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Subject: Punching counters : advices for newbie ? rss

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Narff
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Hi all !
Well, it will be a silly question, but since I'm pretty new to wargames, and since I don't own the "perfect solution for counter clipping" for now (see here https://boardgamegeek.com/thread/753278/implementing-perfect... and https://boardgamegeek.com/thread/1741079/good-corner-cutter-... ), I wondered if there were some "tricks" that experienced wargamers knew & were using when they are punching counters of a new wargame.

I'm asking this to limit as much as possible the need of clipping counters (some have... not very aesthetic-punched counters), and too because I only punched three wargames for now, and each time I was really afraid to damage the counters :S (and after that, I'm afraid to damage them if they're not perfect "squares")
And finally, would a nail clipper be sufficient to limit the damages ?
I really can't afford to buy a lot of games, so I want them to last as much as possible and I would like to avoid the purchase of pricey material

Please forgive my english and the chaotic questions
Thanks in advance for any advice !
 
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Eddy Sterckx
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Re: Punching counters : advices for newby ?
You seem a bit stressed out about it - which is the exact opposite of what you should do when punching counters : be gentle and patient. And remember they're pieces of cardboard meant to be played with, not pristine collector's items.
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Tim Parker
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Re: Punching counters : advices for newby ?
Be very, very careful punching out ANY Decision Games product!
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Ronald
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Re: Punching counters : advices for newby ?
I found this guide very helpful.
https://boardgamegeek.com/geeklist/37769/how-clip-your-count...
(Bonus points for not needing expensive special equipment)
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Re: Punching counters : advices for newby ?
Don't punch them out, cut them out. Use an X-Acto/hobby knife to cut the rows of counters from the frame. Then use the knife to separate each counter from its row.

The extent to which this is necessary can vary from game to game depending on the quality of the die cutting. Often it's just corners and nubs you need to cut. The point is don't just "punch them out" because that tends to turn into tearing them out and you end up with the unsightly frayed corners everybody wants to clip off. Cut them out and you can avoid most of the fraying issue without resorting to clipping.
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Etien
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Re: Punching counters : advices for newby ?
RitterFips wrote:
I found this guide very helpful.
https://boardgamegeek.com/geeklist/37769/how-clip-your-count...
(Bonus points for not needing expensive special equipment)


All good except for the octagon shape as a result of using fingernail clipper. My suggestion is to invest in an Oregon Deluxe Corner Rounder (2.5mm is the preference for most) and you will be rewarded in dividends of pure aesthetic wargaming joy!
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Ronald
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Re: Punching counters : advices for newby ?
The might be an option over the pond, but here in Europe they can cost 140€ and more. Too expensive for me.
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Narff
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Re: Punching counters : advices for newby ?
eddy_sterckx wrote:
You seem a bit stressed out about it - which is the exact opposite of what you should do when punching counters : be gentle and patient.

Yeah, price of games and lack of experience makes me a bit stressful, that's why I finally decided to ask for some opinion & advice
I'm really gentle with my games, and especially when I try to punch a new one, but punching counters of a wargame... is in the same time pleasant (yeah, lot of counters !) and frightening (beware of not hurting any !).
It's especially stressful when they don't want to detach easily and that you lack experience : "Is this normal ?! Will I ruin this whole bunch of counters ?!". But concerning this, I'll follow the advice from RitterFips : next time I think I'll simply use one X-Acto knife like in the guide if there's any issue.
eddy_sterckx wrote:
And remember they're pieces of cardboard meant to be played with, not pristine collector's items.

That may be stupid, but I really needed to hear that Thank you !

catosulla wrote:
Be very, very careful punching out ANY Decision Games product!

Oh I see, I'll be really careful if I'll buy one, thanks for the warning !

RitterFips wrote:
I found this guide very helpful.
https://boardgamegeek.com/geeklist/37769/how-clip-your-count...
(Bonus points for not needing expensive special equipment)

Yeah, this guide seems really useful ! I saw it and kept the idea of the nail clipper, but now I think I'll get an X-Acto knife too, it seems to help a lot. I don't know if I'll do the clipping, but at least pre-cut the counters, and having a nail clipper to adjust some bad punched sounds pretty nice (and not expensive which is a big +1).

Thanks both of you for the help !
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Narff
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Re: Punching counters : advices for newby ?
rayofsunshine wrote:
Don't punch them out, cut them out. Use an X-Acto/hobby knife to cut the rows of counters from the frame. Then use the knife to separate each counter from its row.

The extent to which this is necessary can vary from game to game depending on the quality of the die cutting. Often it's just corners and nubs you need to cut. The point is don't just "punch them out" because that tends to turn into tearing them out and you end up with the unsightly frayed corners everybody wants to clip off. Cut them out and you can avoid most of the fraying issue without resorting to clipping.

That's exactly the conclusion where I finally arrived with the others answers (and my limited experience), so thanks for confirming it.
It seems indeed to be the best solution for having clear counters, and not needing to clip them. So I think I'll go this way
Any advice concerning "unsightly frayed corners" when you have some ? My idea is to try to correct it with nail clipper : is there a better way ?

smic wrote:
[...]
All good except for the octagon shape as a result of using fingernail clipper. My suggestion is to invest in an Oregon Deluxe Corner Rounder (2.5mm is the preference for most) and you will be rewarded in dividends of pure aesthetic wargaming joy!

Well, clipping in octogon isn't planned for now : currently I mainly feel the need of having "clean" counters, clipped isn't needed (I know, I'm an heretic for the moment ), but maybe later and then, if I want to clip them, I think I'll go round, not octogon And be aware that Oregon Deluxe Corner Rounder are very hard to find in Europe, and especially at decent price (which is a concern for me).

RitterFips wrote:
The might be an option over the pond, but here in Europe they can cost 140€ and more. Too expensive for me.

Exactly XD But it seems that you can sometimes find at more affordable prices (see here : https://boardgamegeek.com/article/25282090#25282090 ).
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Ronald
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Ah good to know. When i looked for those things i was shocked by the prices and immediately crossed them from my want-to-by-list. 40€ including shipping does not sound bad at all.
 
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Narff
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RitterFips wrote:
Ah good to know. When i looked for those things i was shocked by the prices and immediately crossed them from my want-to-by-list. 40€ including shipping does not sound bad at all.

Yes, but be warned that I don't know if it's official Oregon Deluxe Corner Rounder or another brand.
 
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James
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Get a Swann Morton scalpel and some 10A blades and you will live a happy and prosperous life.

http://www.swann-morton.com/product/123.php


I say avoid nail clippers and trim tufts with your scalpel.
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narff wrote:
Any advice concerning "unsightly frayed corners" when you have some ? My idea is to try to correct it with nail clipper : is there a better way ?


For the few bad corners I get (usually the result of misjudging how easily the counters are separating and skipping the knife) I simply use the X-Acto knife again. The idea is to remove as little material as possible to clean it up.
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Michael McLean
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+1 for an x-acto knife. And be sure to look at the back of each counter sheet. Some sheets look like they are punched really well from the front only to find that the back wasn't cut completely. You can pull the back of a counter off if you don't see that before you start.

Most problems can be avoided by being careful and using a good, sharp x-acto knife.
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Kevin
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rayofsunshine wrote:
Don't punch them out, cut them out. Use an X-Acto/hobby knife to cut the rows of counters from the frame. Then use the knife to separate each counter from its row.

The extent to which this is necessary can vary from game to game depending on the quality of the die cutting. Often it's just corners and nubs you need to cut. The point is don't just "punch them out" because that tends to turn into tearing them out and you end up with the unsightly frayed corners everybody wants to clip off. Cut them out and you can avoid most of the fraying issue without resorting to clipping.


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Etien
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moujamou wrote:
Get a Swann Morton scalpel and some 10A blades and you will live a happy and prosperous life.

http://www.swann-morton.com/product/123.php


I say avoid nail clippers and trim tufts with your scalpel.


And besides, you can do surgery on the side when not wargaming.
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John Forse
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Some people cut them out but I've never done that. Maybe if I get something really special and old I will.

If two are stuck together, I usually lay them flat and pull them apart. Otherwise I punch from the front and pull the excess holding card away with gentle non-twisting motions. Most of my collection is GMT games though so I may have it easy. Rarely does anything delaminate or tear. If some layers come apart, I apply some PVA glue with a toothpick.

If you cut then clipping probably isn't necessarily. Since I punch, I also clip. I made a jig by sanding off the corner of a slim CD case. The result holds the counter and allows a small corner to protrude. A straight-edged nail clipper work pretty well for it.
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Narff
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moujamou wrote:
Get a Swann Morton scalpel and some 10A blades and you will live a happy and prosperous life.

http://www.swann-morton.com/product/123.php [...]

May I ask... why this over an X-Acto knife ? And... where do you purchase this kind of things ? XD

rayofsunshine wrote:
narff wrote:
Any advice concerning "unsightly frayed corners" when you have some ? My idea is to try to correct it with nail clipper : is there a better way ?


For the few bad corners I get (usually the result of misjudging how easily the counters are separating and skipping the knife) I simply use the X-Acto knife again. The idea is to remove as little material as possible to clean it up.

Ok thanks ! So X-Acto it will be then ! Any advice for the operation ?

gocamels wrote:
+1 for an x-acto knife. And be sure to look at the back of each counter sheet. Some sheets look like they are punched really well from the front only to find that the back wasn't cut completely. You can pull the back of a counter off if you don't see that before you start.

Most problems can be avoided by being careful and using a good, sharp x-acto knife.

Okay, noted ! Thanks for sahring your experience & (good) advices.

With everything you said all, I think an X-Acto knife will be my absolutely needed friend when I'll welcome a new game, or to correct mistakes
Now I have to buy one (if I don't have already one somewhere), but this should be very easy to find
Oh, any advice on the shape of the blade of the X-Acto ?

Thanks again to everyone who helped and answered to this thread !
 
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James
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narff wrote:
moujamou wrote:
Get a Swann Morton scalpel and some 10A blades and you will live a happy and prosperous life.

http://www.swann-morton.com/product/123.php [...]

May I ask... why this over an X-Acto knife ? And... where do you purchase this kind of things ? XD


I suppose the one is a good as the other. I've used the swann scalpel a lot for making models of buildings and wouldn't consider using a different knife. Preference really. For blade shape, look at the 10A scalpel blade. It's the one for the job.
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Narff
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moujamou wrote:
I suppose the one is a good as the other. I've used the swann scalpel a lot for making models of buildings and wouldn't consider using a different knife. Preference really. For blade shape, look at the 10A scalpel blade. It's the one for the job.

Oh, ok ! Well, I take note
 
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Never clipped with anything but a nail clippers. Punched with careful bending of the cardboard (had a few bad experiences with other methods laugh ). It you are careful punching, you will have nothing to worry about. Nail clippers works fine, even you you get the odd octagon, as smic puts it.

Like anything in like, you get better with time and experience. Here are some of mine, probably will cause a few heart attacks among our clipping aficionados cool


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Tor A
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I'm not fond of X-acto type razors. The paper tears easily, and the blades get dull quickly when cutting paper.

I love using a rotary cutter for quickly and safely slicing up counter sheets. You can buy one in most stores that sell sewing supplies.
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Mark Sterner
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Don't listen to people recommending knives to cut out counters. The best and safest thing is a good pair of scissors. I've used scissors ever since I kept experiencing knife slips and counter damage with x-acto knives. You'll inevitably slip. Scissors much less so, and there's just a better sense of control with them. Heed this well!
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Bob Roberts

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Been cutting out my counters with an X-Acto knife since the early 70's.
Leaves them nice and square. The way Charles Roberts intended.
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Seriously, turn off Facebook. You'll be happier.
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For God's sake, it's a game.

1) Punch.
2) Play.

Less thinking, more doing. Nobody gives a damn about your corners when they're head-down over the pieces.
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