I needed to cut some paper gaskets, and before committing the actual gasket paper I wanted to test on regular text weight. I used up all my magnets holding it down, and even then a few pieces got loose and obscured other lines. I searched the wonderful forum and learned about Seklama mats, which sound awesome and expensive and unobtainable at 9:00pm on a Sunday.
So my next thought was to put tiny tabs on all the shapes to hold them in place whilst cutting, but the thought of drawing all those was daunting. After some thought and whining and procrastination, I remembered this fantastic post from @likeablejerk about making dashed lines in Illustrator. After all, what are tabs if not tiny dashes?
I won’t reiterate his instructions other then to say that the line I used as a pattern was very long, and I used a very small spacing percentage to make tiny gaps.
This all worked quite well although there are some things I might tweak to make it better
- Make two versions of the artwork, one solid and one “tabbed”. Run the solid one first as a light score so the tabs are easier to tear off.
- Make the gaps a little bigger, or slow down the head a bit so it does not overrun on little features like the smallest circles in the picture. Most of those cut loose and went flying, although they made it out of range before they landed so no big deal.
- Make several patterns, longer lines for bigger items and shorter ones for smaller so you can control how many tabs there are.
- A few magnets to hold the bigger areas wouldn’t hurt.
- DO NOT save the expanded artwork over your original so you lose all the geometry and have to redraw your work.
Hope that help someone!
Oh, and here is the purpose, it is the gearbox of a 70+ year old DoAll bandsaw.