probably could have someone laser cut them for me but it more than likely would be an expensive project as I would have to pay someone to make CAD drawings for me too.

                          I will share some photos of my results as soon as I test out all of the cutting adjustment.

                          Jack M


                          • Thanks for the very good report on the cutting machine Bob, and Jack'. Definitely food for thought'"blue"> :up:



                            • If you would rather design your cut projects on your computer there is a free program called

                              canvas workspace as mentioned. I have only had time to quickly check this out and it seems to

                              work quite well but so far I have not seen anything that you can do there that cannot be

                              done right on the machine. I do have a lot to learn though.



                              • I was ordering a spare cutting mat and regular blade just to have on hand and I noticed an

                                "Embossing Kit" that sounded interesting so I ordered one of those too.