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Tuesday, 16 December 2014

Big Shot Use and Repair

Hi Crafters,
Dr Sonia here - I am still basking in the euphoria of having achieved something great crafty wise- I repaired my Big Shot when it had issues and now its as good as new!
I have written this post with lot of input not only from the supremely knowledgeable Shalini Mittal but from experienced crafters all over the world.
And there is a lovely surprise at the end of the post too......so do read on..)
ENJOY THE BIGGEST CHRISTMAS OFFER EVER .



Seeing the photos of the broken apart Big Shot  on my blog, I got many mails and messages asking about which was a "good" die cutting machine - Well there is no ambiguity on that one- As far as Manual Die cutting Machines go the Sizzix Big Shot is the BEST die cutting machine!! And no its not just my opinion , visit craft forums all over the world and that is what you will read - The Big Shot is the most popular machine out there!
And the Big Shot is available at Crafters Corner at the best prices.....
Before we go to how to repair the Big Shot if anything should go wrong,

Tips on Big Shot Use

1. Use the Big Shot on a hard even surface
The Big Shot is a manual die cutting machine and you use your hand to roll the handle which turns "rollers" that cut your "die - paper" between the cutting plates + /- the platform.

  • For your Big shot to exert good even pressure it should not be used on the mattress or uneven surfaces!
  • And from a medical point of view dont sit on the ground and craft-- its bad for your back! 
  • Use the Big shot on a sturdy "non wobbly" table !
2.Learn how to use the Platform
Platforms of old style and new type Big shot

If you are new to the Big Shot you may be confused about the tabs , sandwiches etc. Its actually easy and written on the platform tabs which type of dies to use on which tab of the platform!
Tab 2
Tab 1
Both tabs opened
  • Bigz dies  dont need the platform- its sandwich is "cutting plate- die- paper - cutting plate"!
  • Always take a moment to read the sandwich recommended on the die / embossing folder instruction leaflet and on the platform of your Big Shot
  • Do not use unknown/ unbranded dies as you really dont know what sandwich is required and how it will affect your machine.....If  you use non branded dies it can harm your machine to a big extent ....may be initially you wont realize it but slowly and steadily the damage can occur!You might save few pennies but will pay in dollars ....so a BIG NO TO LOCAL DIES if u want to keep your machine alive.
3. "Shims" Safety
What are shims? You may have read "add shims" as an answer to a die not cutting properly. Well a shim is a piece of card added on top of the sandwich to increase the pressure on the die. The problem with "shimming" is that its all experiment- you really dont know how many pieces of card you need to cut nicely and you may add too much and damage you machine!
What is the alternative ? - the Metal plate adapter.
The popular brands are the wafer thin die adapter by sizzix and the metal plate adapter by Cheery Lynn  .
I have the one by Cheery Lynn  and it makes my die cutting so much quicker- I hardly ever have to make multiple passes of my die and no I dont use shims!
Apart from this very essential Metal Adapter plate, to make die cutting easier, Crafters Corner has a whole range of cutting dies accessories
4. Cutting Plate Use
Cutting plates

  • When you use the Big Shot for the first time you will be mildly stunned to hear the crackling sounds - dont worry you didnt break anything!
  • You will be even more disheartened to see how quickly your beautiful cutting plate becomes scratched- still dont worry - you can use it!! 
  • Keep rotating the cutting plates [ ie  keep changing the one which goes on top and the one which goes under the die]
  • Now when should you get a new pair of cutting plates ?
Even a little crack - get a new pair!
Crack on Cutting plate
Yes I had just a tiny crack on one of my cutting plates and I continued to use it and soon my Big Shot fell ill!!
5. Do Not Force anything through your machine!

6. Dont tax your Big Shot
The Big Shot is actually meant for non commercial use - if you are going to be using it to churn out hundreds of die cuts a day ,you will make the poor thing fall ill!
How to Repair your Big Shot
Now as I already told you ,I recently had an issue with my Big Shot - shortly after its 2nd birthday and soon after I continued to use a cracked cutting plate[ I shouldn't have done that!]
Problem die cutting
The problem was it would only partially cut a die.
Shalini came to my rescue and diagnosed the problem as a bearing problem and asked me to open up the Big Shot.
So open up I had to.
Do follow a wonderfully written Big Shot bearing replacement instruction by Mechanical Engineering student Leumas Yrrep. His instructions have everything you need to repair your Big Shot.
          I am just going to give you a simple overview of how I did it so that you can muster up courage to repair your own Big Shot too in case something goes wrong.
Big Shot
  • Put the Big Shot on its back and start removing all the screws using a standard screw driver. Keep all the screws and washers carefully as there are quite a few of them.

  • Remove the Handle
Remove Handle
Use the allen key [ came with your Big Shot ] to remove the screw on the handle 
Allen Key
If you have lost the Allen key , dont worry you can simply rotate the screw and the handle will come out!

Once you have removed the handle and all the screws from the base of the Big shot things will start to fall apart.
The side panels may require a bit of force to prise them apart.

You will see the gears under the side panel on the handle side. Inspect to see if anything is amiss - eg dislodged gear, broken gear, falling bearing parts  etc

For me diagnosis was easy  as bearing parts fell out as soon as my Big Shot was opened!
Bearing Problem
In the picture above you can see the empty bearing socket and the photo below shows the crushed and broken bearing.
Broken bearing
          Do follow Leumas  Big Shot bearing replacement instructions if you get stuck at any stage while replacing with a new bearing as you do need to do be a bit rough and do a little hammering!
           Now the biggest problem for me was not opening the Big shot or putting it back together, it was getting the bearing ! I visited so many auto-sparepart shops hunting for the exact bearing, tried online bearing shops and some people even suggested I get a bearing made in the local market.
          After Shalini came to know about my experience and read my Big Shot repair post she told me the most wonderful news for Big Shot users in India : That she will provide Big Shot spare parts free to all customers who get the Big Shot from her!! Talk about fantastic Customer Service!!
I required only a small bearing but here are some of the Original Sizzix Big Shot Spare-parts Shalini has for her customers and that too for FREE !!
Sizzix Original Spareparts
I did an extensive online search about what all can possibly go wrong with the Big Shot and here is my Big Shot Repair Pinterest Board where I pinned and will keep pinning anything I find.
I hope this post  will be helpful for both newbies and experienced crafters. Do tell me how it is!

Special Offer from Crafters Corner

When  you purchase a new Big Shot from Crafters Corner.... the spare-parts are absolutely free when required *
This is the reason that when u buy  craft supplies, always buy from an authorized source .
And this is the reason I love shopping at Crafters Corner - you will get the right product , right service , right price, right information.....
Highly recommended !
Do get in touch with Shalini Mittal for more details at info@craftsercorner.in
* Terms and conditions apply .
Dr. Sonia.

24 comments:

  1. This is such an informative post that all crafters would love to see this.....awesome description and the best part Is the way simplify it ....HATTS OFF
    Thanks a ton.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thank you Shalini for all the guidance and information
    Cheers
    Dr Sonia
    Cards Crafts Kids Projects

    ReplyDelete
  3. Feel blessed to have a blogger like u...thanks for writing such posts which are so helpful.😊

    ReplyDelete
  4. Wow! Tham\nk you so much for the informative post. First thing I am going to do is buy a metal plate for shimming, since i was using card stock as you mentioned.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Gayathri the metal plate adapter will make die cutting super easy for you. If you have the Cheery Lynn butterfly die you will thank me for it!!
      Cheers
      Dr Sonia
      Cards Crafts Kids Projects

      Delete
  5. Thank you Sonia for this wonderful post on Dos and Donts with Big shot .. Well thanks to your post I just realized I add shims while using a Tim Holtz Butterfly die.. Need to get the metal plates from Shailni :) Thanks a ton .

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Remya the metal plate adapater is the most essential die cutting accessory. After getting it I hardly ever have to roll again and again especially for Cheery Lynn and other intricate dies. Nesties dont really require it but for die cutting intricate dies it makes life so easy

      Delete
  6. First of all I would like to thank you for sharing such useful instructions and that too in a very simpler way. Shalini Mittal has taken such an generous lead on the sizzix big shot machine after sales service..... All in all, we are lucky to have such a great crafty friend like Dr Sonia and an excellent crafting store owner as Shalini. ...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh such a heartwarming comment Jahnavee...makes the trouble I took in writing this post seem so worthwhile!! Thank you !!!
      Cheers
      Dr Sonia
      Cards Crafts Kids Projects

      Delete
    2. Jahnavee we are very glad to hear the same from you.....and we promise that we will try to keep getting such things for you....

      Delete
  7. Such an excellent detailed post Sonia Ji... It gave me the much needed guidance before buying a big shot with all the necessary Must-know on its use! So yess my next stop with be now crafters corner to get hold of one :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Am so glad you liked the post Bipasha!

      Delete
  8. Thanks for the wonderful info. .... especially for a beginner like me. .....lots of doubts have been cleared. Small request though ..... i have a tough time cutting chipboard with wafer thin dies ..... a tutorial would help us .. and also how to use the metal adapter ......thanks

    ReplyDelete
  9. I just want to know if spellbinders nestabilities that I ordered are compatible with the big shot teal? If yes ,is it normal for the sandwich to get a little tight when I run it through the machine?

    ReplyDelete
  10. Thanks for provides great informatic and Nice Blog, this blog is very informative & valuable for me. I will wait for your kindly new information about Auto Spare Parts in Delhi

    ReplyDelete
  11. Wow! This is amazing. I do not own a Big Shot yet, and stumbled upon this post as I was researching the where/when/why of Sizzix Big Shot in India. I am leaning towards Crafters Corner-- :D Because that is my go to place for supplies anyway. This post helped me decide! Thanks so much, Sonia!

    ReplyDelete
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