Large Scale Central

Cricut Machines for Manly Activities

Can I just preface this thread that when I mentioned that there were LargeScale Centralians that own cricut machines, “herself” became a little more than interested in the railroading side of the garden railway and has asked a few times, “what kind of Cricut Machine do these manly men own?”.

I don’t believe there’s an agenda… and I keep repeating that in my head.

But, being the sensitive new age guy that I’m being accused to be, may I ask the manly-men of LargeScale Centralia, Do you own a Cricut machine and what can you do with it? And as there is apparently more than one model, which one do you own? Or do you own something else that does the same thing?

I have an older Cricut silhouette that has finally given up the ghost. I used it mostly to make stencils for building lettering, but I’ve also made some car lettering on it, and the graphics for a model board. They’re pretty handy, I need to get a new one.

I don’t personally own one, my oldest daughter has one of the newer ones. From what I know you probably want a newer one. The newer ones can print off the internet and designs that you make on you’re computer. That is my understanding.

I think mine is an Explore but that just shooting off the top of my head and I am not at home to verify.

I love it. I use it in the hobby to make vinyl lettering to apply directly or as masks for painting. It also will score styrene sheet for snapping. So in the hobby I almost exclusively use its cutting ability. But I also made my daughters wedding invitations and saved a ton of money and I think made just as nice or nicer product than what we would have bought. I have made several “I love you cards” for the wife to leave on her pillow (hope that doesn’t knock down my “manly” credibility). I once had friends over for dinner and made name place cards and menus with it.

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I was recently gifted a free Cricut Expression ( i think it was the first model ever). I haven’t done much beyond turn it on and read a few things online. Because it’s an older model, I think for custom jobs I may have to find work arounds or just completely upgrade.

Yes it’s a useful tool and I’m sure with some begging you can borrow your wife’s one for modeling projects after you buy one as a gift for her… :laughing:

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This is an example of the lettering masks that I use. I cut the lettering out, then weed out the letters themselves into a stencil. I then apply the stencil, and use a paper towel and paint to dab in the letters. Removing the stencil then leaves some nicely weathered letters.

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BTW: “CIRCUT” is just a brand name, for small hobby “Vinyl Cutter”. If you shop around you can find a larger sized one for about the same price as the smaller ones.

Years ago my wife bought a Silhouette Cameo for the office and her crafts but I have used it more for the trains. It does a decent job. I have only done lettering so I have just scratched the surface of this machine. If you have one they are invaluable but how much will you really use it is the question?

Oh and I forgot. One of the funnest things I did with mine, in fact one of the very first projects I used it for, was to cut oak and black walnut veneer. It cut pretty much all the way through it with a little separating to do. I used it to make a wood picture of my son and his girlfriend. It was one of those black and white characture drawings you get at amusement parks. Scanned the picture and then used the machine to cut the positive and negative portions and what it gave me was two identical pieces one in walnut and one in oak. Then when assembled one was light on dark and the other dark on light. So inverses of each other.

I have wanted to use it to do more inlay work in wood but haven’t gotten that far.

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What would you recommend for someone in the $200-400 range?

Craig. In that range you can get a lot of machines, with different specs.
And then again is the “what are you going to do with it” factor. A machine that can cut 24" vinyl, can actually make commercial quality signage, like for autos, or advertising, and do small stencils, cut Iron on graphics for shirts, or make paint masks…

Do a google search of " $200+ Vinyl Cutters " , and shop around.

My latest vinyl cutter I bought from USCutter. Good service, and support. But almost all cutters today are either made in Korea, or China, Quality is about the same.

I mostly want to use it to cut styrene, and masks for painting.

24" wide seems ‘big’ but practically everything we build in this scale ends up between 12-24" wide so it’s probably a good choice to get wider than needed.

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Bill, I have a Cricut Explore Air. I haven’t used it much, but when I need card, paper, fabric, etc., it’s super helpful. Here’s a project where layers of paper & fabric elements got cut on the Cricut and glued in layers behind the window.

As I recall, rooster snuck into one of the buildings…

My model won’t cut styrene, even 1/32. Though there are improved Cricut models which I believe will.

Anyway, I would NOT recommend a Cricut, and here’s why: They assume you want to strap on your feminine self and dive into the world of scrap-booking and other frilly stuff [edit: I don’t mean to put anyone down for feeling differently, that’s just my personal reaction to their business model which is very different from other tool providers, e.g., Harbor Freight, Micro-Mark or Grizzly]. The software requires you connect with their web facilities, with constant nagging to buy their latest greeting card pattern or paper flower design or whatever. And buy their adhesive foil, glitter paper, curly edge scissors, or whatever else on sale. Different planet, at least for me.

The main problem for me though is their minimal support for DXF files, because that’s all I can use with this machine. To import DXF’s, it takes a lot of working around their user interface, which is awful, IMO. I’d use the machine more if it were simply a machine. But no, it’s a lifestyle

SO, Bill, I wholeheartedly endorse what Dave suggests, regarding buying a generic cutter.

But no, wait! I could do that instead, and sell you a nice, clean, white and baby-blue Cricut Explore Air, with free unused glitter paper, and at a deeply discounted price!!

Crap I should have led with that!! :grin:

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Good to know Cliff.

@manimal what machine do you have again?

Wow, I forgot about that night on " D Street " ?

The portieres were perfect, the gaslights glowed the chandeliers were outstanding for perching on which ALL made for one hell of a night Cliff! I never saw her again but if I do I will ask for my wallet back.

Woohoo I have highjacked Bills iPad so “herself” is responding.

I was interested to see your answers. I have an old cricut with a few cartridges and we have used the vinyl to make some signs.

I’m debating if I need to update to a new machine. Because I don’t use the machine that often, I don’t like that you need to subscribe to Cricut to access their cloud.

Cricut also annoys me because I missed an update that allowed me to register my cartridges and view the patterns on the computer screen. Now I’m stuck looking at the patterns on the tiny Cricut machine screen.
I’ve seen good reviews on the ScanNCut SDX2200 made by Brother so Bill may need one as a gift and I could use it occasionally.

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Sue. . .

Is it really necessary to convince your husband that he needs a new toy so that in reality YOU can have a new toy. . .hey whatever works. I showed my wife all the things SHE could do with a cricut and that I will buy her one . . .that we can store in my hobby room.

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And that works as your wife’s craft won’t become too crowded so she will have room for more toys.

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Brilliant. And I agree with Devon. Sounds like a clear opportunity; is Bill’s birthday around the corner?

My wife’s craft of yarn dying has grown into teaching classes, and I got kicked out of the garage… But, she let me build a nice shed to move to. So I can’t complain, haha!

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