Paypah Cuttah

I received a tip yesterday from a reliable source (Thanks, Matt!) for a smallish guillotine paper cutter available on the North Shore advertised on Craigslist. (Thanks, Craig!) After taking in the Vandercook, Colt’s Armory and two double-wide type cabinets last fall, I was quite sure I had maxed out my usable floor space without risk of sealing off some corner of the shop. I’m very fortunate to have a great relationship with a local offset printing company in town who lets me cut paper on its giant thumb-activated hydraulic cutter, so I basically gave up on a search for my own full-size, floor model guillotine. But in this case both the size and the price were right. That combined with a friendly, motivated seller put me on 495 North first thing this morning, aimed for scenic, charming Byfield, Massachusetts.

If you’ve ever asked yourself whether a Challenge 193 HL can fit in the back of a Subaru Forester, I can tell you that it just fits.

Getting it out was, ahem, a challenge. Being a sole proprietor has a few drawbacks and one of them is not having anyone else around to help you crush yourself under 475 pounds of iron. The recent undertaking of lifting the Vander- cook off its rolling cart and into position (Thanks, Jamie!) gave me enough confidence to attempt the extraction with a pry bar and a mixed-length stack of 2x4s. And it all went relatively smoothly despite the massive weight and the fact that the cutter was wider than the shop door. It took some clever maneuvering, but I made it through on my trusty rolling workbench. So glad I didn’t already remove the wheels in anticipation of using it to support a large piece of slate on its way from Vermont.

It took about two hours, but I eventually got the cutter into position and blocked as high as I felt was safe for a one-man operation. Then I went looking for help. (Thanks, Clayton!) The last inch was a bit of an adventure, but once on the galley cabinet it slid easily into place. Now it looks like it’s been there the whole time. It wants a thorough scrubbing and possibly a new paint job, however the only thing that really matters to me is that it cuts the paper. And you know what: it cuts the paper!

(Thanks, Tim!)