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Subject: Steel Rule Die (Pics) rss

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Geoff Bohrer
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Well, I got my custom die from Ellison today. I had them make me a die to cut a block of 20 9/16 square counters, complete with flashing to hold them until I need to punch them.

It works wonderfully; I'm using an Accucut Zip-e-Mate machine (sixty bucks total on Ebay). My total investment in the project is about $150.00, for which I can make either perfect 9/16 counters or playing cards (I got the playing card die as well).

Now, for runs over a hundred games, I'm going to need a better press; but forprototyping and small run printing, this is perfect.

I gotta highly recommend the Ellison product; and the Custom Die Manager, Briana, was great to work with.

-Geoff
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Bob Wilson
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Re: Steel Rule Die
gbohrer wrote:
Well, I got my custom die from Ellison today. I had them make me a die to cut a block of 20 9/16 square counters, complete with flashing to hold them until I need to punch them.

It works wonderfully; I'm using an Accucut Zip-e-Mate machine (sixty bucks total on Ebay). My total investment in the project is about $150.00, for which I can make either perfect 9/16 counters or playing cards (I got the playing card die as well).

Now, for runs over a hundred games, I'm going to need a better press; but forprototyping and small run printing, this is perfect.

I gotta highly recommend the Ellison product; and the Custom Die Manager, Briana, was great to work with.

-Geoff


Can you point us to a product site?
 
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Ryan McLelland
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Re: Steel Rule Die
http://www.ellison.com/catalog/?p=custom_diedes

I think that's it.
 
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Welcome Rolling Stones
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Re: Steel Rule Die
I would be interested to see some pictures of this equipment. Sounds like fun!
 
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J. Alan Henning
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Re: Steel Rule Die
Very neat! Can you post some pictures of the tool and what you've made from it?
 
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Geoff Bohrer
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Re: Steel Rule Die
Ryan's link is correct.

I originally didn't post any pics because I wasn't sure of interest, but here ya go:


Zip-E-Mate machine, cutting accessories, and dies


The custom 9/16 counter die; the blades are inside the foam


Counters and cards cut with the dies; my aim needs to improve!

Here's the price breakdown:

Zip-E-Mate Machine (with accessories): 49.95 + 15.00 shipping

9/16 custom die: $77.00

Playing Card Die: $25.00

Total: $166.95

Ellison shipped the dies for free because of a delay in their warehouse.

The only downside is that the playing cards are bridge-size, not poker-size.

I need to mention that it was Mark Goadrich's piece on how he self-published Gene Pool that got me interested in doing die-cutting at all. Previously, I though all die-cutters were industrial machines. Thanks, Mark!

Now I have to quit playing and go write rules or Xian will eventually kill me.

-Geoff
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Welcome Rolling Stones
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Cool! Thanks for the photos!

What is the thickest cardboard it will cut?
 
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Geoff Bohrer
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Mmmm...I actually don't know. The limiting factor is the press, from what I understand. I'm currently using 11-ply chipboard (about twice as heavy as Wal-Mart posterboard) with two layers of label stuck to it and it handles it easily. How it would cut, say, tiles of heavy chipboard I can't say.
 
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King of the Dead
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GET. OUT!

That thing is swEEEEt!

Can we just give them your information and say "Give me one like that one" since they've already done it once?

Also, how long did it take from ordering to when you got it?

Presumably if we get an identical one it would be faster...

Thanks for sharing this.
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Geoff Bohrer
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I actually suggested to Briana at Ellison that there's a market for various sizes of counter-cutting dies, as well as hexes and circles, for wannabe and hobbyist game designers. Right now their two main markets are scrapbooking and elementary school teachers.

Feel free to ask for the same die, using my name. If they say there's a copyright issue, let 'em know I've placed the design in the public domain (which I do, published in this post).

If there's still a problem, or if they didn't keep the plan, here it is:

http://arizoft.com/atgames/customdieplan.pdf

Feel free to use it as you see fit! I won't darken the doors over at BGDF; but if anyone wants to post it over there, again, feel free.

Bear in mind that the press I'm using is made by a different company (Accucut), and I only bought it 'cuz it waas the absolute cheapest way to go. However, Ellison does sell several relatively inexpensive ($100-125) presses.
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Geoff Bohrer
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I forgot to answer how long it took. From putting in the first request for a quote to having the die in my hand was five weeks, which I considered OK. However, two weeks of that tme was a delay because there was a problem in the warehouse. I had ordered, at the same time, a die that was on clearance and went OOS while my order was being filled. Someone at Ellison forgot to flag the order, so it just sat.

As I said, they then shipped effectively free (actually, they 2nd-dayed it when I'd ony paid for UPS ground), so I feel they took good care of me.
 
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David Longstreet
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Thanks for the hot tips! I had no idea that die-cut counters were within my grasp.

I do want to say however that your experience with Briana at Ellison was quite different than mine. I found the woman rude, and most disinterested in helping me place an order. It finally prompted me to look around and find an alternative source for a custom die...cross-cuts.com. As it stands now I have ordered my die through them (with minimal hassle) and Briana has never even bothered to produce an estimate (nor do I think she ever will)! Go figure.

 
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Marlin Deckert
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You might also check out your local school district's teacher resource center. In my district, there is a central location where teachers can get materials and they also have laminating and die-cutting machines. The center is open to the public, at no charge, other than any materials you might use. I laminated some poster board and punched out 1" (on edge) hexagons for a game I'm prototyping. Total cost was about $8 for a few sheets of poster board and the laminating.
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Friedemann de Pedro
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Hi, theres another possibility:

For my Prototyps from „Duel in the dark“ I go to a local Printer with a computer drawing of the die, and he make the die and I slam it with a rubber-hammer out of the stock, so you can smash also 2mm thick cardboard and u can design every shape u want. For every die you have to pay round about 50 Euros when its not too complicated. Look at http://www.boardgamegeek.com/game/27048 on every photo from my prototype you will see that it works...

Friedemann
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That is very, very cool!

Every little idea I have floating around in my head has always been nixed by the effort to get it prototyped.

The card die alone has tons of possibilities.

I am particularly interested in the possibility of a hexagon die...

Thanks for sharing!
 
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Russ Williams
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I've never been sure how this works; it is simply like pressing a set of knife blades (rigidly attached to a board) straight down into the cardboard, with no side-to-side sawing motion? How long before the blades get dull; are they easily resharpened?
 
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Friedemann de Pedro
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Hi Russ,
the blades could be used for 1000 times, i proofed this and they are absolutly sharp...steel is harder than paper...

Friedemann
 
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Geoff Bohrer
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Russ, I've got about 500 cuts on mine now. I've used up one cutting pad, but the lades themselves show no sign of dullness.
 
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David Etherton
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Dumb question -- in the 9/16"ths die, why are there gaps in the blades? Is that necessary for manufacturing reasons or just so that after they're punched the counters can be shipped without falling out everywhere?

Thanks,

-Dave
 
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Phil Fry
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How is the Zip e'Mate holding up? From the picture it looks like it might not be as sturdy as some of the other die cutters.
 
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Geoff Bohrer
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Very well, actually. About a thousand cuts so far. Gone through 2 cutting pads.

Nothing's loose or broken. Much to my surprise.

I hope to upgrade eventually.
 
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Phil Fry
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gbohrer wrote:
Very well, actually. About a thousand cuts so far. Gone through 2 cutting pads.

Nothing's loose or broken. Much to my surprise.

I hope to upgrade eventually.


Thanks, Geoff. I found one online for $20 + $7 shipping. I guess I better grab it.
 
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Phil Fry
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Hey Geoff,

How big are the gaps in the blades (to hold the counters in the sprue)?

Thanks.
 
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Geoff Bohrer
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Mine are 1/16".
 
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Isaac Citrom
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I remember discussing this with Ellison. One thing to do in order to get accurate cuts are to add positioning pins onto the die. Then you make a couple of wholes with a punch in your material. You then place your material onto the pins. You ought to get a perfect cut every time. Ellison will place the pins on the die if you ask them.

I would very much like to do the same thing but not with cardboard but with 0.5mm to 1mm magnetic sheeting. I'm trying to find a way to test this out without having to purchase a very expensive Ellison machine in advance.

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