Rag Cutters

Hello all, and welcome new members! Well, after devoting the summer to designing, and building off road equipment I can again turn my attention to weaving! My studio is mostly finished, as is most of it's equipment. Since my interest lies in Scandinavian rag rugs I need to consider a better option for cutting rags. The Frasier cutter is now being produced under new management but is priced at $350.00 dollars! I'm thinking It might be time to consider something more economical that could be built at home. Perhaps some of you Home Built Equipment rag weavers have considered the same? Have any Ideas? Love to hear about them! Frank.

Comments

Posted on Tue, 08/21/2012 - 01:56

I have no idea why, but an old singer sewing machine motor comes to mind.  The main problem I have with my cutter is the speed is not adjustable, and turning it on and off is a pain.  So something with a foot controlled rheostat might be worth thinking about.  I wonder if you could use the blades for quilt cutters, although they might not be durable or strong enough.

Posted on Tue, 08/21/2012 - 07:33

I just saw a "strip it Cloth Cutter" in the Halcyon Yarn catalogue.  It is listed at $13.95 (prices can change without notice).  It is a plastic form that holds , from what I can see in the picture, 5 razor blades.  It cut four strips at a time to 1/4"; two at a time at a 1/2"; or single to 1/4", 1", 1 1/4".

It looked interesting, but I haven't tried it yet.

If pulling across razor blades works, then perhaps that could be expanded to having a rack of blades, similar to a raddle.  If you wound the cloth on the front beam and secured it to the back beam, then the cloth will be under tension (control).  Insert the razor blade raddle near the back beam, and roll the cloth from front to back and, on paper (in my mind) you would end up with strips, and a bit of waste at one end.   But I have never tried it, so.....

Tom

 

Posted on Fri, 08/24/2012 - 02:08

Hi jenjscott, and tomrsay. Both ways have merit, manual, and mechanical. I have seen the Frazier cutter motorized using a sewing machine motor with a foot pedal rheostat. I like the overall design of the Frazier, but it would be great if it could cut six 1/2" strips at once! As for the razor type, multi blades drawn across a cutting surface with side tracks might work. Kind of a photo mat cutter capable of multiple cuts at once. That design should keep the fiber dust at a minimum. Guess it's time to go to the bench and experiment. Frank.

Posted on Fri, 08/24/2012 - 04:19

I have used my Fraser cutter many times over the last 30 years.  The cutting of one strip goes so fast that one needs to slow down to keep the fabric feeding in straight.  I still cut very fast, but I also accept some variation in the size of the strip.  I try to imagine a cutter with a second blade, cutting two at a time and I think that I would prefer to cut just one at a time.  It would take too much fiddling with the fabric.  Ripping the fabric is a better choice if it is ordinary thin fabric.  It goes very fast.  There are other ideas in the Meany Pfaff book, Rag Rug Handbook.

Joanne

Posted on Fri, 08/24/2012 - 21:08

I've had rag cutting machines (David Grant), fraser, rigby, electric scissors, scissors! When I made the rug for The Henry Ford Museum, I found the best way, fastest, easiest, cleanest was to use the rotary cutter with a very sharp blade. 200 yards of fabric were stripped into 1 inch strips. You can see pics here: http://marylulich.com/?page_id=194

Probably the cheapest option. My mat underneath was pretty worthless after the 200 yards tho!

Posted on Tue, 09/09/2014 - 23:26

So Mr. Loominary - did anything ever come from this idea?

Because I'm about desperate at this point ... $400 (or more) is more than I can bear for something that will still break down my joints in use, LOL!

Posted on Wed, 09/10/2014 - 00:57

Hi ZenSojourner. Actually I have gathered some parts, and pieces, from various items, including a good used Fraser cutter, drive gears, and shafts from a bread machine,and a motor, so I guess I will be at least be motorizing the Frazer. As far as a multiple cutter we'll see down the line. I'll post anything I build with a good description. Frank

Posted on Wed, 09/10/2014 - 01:00

I have a home made strip cutter that I made out of scrap wood and a box of box cutter blades.  I use it to cut mill end rolls of fabric into up to 10 strips at once.  I have two pics below;  I tried to download more but the download failed.  If you would like more, PM me.  The knife blades are stuck in a 2x4, and the fabric is pulled through them by walking backwards from the cutter.  Works really well.

Posted on Wed, 09/10/2014 - 01:00

I have a home made strip cutter that I made out of scrap wood and a box of box cutter blades.  I use it to cut mill end rolls of fabric into up to 10 strips at once.  I have two pics below;  I tried to download more but the download failed.  If you would like more, PM me.  The knife blades are stuck in a 2x4, and the fabric is pulled through them by walking backwards from the cutter.  Works really well.

Posted on Wed, 09/10/2014 - 02:06

Another resource might be eBay.  Two just sold last weekend $130 and $91 with a blade or two with each.   It would be worth even to pay the $130 and buy a new #1 blade from Fraser direct for $55 and you are still ahead.  There is still one more on eBay for $225, but this is the second posting because it didn't sell the first auction.

annali cross

 

Posted on Wed, 09/10/2014 - 04:11

E-bay apparently deleted my account and I hate e-bay anyway.  If they deleted it, it was because it had been inactive for years - I haven't signed on since I found out they'd deleted all my buying history from when I was still a silversmith, hence I no longer have information on the original cost of several pieces of cut and polished semi-precious stones.  Anyway, not for any nefarious activity on my part, but I can't even log in any more.

But I would reconsider if I could find a Fraser cutter in good shape for under $150!

Big White Sofa Dog - yes, that does look interesting!  Not that the cutter has to be that big - but I could manage it.  I could keep it in the half of the garage that is (or will be) my pottery studio, and scoot it over to the other half for actual use when my son is away at work.  So I would have plenty of non-tripping space to walk backwards from it, LOL!

Any more information would be gratefully accepted!

Posted on Mon, 04/30/2018 - 20:22

I have looked at the Fraser cutter, however they seem to have a handle so I take it they don't make an electric one.  I'd be interested in an electric model. Do you know if anyone makes one?

Posted on Mon, 04/30/2018 - 20:22

I have looked at the Fraser cutter, however they seem to have a handle so I take it they don't make an electric one.  I'd be interested in an electric model. Do you know if anyone makes one?

Posted on Tue, 05/01/2018 - 18:27

You can buy a serger second hand for $100. It works great and replaement knives are cheep.

Posted on Wed, 05/02/2018 - 19:19

A video from youtube 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KNoZXjt_Ay0

The basic serger video

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oQww9QqVwOw

Once you remove threads and needles you end up with a cutter, and you can cut any size you want.

I suggest buying some basic old model of serger because knives for them are not expensive.  Fancy new models' knives are up to $100. And you need upper and lower one.