Table top guillotene cutter question

Hi everyone. I came across a great deal on a paragon tabletop cutter, but seems to be missing the adjustment wheel and worm drive for the gate. Is this something i can get replaced? Or is this cutter hopeless?

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Not sure if you mean the screw for the clamp or the one that adjusts the back gauge. Neither one should be impossible to replace by a competent machinist. Probably not cheap, though.

I have a Paragon cutter and can help with photos and measurements, but mine is a floor standing press, I think 23”.

Here are some photos to help with what’s missing. it’s actually missing the crank in the front, and the worm gear/drive that moves the gate.

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Trip to the scrapyard and rob as many useable bits of the leadscrew off an old lathe from these you may be able to fashion the fittings that affix everything in place in order to rig a moving backfence . It may be possible that your machine never had it fitted ,maybe a cheaper version of one without but having the fixing points of the up market model in the castings ,you can check by looking to see if the holes in the fixing points are tapped or not just beneath the front of the machine .

Can that piece be manually repositioned and locked down without the adjustment wheel? Would it really be useless without that?

This back fence was adjusted and locked down manually - I see no evidence that were was ever a screw and handle attached.

You can buy acme threaded rods online and acme nuts to match. Much cheaper than a machine shop, from the same place you should be able to buy hand wheels. If you’re handy you could fab a threaded front support from an acme nut and some flat stock. You might need a machine shop for some lathe work for the handle and the (shoe) or rear guide. You need to be printer, pressman and part blacksmith to make it all work.

the guy i might buy it off of is actually a machinist and has his own shop. He quoted me $400 to fabricate what’s needed. I have a feeling that’s a little much. what do you guys think?

Looks like you just have a large washer and nut at the underside of the table for the back fence. He would have to turn a proper part for the spindle to go through, the spindle, the spindle bracket which holds the spindle to the table and a handwheel, which even used goes for 40 -60 bucks. So, he is asking 400 for all that, go for it, seems more than fair in my eye.

Unless you’re planning on doing a lot of cutting, I’d recommend living with it as is for a bit (providing the back gauge can be locked in place squarely). it’d be a bit of a pain to adjust a lot, but a lot cheaper. I’ve seen a number of good cutters sell for less than $400.

You could cut a few blocks of wood to sizes you’d cut frequently (minus the width of the clamp?) to make life easier.

Hi Jason,

I don’t know if the $400 fabrication estimate is on top of another cost for the cutter, or for a finished working cutter with all necessary parts. I suggest you look around a bit - you can find a complete working machine fairly easily within that budget and not have to worry about kluged parts. Try Bindery Tools - they have several in stock and are great to work with: (, or contact John Barrett at Letterpress Things (, he’s incredibly helpful.
Good luck!

Thanks everyone. I just called him and its been sold.