What is this tutorial for?
This tutorial teaches you how to cut cardboard accurately and safely. If you want to do some cardboard modelling, you should read this page as will give you some invaluable information. Did you know that large amount of cardboard modelling can even cause you permanent neural damage if you don't do it right?
Cutting cardboard and measuring are more difficult tasks than they might appear. When making models, even small differences in size and shape can be seen, especially in the smaller scales.
First things to get are of course the knives. I have two differend knives I do the cutting with, one pen-knife with switchable blades and one snap-blade knife. The next thing is a metallic ruler. Aluminium isn't good as the knives carves it, at least it should have steel reinforcement. My ruler has a straight angle in it, which is also a neccessary tool, but on the other hand, it limits the usability if the angle isn't in the level with the rest of the ruler. You should avoid dropping it as it can alter the angle. The next item is a cutting board. It's not neccessary, I used layers of cardboard for a long time, but they get worn out pretty quickly. You should ask for those in hobby stores, artist's stores or hardware stores.
First I want to remind you that BE CAREFUL. Those knives are REALLY sharp, and when keeping the ruler firmly the fingers may be in danger... And you should also always keep your knives sharp. Dull blades may cause wrinkles in the cutting edge of the cardboard, and may also cause slips which may cut deep wounds to fingers or other body parts. I mean that you need a lot of power when cutting, especially if cutting thicker than 1mm cardboard. If the blade is dull, it may get stuck, and when you use more power for it, it may be suddenly relased and hit even your leg.
As I said, measuring usually has to be very exact. When cutting pieces, first measure and draw them, then cut them. Be sure that it is a straight angle you start with if it needs to be one, not just something like that. Also a lot of pieces have found their way to the garbage very soon after discovering that there has been cuts or some other unwanted feature on the other side. You should keep in mind that when marking the lines, the pen marks the line a little away from the ruler, so keep the ruler a little closer to the other end. You can always re-measure after drawing the lines.
Putting it together
1/2 mm cardboard may be used to make round shapes. Just make the reinforcing piece's edges round shaped and bend the thinner one around it. Sometimes measuring may be difficult, but measuring reinforcing pieces and remembering how to use Pi, you should be able to get close to the right result. Just remember that the surface is again a little further away from the center (or whichever kind of piece you wish to make) and thus needs to be a little larger.
Well this should let you get started. You can begin to make models of your summer cottage, star destroyer, or whatever you wish... I hope I can bring more material here later, but I never know when I have time and inspiration to get to it.
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