Blades do get dull and slow down the cutting process or give rough edges and can even cause the film to break. It is generally thought that when this happens the blades are just replaced. But, if your blades are of a special design and you don't happen to have a spare set on hand - SHARPEN the ones in the slitter. Your probably thinking, the blades are pretty close together, pointed, hard to get to and you will probably get the sharpening dust all over the slitter. This is all true but it only takes a few minutes if you have the right tools.

The tools you make from some silicon carbide paper and a couple of craft sticks. These come in various sizes, the ones that I use are about 3/8" wide 1/16" thick and 6" long , there are also some about 3/4" wide, like the ones your Doctor uses as a tongue depressors. The silicon carbide paper should be of three grades, #240, #360, and #400. Cut small strips of the paper, about 1/2" X 2" and glue to the sticks. Any kind of glue will do. On one stick, I use one side of #240 and the other side of #360, the other stick is #360 on one side and #400 on the other. Make the paper slightly larger than the stick width as it will be trimmed after the glue has had time to cure. After applying glue and paper to the sticks stack them together and clamp them so they will be good and flat, then let them cure over night. After they have cured trim off the excess paper and glue from the sticks and you are ready to try your hand a sharpening.

It takes very little to re-sharpen the blades so don't be to vigorous. Start with a couple of passes on each side of each blade with the #360. Pull or push the surface of the paper across the blade in the direction as though you were going to slice off the surface of the paper. Don't apply a lot of pressure but enough to feel the blade. Now do the same thing with the #400 paper. Unless your blades have rusted, heaven forbid, this should be enough sharpening. The #240 paper is seldom used unless as I mentioned rust is involved. You might want to even make a #600 stick just for touch ups.

Note : It might be worth while, before attempting to sharpen the blades, to inspect the cutting edge with a magnifying glass of 3 - 5 power just to see the condition of the blade. Then, after sharpening , inspect again to see the results of your work.

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