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Keeping Vinyl Tracking

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Here's a trick that has helped me a lot to keep my long plots tracking straight.

First always make sure your Pinch Rollers are clean. You will be amazed at how much crap comes off the vinyl.

Next especially on 24 inch Rolls, make sure you unroll several feet before cutting to take the weight off the Rollers.

Next Keep the Pinch Rollers in from the edge of your vinyl by about 1.5 in. if possible.

Next Hit 'Scroll' & 'Enter' ( Machine measures Roll Width)

Next hit 'Enter' again & then hold the v (arrow) button & the vinyl will feed towards you.

If you see it skew, release the v button, while holding the vinyl in place, lift the pinch rollers, adjust for the skew & then feed the roll back ^ (arrow) Button. Make small adjustments to the skew as it makes a big difference over a long sheet.

After a few tries you should be plotting nice & straight.

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I have a question on the tracking of the vinyl...If I'm cutting a 24 inch vinyl, do I use all 3 rollers to track? I thought I'd seen somewhere that you don't use the middle roller. Sandy

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I don't have 3 rollers on my Copam - seems like using one in the center would be helpful in keeping the vinyl down against the cutting strip all the way across.  Somebody else will probably have a better answer on that.  I would be afraid of the vinyl being marked by the roller in the middle of your workpiece - maybe you lessen the pressure on the middle roller?

I do have a suggestion for getting the vinyl lined up straight in the first place when using vinyl rolls with the holes along both edges.  I pick a matching pair of holes - usually use one of the double holes or one of the oblong ones - and line up the edge of each hole with the indexing strip on the front edge of the cutter - I also line the edge of the vinyl nearest the right end with a line on the indexing strip - it should be in line with a corresponding mark on the other indexing strip as well.  Secure the pinch rollers and feed out enough material for the long cut you will be making - then hit the measure button and the enter button and watch the edge of the vinyl to see if it runs true - usually it stays right on the mark.  If it moves try it again.

Some of my vinyl doesn't have the perforations and I will try and eyeball it straight using the lines on the indexing strips against the edge of the vinyl.  Then again run it out and hit measure and enter buttons to see how it runs over the length you will be cutting and make your adjustment as necessary.

Hope this is clear enough - and it helps somebody

- Mike

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could have used this info a few days ago. i cut a 6 foot long design, and didn't run the vinyl out and then back in as suggested above, and needless to say, i wasted a few feet of vinyl cuz the rollers came loose and stopped feeding. great tips! thanks! ;D

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On of the big difference in the cheap cutters like I have, (Laserpoint) and the higher end stuff is they don't tie the pinch rollers together with the bar so they all lift at once. This is actually a benefit when it come to alignment tracking, you can lift only one roller at a time to do the tracking adjustment. My rollers have the spot to add the bar to open them at the same time but I decided against adding it for that very reason.

Nice tip.

Kevin

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I too am having trouble keeping the vinyl straight when cutting long designs. When the cutter quickly feeds through it gets skewed and my designs no longer line up. I have tried all the suggestions listed above and I am still having problems! Does anyone have any other ideas for me?

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to add to my earlier post:

I have a Copam 2500 cutter. I am trying to cut a 15" x 10 yard roll of Avery 900 vinyl. When the design starts to cut the vinyl quickly skews until the cut goes right off the edge, bunches and tears the vinyl. I can not slow the cutting speed enough to keep the vinyl feeding straight. I am VERY frustrated with this. Can anyone help me fix this?

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If the pinch rollers are slipping look at this topic for how one user fixed his problem with slightly longer screws on the pinch roller assembly.

http://forum.uscutter.com/index.php/topic,20577.0.html

Once you get that problem addressed - here is something my son showed me when I first got my Copam CP-2500.  There are index marks along the top and front of the infeed surface.  Lining the edge of the vinyl up with the same lines on both indexes will get you very close to square with the vinyl.  If you are using vinyl with punched holes along the sides - you can line up a pair of matching holes with a straight edge on the cutter - either one of the index strips - the cutting strip - or the cutoff guide groove to get a more accurate lineup. 

And another trick is here

http://forum.uscutter.com/index.php/topic,21691.0.html

BTW what cutting speed are you using?

-Mike

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