How do you build a homemade paper sheeter?

I have an assortment of paper end rolls from a newspaper. I would like to turn them into sheets for use in my iron hand presses. It came to mind that these newsprint sheets would be useful for cheaper initial press runs before using higher quality paper sheets for finished products.

Does anyone have a story or link to a homemade paper sheeter? Can’t imagine I’m the first one faced with this possibility. One printer told me his experience and advised against taking a circular saw into the roll of paper.

Are there any best methods? I’d like to avoid unrolling and individually cutting each sheet with a scissors.

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What about the dispensers for kraft or butcher paper?

i used to work at a news paper and there is a tool for this purpose we used it a lot as this end rolls ended up in offset machines for cheap work such as political advertising it was made of plastic and worked as cutter wedge you took lets say 5 to 7 sheets at a time and ripped the paper it was not a straigh cut so you ended up with a roll where the top sheets were larger than the last ones of course this then went to the guillotine. at the offset presses we were very glad when this paper arrived with all its moisture and inconveniences

Will the press allow you to bypass or go straight through the individual units and feed the unprinted paper directly to the sheeter, where you might be able to divert it before it hits the folder. I know it’s not good to run the roll empty during a press run but if you’re not printing maybe it could be done that way?

Otherwise unroll it and cut or tear it seems like the alternative. If you had a wheel-type cutter that might not be too onerous — pull the end out to a stop, zip with the cutter, lay the cut sheet on a pile, rinse and repeat. If you could find a big enough cutting board and a fabric cutting wheel … or a pizza cutter on a piece of wood if you don’t care about scoring the wood …


Here’s a company which sells many different tools for stripping paper off of a core (a core is the printing industry’s term for the paper tube which the roll of paper is wound on):

You can click on the different ones at the right side of the screen, to see different types.

I have worked in several web pressrooms and have used this type of tool also. For some of these tools, you just jamb the pointed end of the tool between the wraps of paper, several wraps down in the roll. The paper ruptures where the tool is, and you just push it across the roll, as phase4 says above. Other tools actually have a blade incorporated in them which cuts the paper.

I volunteer in a pioneer village where we cut paper off rolls to use in our A. B. Taylor hand press all the time. The village buys paper in rolls because it is cheaper. What I do though, is to cut across the roll over and over until I get it all cut off. (You could use a utility knife, or heavy duty box cutter. Even safer would be the kind of knife whose retractable blade automatically retracts unless you hold the blade holder tab open with your finger). As phase4 also says, the sheets get smaller and smaller as you cut nearer and nearer to the core. However, after I get all the paper cut off, I just take about a 1 to 2 inch thick stack of paper over to our big ancient guillotine, and cut the biggest sheets I can out of it. Then I take another 1 to 2 inch thick stack and do the same, but the sheets I get out of that stack will not be as big, of course. Anyway, whatever you do, consider safety first. Working with an open blade is very dangerous and you need to think of every possible way you could cut yourself, and then develop a procedure which will avoid all of those ways.

I have also taken an electric saw to rolls of food carton boxboard, but don’t recommend it. It is dangerous, mainly because if you don’t keep the saw going perfectly straight, it can kick out of the roll and severely injure you (not to mention messing up your cutting job). (Also, the roll has to be blocked tightly so it can’t roll, before you start). It is messy because the saw throws paper dust everywhere, and it dulls the blade fast. So don’t do it that way!

Not too difficult, the remainder of the roll inc.. its core laid flat on any reasonable work surface, 4 purpose made wedges with reasomable fit circumference to match the wrap around of the reel, and with a Stanley knife (exacto possibly) against a steel straight edge and just slit away to infinity.
The layers will automatically fold down and away, for subsequent guillotining.
Of course the size will diminish as the reel gets smaller.!

If this a problem resort to plan *b* i.e. mount the entire reel, horizontally, quite high on a suitable spindle and pull it down progressively into a simple purpose made catchment box at appropriate size, to produce Square CONCERTINA style sheets/blocks.

The concertina web then slit in blocks suitable for guillotining.!!!

If possible look up on the Web, Stateside *Continuous Stationery Machine* at full tilt??
Big Big reels at one end, Concertina style delivery at the Other End, faster than the No 2 can slit and palletise, then they still have to be trimmed out, usually on 4 sides.

We still use this method (above) for the waste from the News print Rotaries and occasionally cheat just a little and *Borrow* the purpose made Lead restrictors from the Duct(s) on the H/berg Cylinders. or similar.?? As support wedges

The above offered against the original *How to make a Homemade etc*

the tool i mentioneD looked like the end of this hammer (the seat belt cutter)
just noticed Geoffreys input that link was also one of the tools used

I made a sheeter many years ago to cut down kraft paper rolls for posters. Essentially, it worked like a big wrapping paper dispenser…..

The paper roll was on a wooden axle, supported by uprights made of ply wood. The paper was fed under a metal yardstick, that was bolted at each end, just one-washer thickness above the tabletop. To use it, I just rolled out the paper to a line drawn on the table, and tore it off against the yardstick. Then I cut it to final size with my regular cutter.

It was quick and easy. In fact, it took more thought to write the description than it did to make it.

parallel_imp - That is an option open to me. I had hoped to find something a bit less labor intensive but would you believe a few days after posting here, someone offered me use of their free metal Kraft paper roll frame? :)

phase4 - I also used to work at a newspaper and remember this tool you’re mentioning. Thank you for sharing the link.

AdLibPress - Bob, that’s a really great idea! Thank you. I’ll ask my web offset printer friend about this.

The wheel cutter idea is a good one, too.

Did anyone ever try to create a flatbed cylinder press to be fed by a paper roll?

Geoffrey and Mick on Monotype - Thanks for your well written descriptions. I suppose a large guillotine could be possible. I have some 45” blades but I would probably be better off looking for one in the area. Yes, the devil seems to be that each successive sheet would be smaller. Thanks, again!

winking cat press - Your experience was cause for me to draw any number of several possible designs. How would you automate your process? I like it a lot.

Thanks for the tips and ideas and emails off site. I’m thankful I asked the question. There appears to be more than one way to cut a paper roll into sheets and that was exactly what I was hoping to learn.