How to Cut Siser® Vinyl on the Juliet™ High-Definition Cutter
If you’ve taken the leap into the land of high-definition cutters, welcome to the Siser® Family and congratulations on making the choice to bring home this beautiful machine! Juliet™ is more than just a looker. She’s also a powerful creative force capable of cutting fine detail fast. From vinyl like HTV and PSV to cardstock, craft foam, and so much more, Juliet quietly conquers all kinds of materials. But don’t let yourself be intimated, it’s time to get that baby out of the box and start having fun!
Your first project can be the most frustrating if you’re unsure where to start. Never fear, the Siser Blog is here to help! Keep reading for a few crucial tips that will get you set up smoothly so you can soar into your next project.
Adjust the Blade
Each Juliet comes with 2 types of blades and 1 blade holder. The 45° blade and 60° blade both fit inside the Blade Holder so when buying replacements, you only need to purchase the blades themselves. A 45° blade is great for general use and a 60° blade is ideal for thicker materials and extra fine details.
This style of blade is common with professional cutters and allows you to finely adjust the blade exposure. You won’t need the blade out too far though. The length of a credit card’s thickness will do the trick for most projects! To bring the blade further in or out, loosen the golden screw at the top then twist the red barrel until the blade reaches the desired length and tighten the golden screw to lock it in place.
Once adjusted, be sure to place the Blade Holder so that the groove is below the knob on the Tool Holder. If the blade is placed with the groove about the knob, it will not be able to cut properly.
Keep in mind that some materials (such as glitter cardstock or felt) wear down a blade quicker. Many people dedicate certain blades to certain materials in order to extend the life and quality of other blades.
Cut With or Without a Mat
One of the many benefits of Juliet is the ability to cut with or without a mat. Cutting without a mat can speed up your workflow when working with large sheets or rolls of material. But if your project calls for scraps, then a cutting mat can still be extremely useful.
Siser Cutting Mats come in several sizes:
- 12″ x 12″ Light Tack
- 12″ x 12″ High Tack
- 12″ x 24″ High Tack
Align and Load Material or Mat
Whether you decide to use a mat or not you’ll want to load the media in the machine as straight as possible. We made this super easy to do by providing a few guidelines. When using a cutting mat, line up the edge of the mat with the arrows on the left edge. When not using a cutting mat, you can take advantage of the full 13.5″ cutting width and ignore the arrows. From there you can choose the front lip or first crease line to bump the mat or material up to and lock it in place.
While adjusting the material, make sure the lever in the back is lowered so that the pinch rollers are up and out of the way. When everything is lined up nice and straight, raise the lever to bring the rollers back down. Lastly, use the arrows on the touch screen to move the material until the blade is aligned with the bottom left corner. Now you’re almost ready for your first cut!
How To Test Cut on Juliet
A test cut is the most important step you can take at the beginning of every project. This small act is the best way to reduce wasted material, time, and effort. We treasure test cutting so much that we built it right into the home screen on the touchpad! Look for the little t-shirt shape in the bottom, right corner of the touch screen and tap it whenever you want to do a test cut.
On that same touch screen, you can also choose from a variety of pre-set cut settings. Select whichever is most applicable to your material and press the t-shirt shape to perform a test cut right on the spot where your blade is positioned. Once cut, there’s no need to unload the mat or material. Simply advance it forward to weed the test cut right on the machine, make your adjustments, and move on to the meat of your project quicker than other craft cutters can.
How to Spot A Good Test Cut
A test cut is nothing if you don’t know what you’re looking for. Here are the 3 signs of a good cut for any kind of vinyl:
Sign #1: Easy Weeding
If you can remove the inner circle and outer excess of the t-shirt shape with little to no resistance, that it is a good sign!
Sign #2: Barely There Cut Lines
If you can’t see any cut lines on the carrier after removing the t-shirt shape, or if they’re faintly visible- that is a good sign!
Sign #3: Complete Shapes
If each shape weeds out complete without snagging in any corners or having trouble removing it away from the rest of the sheet that is a good sign!
But what if your test cut was less than stellar? Here are a couple common bad test cuts and how to fix them.
How to Fix a Bad Test Cut
Scenario #1: Cut Too Light
If your shapes are impossible to weed out, or you can get them out but it takes some work and the edges are stuck in spots so it’s not a clean cut, then it’s likely the cut was not deep enough.
Scenario #2: Cut Too Deep
If your shapes weed out easily, but so does the backing of the vinyl then you know you cut too deep. Cutting clear through the material is an obvious sign of cutting too deep. But you can also get a clue the cut is too deep by feeling the material from the carrier or liner side of the material. If you can feel the cut line, then you most likely need to back off a bit.
So how do you fix these flawed cuts? The first step is to adjust your force. Select a lower or higher number depending on which problem you’re experiencing, and test cut again. If the cut is still not quite right after going through the force numbers, then you can adjust your blade length and try again. All this trial and error may seem unnecessary, but it’s better to dial in your settings on a smaller scale before tackling a huge project and finding out the vinyl is impossible to weed afterwards.
Once you’ve found the sweet spot setting, you can save over the pre-set or save it as a brand new one right on Juliet’s touch screen.
Start Your First Project with Juliet
Now you’re ready to start your first project with Juliet and Leonardo™ Design Studio! You can learn more about the compatible software in this video. And you can even download a trial version right here on the Siser North America website before purchasing Romeo from retailers like Michaels Craft Stores, Joann Fabric and Craft Stores, or your local Authorized Distributor (email us at Info@SiserNA.com to find an Authorized Distributor today!) Of course, if you already bought Romeo then Leo comes along for free!
Feel like you need to know a bit more about the basics of vinyl first? I got you! Check out this Beginner Basics blog post for a list of terms you need to know!
Or maybe you’re ready to move on to something more complex? Lucky for you, Juliet is also capable of print and cut plus you can even swap out the blade for a Siser Sublimation Marker. Keep your eye on our YouTube channel for these tutorials and more coming soon!
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