Cure Template Snags

Last Updated 10/14/09

These tips are from Lavene who is a member of the local scrapbooking list we are on - there are good ones if you like Coluzzles templates. Barb G.

I found this information while checking out some sites. I thought it would be beneficial to some of you. Lavene

Cure for Coluzzle and Shapemaker Template Snags

I have really fallen in love with the Coluzzle and Shapemaker templates but often hear from people who are having trouble using them because the blade gets stuck. I thought I would post some of the things that I have found to help cure those types of problems.

First, make sure that you remove the film from both sides of these templates before you try to use them. They should be as clear as glass. If not, keep working to get the film off of both sides. (The last couple of AccuCut templates I got only had film on one side, but it was easy to tell because it was clear as glass when I took the film off of one side.)

Second, I hold the template in the air and run the swivel knife (either the Coluzzle or the Shapemaker knife) through the template slots backwards...with the non-cutting side going through the grooves, basically like cutting air. I find that there is a lot of "trash" still in some of the grooves and this is a good way to remove it. You can run the knife through with the cutting side, but it dulls the blade. And since it works just fine with the dull side, I hate to waste a blade cutting the air. If there are any spots that are difficult to get the blade through, run it through a couple more times and it will usually smooth out. When I do this with a new template, it has really reduced the times that my blade gets stuck in the template.

Also, make sure that you hold the knife perpendicular to the template when you are cutting. A lot of people that I have seen with problems as holding the knife like a pencil and leaning it to one side or the other. This can cause problems, including nicks in the template that will slow you down in the future. If you HAVE to lean the knife in a direction, lean it in the direction that you are cutting and it will move more smoothly. Also, on some of the sharp turns, I find it is really helpful to use my fingers to gently roll the knife as I turn the corner. It really makes a big difference on sharp corners like with the teardrops and diamonds, but also helps with the Coluzzle Rectangle and Square.

Repairing Damage to Templates

If you do damage a template, do not despair, I have found that most templates can be repaired with a little fine and extra fine sandpaper and a bit of patience. When your template gives you problems in a particular area, then take a 1 by 2 inch strip of sand paper (I start with fine and then go to extra fine) and gently sand the area where it snagged. With many of the nested templates, you can push out a bit on them and actually see the nicked area and sand that easily. On others, just run the sandpaper back and forth until it is smooth. Use the non-cutting side of the blade to remove and "trash" after sanding and you are normally back in business. For those REALLY BIG nicks, I take a standard Exacto knife and gently slice away the nick IN THE OPPOSITE DIRECTION from the way the nick was made until it is almost smooth. Then do the sandpaper trick and you are back in business. I have worked on both my templates and many of my friends' templates and have had 100% success in getting them to work again.

So, I thought that I would pass this along to those of you who might be having problems. If you get good at it, you might become the local template surgeon like me. PS, using the blade to remove the trash when you first get it is almost ESSENTIAL to getting the alphabet templates to work properly. There is just such a difference. Even if you have had an alphabet template for a while, it may be well worth your time to try this trick.

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