Guillotine Paper Cutter

I’m rebuilding and old paper cutter, and have a question regarding the cutting stick. The cutting stick itself is a 1/2” by 1/2” UHMW plastic about 29” long. It in turn sits in an oak wood piece with a full depth 12” channel machined into it. The wood is disintegrating so I have to replace it. My questions:
1. Right not the blade hits the center of the cutting stick. I’d like to move the grove 1/16” forward, so the blade will hit the stick just off center (thus giving 8 uses of the cutting stick instesd of just 4). Can anyone see problems with that?
2. The stick was incredibly hard to get out. What is normal in the way of positioning the stick, so it is in there good, but also replaceble?

Thanks for your comments,


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What are the dimensions of the wood piece? It sounds to me like the cutter originally might have had a larger cutting stick — most of the earlier ones were wood — and the system you have was someone’s fix to be able to use the plastic sticks. It is much more common for the stick to be positioned so the blade hits off center as you suggest.

Another possibility would be to find a cabinet shop or woodworker who has some maple about 30 inches long and have him/her rip you a few full-dimension cutting sticks and run them through a planer to smooth the surfaces and machine them to the final dimensions. Shouldn’t be a very difficult project and you’d be cutting on wood as original.



I made a cutting stick holder for my cutter, similar to the one you are describing. I certainly would position the plastic stick so you can rotate it as you describe to get 8 positions.

I did make my own wooden sticks prior to doing the holder, but I find using the plastic stick insert, my blades seem to last longer.

John Henry

The cutting stick holder on my Peerless Gem was also unusable. I had one made from Corian with the cutting stick slightly offset. It works great. I use plastic sticks from American Printing Equipment.

Thanks for those comments!

Bob, I’m not at home so I can not get the actual dimensions. But the thing I was puzzled by was that the wood piece, which is roughly 1.25” wide and a bit more than 3/4” deep, could not be slid out to the side opening in the frame that the blade and holder travel in. The only way it can be removed is upward (and it is likely going to break apart doing that). You mentioned maple. If I make a plastic stick carrier should I make it out of maple or oak as it is now?

Henry, from my reading that is what I have seen, the blade should last longer. So that is what I’m going to do, rebuild the wood to fit very snug into the bed and have a slot for a 1/2”x1/2” plastic cutting stick.

How tight should the plastic stick fit into the wood? Or is it pushed into the slot from above with a thin paper wrapping to hold tight?

Thanks again,