Friday, July 13, 2012

Big Shot - hints and tips

The big shot machine can cut, score and or emboss your card, and a variety of other media.  I promised the wonderful ladies from the resort I deliver workshops at, that I would post top 12 hints and tips for the Big Shot that I have learned.  I will go into more detail with photos in the next post.

The Big Shot with an example of an Embosslit Die, Textured Impressions Embossing Folder, Sizzlits Die and Bigz Die,

 1.  Safety first!  Always ensure you have the suction caps adhered to the table so that the Big Shot does not move whilst you are using it

2. Ensure you have chosen the correct spacing plates - Remember if the handle is too hard to turn then you need to reduce the spacing plates, if your embossed image is faint or an image is not cut out properly increase your shims - a piece of thin hard plastic or card works just fine.  Add one at a time to the stack to increase thickness.

3. When ever possible use your clear plates as a ramp working towards the die, embossing folder etc.

4. When you run your embossing folder or embosslits die through the machine ensure you follow the instructions on the Embosslit Die and have the said surface facing down AND ensure you have the spine/hinge of the die or folder running square into the big shot.  The hinge should be the last structure to go through the big shot parallel to the roller.

5. The big shot is a very versatile machine and can be used to cut card, material, felt, cork sheets, thin craft metal and much more.

6. SU Dies can cut comfortably through 3 sheets of SU card - NB if there is perferations eg two tags or top note then limit your card to two layers, otherwise you will loose the crisp perferations.

7. If there are score lines in the die then use the crease pad.  The crease pad gives a beautiful fold line for you to employ.  If you don't have a crease pad use a bone to compress the fibres of the card so that you can get a clean fold.

8. Use your cutting dies first THEN emboss with an embossing folder to get a crisp embossed finish.  If you want a dull finish to the embossing folder then do it the other way around ie emboss and then cut.

9. When you first use your dies or embosslits use a scrap piece of paper so that any excess foam and or oil on the blade is picked up.

10. For detailed dies eg paper doily sizzlits use a sheet of grease proof paper face down, directly on the die then add your sheet of paper.  The waxed paper is slippery and most of the small pieces of the card will fall out much more easily (yaaayy)

11. The edgelits are made (due to length and blade shape) to feed in the big shot 90 degrees to the roller, ie perpendicular to the handle.  Both edgelits in the Finishing Touches must be used this way.  I have gotten away with using the Adorning Accents Edgelits parallel to the roller but some users do find this difficult ie the blade does not cut the card or the card is cut crookedly because the die moves.

12. Use post it notes (or alike) to hold the waffer thin dies - edgelits or framelits - in place ie to minimise die slip when cutting through the big shot.  This is especially great for lining up the stamped images of the ornament keepsake bundle with the framelits die and this also enables you to use the edgelits parallel to the edge of your card.

13. Lucky last tip.  The clear plates will score and are disposable.  These are your cutting surface, NOT the white platform. So don't stress that they are marking, they are made of a material that buffers the blades in your dies and this plate protects the roller mechism that induces the pressure to mimic a press.

I hope these hints and tips help you when using your Big Shot and please if you have any questions or want any points clarified, send me an e-mail.

Happy crafting with this wonderful machine.

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