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Thread: Cutting Styrene Chop it vs Chopper II, ect

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    Default Cutting Styrene Chop it vs Chopper II, ect

    Hi guys, I'm not new to scatch building but I want a reliable cutting tool. I have a chop it but the problem is that particle board where the blade comes in contact with is now cut out from making so many cuts. Are there any other products which you would prefer. I saw there was a Chopper II vs the Chop it.


    Ryan

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    I have the Chopper 2 works as should , the chop it is a less costly equivalent , I do think the Chopper 2 is worth the extra money.
    As long as I can model in N-scale, I know I'm not old

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    I have one of the original Choppers. I'm ashamed to say that my base hasn't worn that much. The base is just a piece of Masonite® or similar hard board. Easy enough to cut a new one. Just need to be careful to get the blade handle square to the fence.
    Tim Rumph
    Modeling the Southern Railway in N-Scale

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    I use a Chopper II a lot and am happy with it. It is robust. It comes with a cutting board insert that over time gets a very thin kerf from the razor. After several years and thousands of cuts, I recently turned the insert 90 degrees to get a fresh surface. So I'm 25% of the way thru needing to order a new insert. The grid on the insert is particularly useful for free-hand (without a stop) cutting.

    Its not perfect. Specifically (and probably in common with the chip it):
    You can't make a cut longer than the blade...
    I've nicked my finger many a time on the front corner of the blade while positioning stock for a cut.
    Getting a square cut on thicker stock is problematic. If you shove the stock against the stop, as the blade comes down it fills the kerf. But there is no kerf so it pushes the free end of the stock away from the stop to make room, causing the cut to be at a slight angle. To overcome this you have to push the free end (which may be pretty small) very firmly toward the stop. Similarly if you are cutting tubular, to get a square cut you have to set the stop, cut part way thru then rotate and repeat all sides.

    Probably specific to Chopper II:
    The blade is not set far enough back, so cutting square tubular as the blade comes down in an arc the back corner misses the back edge of the stock and leaves it uncut.
    The hold-downs knobs are not knobs, they are nuts on a threaded rod. When you loosen it you should be backing the rod out of the base, but sometimes you are backing the nut off the rod. I've gone hunting for that spring several times when the nut came off instead of the rod coming out.
    Due to the hold-down geometry and the shape of the stop with the right angle, you can't position the right angle on the square very far from the blade.
    The squares are stamped steel which means the edges are flat on one side but rounded on the other side. It's a problem when cutting very thin stock as the stock slides under the rounded corner instead of stopping at the edge.
    I use my steel ruler as a stop to get around these last two problems.

    Don't get me wrong, this sounds negative but I can't imagine working with styrene without it.

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    Sounds like Ill end up getting the chopper II then. Thanks for the input!!!

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