Excalibur 5000 advice

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Excalibur 5000 advice

Post by nolonstacey » Sun 27 Mar, 2022 9:58 am

Hi,

This is my first post here after reading just about everything that's ever been written here (Many thanks for all the invaluable info!). I'm kind of new to framing - which is to say I'm an artist and have been cutting my own mounts and framing my work myself, just not making the actual frames myself... until now!

I'm getting to grips with most things quite quickly, but I was hoping to pick your brains on two things:

Firstly, scoring and breaking glass. I have a brand new Keencut 5000 and the score line looks like it should, but it seems to be hit and miss as to whether I get a clean cut at the top. The glass breaks fine the rest of the way down. I guess what I'm not sure of is how you start the score with the excalibur? Do you place the scoring wheel right at the top and then bring it down, or do you start above the glass (as you would with the blade when cutting board) and bring it down allowing it to adjust to the thickness of the glass? And do you tap it right at the top to break it? I'm using 2mm float glass.

Secondly, I seem to mostly choose deep rebate mouldings, which from what I've read, isn't the easiest to work with. I've been using Larson Juhl's Micro-Tech veneers which are 40mm deep by 20mm wide. I'm getting decent corners, but not perfect. My guillotine is cutting well and the blades are definitely sharp (it's a reconditioned morso from Framers Equipment), and I have a brand new Alpa U200 underpinner. I'm stacking two 12mm v-nails about 5mm from the inside and one 12mm v-nail about 8mm from the back (I worked all of that out from info already found on here). Does that sound right? I do seem to get perfect corners when using less deep 20x20mm (for example) mouldings too.

And a follow up to the second question is, is there a rule as to whether you pin the inside or outside first, or doesn't it matter. I've been pinning the inside first.

Any advice on top of what I've already gained from you all would be greatly appreciated

Nolon
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Re: Excalibur 5000 advice

Post by prospero » Sun 27 Mar, 2022 11:04 am

Welcome to the Forum. :D

The Excalibur.....

I always start a few inches from the edge and bring the block down in one smooth movement.
Make sure the sheet is 'snugged up' to the back of the machine. If the edge is in the middle of the channel
then the sheet can flex and you get an inconsistent score. The instructions say don't clamp but I clamp it lightly.
The crucial thing is the wheel pressure. You should back it off as far as possible and then using scraps, advance it bit-by-bit
until you get a clean snap. The sound of the score will tell you when it's right. Ripping Silk. :)

As for joining deep narrow mouldings you are doing it the best way. Unless you invest in a dovetailer. :P
Some framers like to glue and clamp and then underpin. Some use std hammer/nails near the top.
Depending on the clamp and/or underpinner you can sometimes underpin with the clamp on.
There are little spring clamps you can get, but it does mean little divots in the moulding which have to be made good.

** Some folks clamp/glue which allows perfect alignment and then when the glue is set, underpin it. I'm not a great advocate
of pinning after the glue is dry as you risk straining or even breaking the glue bond. Each to his own though.... :lol:
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Re: Excalibur 5000 advice

Post by Steve N » Sun 27 Mar, 2022 11:43 am

On the Excalibur I do pretty much the same as Peter (prospero) has said, including clamping the glass, I start about 3-4mm down from the top edge of the glass, then bring the tool down to the bottom and off the sheet of glass, with the glass still clamped, I push the left hand piece of glass near the score line, you might have to work your way down the glass to break the glass, should be able to do it in one piece, just practice. I always oil the cutting wheel before cutting glass, and very rare to have any problems, going to regret that statement when I next cut glass :sweating:

Frame joining, you seem to doing it right, the problem with your underpinner is the height of the moulding fence (the bit the moulding is held against) is quite low, so for deep frames , espically box frames, the top of the moulding tends gets pushed back and out, so leaving gap. I have the same proble with the pneumatic version of the same make as yours, you really need to holad the moulding together while pinning, or use a band clamp on the whole frame, glues and clamp the band the whole frame and then use the pinner
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Re: Excalibur 5000 advice

Post by nolonstacey » Sun 27 Mar, 2022 1:24 pm

Thank you for your advice Peter and Steve.

That's interesting that you both say to start just below the top of the glass. Most of my issues have been the glass not breaking cleanly at the top and I wondered if I wasn't starting high enough - so I've been starting with the scoring wheel above the top to ensure I was scoring the entire glass. Starting a few mm or even a few inches seems the opposite of what I would have thought would work (that's why I'm here asking the knowledgable though!!). I have been clamping lightly. When I first tried the glass cutter, I thought it would be a nightmare, but had no problems at all. All of a sudden, I now have issues about half the time. That probably implies it's me doing something different.

So when it comes to snapping the glass, do you press the top edge, or tap it?

Peter, I do have a band clamp coming today which I thought might help while gluing, so I'll give that a go tomorrow.

Steve, That's interesting what you said about the height of the moulding fence - what you've described does appear to be what's happening. Knowing what's happening might help with how to hold it better though. If the top of the moulding is pushed back and out, would pinning the back before the front help?

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Re: Excalibur 5000 advice

Post by Steve N » Sun 27 Mar, 2022 3:34 pm

Hi Nolon
As to the glass cutting, if you have been starting the scoring above and off the sheet, then you may have damaged the wheel or the spindle of the wheel, this then could be the cause of your problem, I would get a new wheel to be on the safe side. It's the same if you are using a hand cutter, never use anybody else's cutter and never let anyone use yours, they are like fountain pens, they wear the nibs or in this case the wheel to the way the user uses the glass cutter or fountain pen.

As to the joining, I would fire two 12mm pins in (stacked) on the inside edge , then one in on the outer edge, don't be tempted to stack on the outer edge, as the pins tend to gon8n at an angle, which is towards the outer edge, hold tightly when firing the pins. Be even better when you use the band clamp :clap:
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Re: Excalibur 5000 advice

Post by nolonstacey » Sun 27 Mar, 2022 3:50 pm

Thanks again Steve. I see you’re in Bristol - i lived there about 15 years ago. Used to work as a fitness instructor in Kingsdown. Always loved the city.
I had another go this afternoon starting the score just below the top and it was working much better. I do have a spare wheel so I might swap it anyway, just in case I have damaged it. And can I ask, is it a press or a tap to break it?

2 stacked in the inside and one on the outside is what I’ve been doing. Got some deep oak mouldings to move onto next!

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Re: Excalibur 5000 advice

Post by Steve N » Mon 28 Mar, 2022 6:54 am

Deep solid oak is a different matter, you will need Hard Wood Pins, and you may find that you will not be able to stack them, as hard wood pins are ground sharp both side of the pin, so most likley the second pin will miss the first pin and go up the side of the first pin, use the band clamp on the oak :rock:
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Re: Excalibur 5000 advice

Post by prospero » Mon 28 Mar, 2022 9:25 pm

** I may have been a tad misleading about starting the glass score. I meant a few inches above the top edge of the sheet.
So you contact the edge 'running'. 8)
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Re: Excalibur 5000 advice

Post by nolonstacey » Tue 29 Mar, 2022 9:54 am

That's interesting! So you score the glass in a totally different way to Steve. I guess there are some things that have to be done a certain way, and others that people do all sorts of different ways.

Got the band clamp and tested it and it's working a treat! I guess I need a few more band clamps!!

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Re: Excalibur 5000 advice

Post by nolonstacey » Thu 31 Mar, 2022 8:27 am

I must admit, I'm still struggling to get a good break of the glass. I'd say I'm getting a clean break about 50% of the time - not sure if that implies it's my technique rather than the score line, but I though I'd try to take a photo of the score I'm getting. It's mostly breaking near the top, and more often than not, with larger pieces. Not sure if this is how you add images to this forum.


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Re: Excalibur 5000 advice

Post by theframer » Thu 31 Mar, 2022 8:34 am

Have you put a new cutting wheel on?

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Re: Excalibur 5000 advice

Post by nolonstacey » Thu 31 Mar, 2022 9:04 am

I didn’t in the end as I’ve only had the machine a couple of weeks (from new) and I didn’t think I’d damaged it

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Re: Excalibur 5000 advice

Post by Gesso&Bole » Thu 31 Mar, 2022 9:21 am

It really should not be that complicated.

The glass needs to stay still - clamped lightly is my method
The cutting wheel needs to be in good condition and running freely. If it has been damaged, replace it, otherwise put a drop of glass cutting oil on it.
Adjust the pressure - if you are pressing too hard you will get splinters, and more of a graunching sound when you cut. Then it will break unevenly.
If you've not got enough pressure it wont mark it or cut it. If you get the pressure right you will get the sound of silk tearing, and the glass will snap easily.

If your workshop is really cold, glass can be difficult to cut, and very occasionally you can get a duff batch of glass. But I doubt those are the issues.

I would swap the cutting wheel, and make sure it's oiled, and go from there. The Excalibur is a fantastic machine for glass cutting, my guess from those pictures is that the cutting wheel is not running freely, and there's too much pressure.
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Re: Excalibur 5000 advice

Post by nolonstacey » Thu 31 Mar, 2022 9:37 am

Thanks Jim,

I'll swap the wheel over, just incase. I guess I was thinking it's my technique rather than the wheel or pressure, as I do get a good break 50% of the time. You mention cold glass - we do have snow today and my studio is a giant shed in my gallery garden!!

Either way, I'll swap over the wheel and make some pressure adjustments.

Thanks again.

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Re: Excalibur 5000 advice

Post by nolonstacey » Thu 31 Mar, 2022 10:57 am

So I've swapped the wheel over (the instructions for that aren't the clearest, so it took a while). I've adjusted the pressure - I ended up turning it anti-clockwise about 8-10 full turns (I assume anti-clockwise reduces pressure??) and I think I'm getting a better break now. I'm just a bit surprised that the machine would come brand new with the pressure set that far out!

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Re: Excalibur 5000 advice

Post by Gesso&Bole » Thu 31 Mar, 2022 11:53 am

Check out the Keencut website, it's more comprehensive than the manual
https://www.keencut.com/support/adjusti ... ibur-5000/
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Re: Excalibur 5000 advice

Post by nolonstacey » Thu 31 Mar, 2022 4:58 pm

Thanks Jim. That was more helpful thsn the instructions. It’s simple when you’ve don’t it once, but baffling initially!

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Re: Excalibur 5000 advice

Post by nolonstacey » Thu 12 May, 2022 1:05 pm

I just wanted to update on my glass cutting journey! Up until yesterday, I'd still been having all sorts of problems with glass breaking in all sorts of places. I really couldn't understand it - whenever I watch videos of people cutting with sheet cutters or by hand, it always looks so easy.

I finally realised my problem after watching Keencut's video for the 20th time. I've been using the ratchet when depressing the cutting head, but not pressing it any further. I assumed the last notch on the ratchet was essentially the cutting head being all the way in. I noticed on the video that he disables the ratchet and cuts/scores pressing all the way with his thumb. That'd also explain why the blade didn't always cut through 2400 mount board! That simply didn't cross my mind

And I now understand why some people don't understand why people have problems with it - breaking glass is an absolute doddle now!

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Re: Excalibur 5000 advice

Post by Not your average framer » Thu 12 May, 2022 1:22 pm

Really light spring pressue on the glass cutting wheel works well for me. You hardly noticee that the glass has been scored. After a while the glass cutting wheel sometimes becomes less effective as the spring presure can be increased very slightly, to keep you going while you order a relpacement cutting wheel. Glass cutting wheels don't like cutting glass so much in colder temperatures, so if the heating has been switched off over the weekend let everything get nicely warmed up first and It will all work nicely. Glass is a lot harder, below 10 degrees centigrade and glass cutting wheel dos not like it.
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Re: Excalibur 5000 advice

Post by nolonstacey » Thu 12 May, 2022 1:33 pm

Mark - heating? What is this heating you speak of? Don't have fancy things like that in my studio! Even my gallery has a lovely big old school style radiator, but it hasn't been attached to a boiler in about 30 years! Apparently it was attached to the boiler of the snooker club above... until they realised!! You also lost me with the mention of a weekend! Don't have those either!!

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