Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Sizzix Die Cutter Repair!! - Photo Tutorial

My Sizzix Big Kick started by getting a little harder to crank, then eventually starting making little noises of protest during use.  Finally, one day, it stopped cranking all together, I could not budge that crank :(  While the machine was older, it had always been cared for (never left anywhere damp or dropped) It seemed that it was bound for the landfill.  If the metal parts could be recycled I would have to disassemble them from the plastic  (and who knows about the plastic).

My son, age 11, was happy to assist in the dismantling.  When something is headed for the landfill it really reduces stress ;) in this process. There was some trouble in removing the plastic housing, this required 2 people!  We did break off a couple of the press in tabs, these are really meant to be put together only once, but there were still many that we could reuse.  Once apart I could easily see the problem was a bearing.  I appealed to my husband at that we should attempt a repair, not only was this a small part resulting in a big waste, but a new machine was about $100.  

Bearing Needing replacing
At this point I have to mention that this post is regarding reducing landfill waste.  As I still have other accessories that the kids and i enjoy using for various crafts.  I am trying to wrap my head around simplifying life, and this might ultimately mean reducing my crafts.  For now, I am still actively using these things and they make us happy.  However, I don't want to unnecessarily fill the landfills doing it.  I am trying not to buy anything new, unless it is a relatively small part of an existing project that otherwise cannot be completed.

We were unable to find the bearing locally.  It is a very cheaply made bearing, and while we have several bearing manufacturers and providers in our region, none feel that it is worth stocking such a low quality item.  In truth most items that utilize these simply end up in the landfill once they fail :(  I was not to be deterred.  The cutter need a bearing with those precise measurements and I could not locate an alternative, higher quality bearing that would fit.  So I went to the internet.  I was able to use the imprinted number on the bearing to order some more.  I only needed 1 but had to buy 4---again not so good for household reduction.  I guess 1 extra would be a good idea, I think the die cutter must have been around 5 years old.  The downside to this was waiting the 2 months to get the bearings from China.

1. Remove this Round cap to get at the screw holding on the crank arm.

2. remove the screw and then the crank arm
3. Remove the screws on the bottom

4. there are some press-in style tabs, so you need to squeeze in all the way around to get the bottom off.  this is where 2 people come in handy.

5. The sides also have to be removed, more tabs...
here are some of those plastic tabs that hold on the sides
6. the beds have to be removed
you can see that there are tabs holding the bed to the sides.  we took off one side, then the beds, and finally the other side
finally here is the bearing!  I was so excited i forgot to take a photo, it was located just behind the plastic where the crank arm was removed.

In these 2 pictures I have taken out the faulty bearing.  They are simple, open roller bearings. You can see that just after the grease was worn away from use the moisture in the air caused the rusting.  One of the rollers actually came out and got jammed up, that is why the cutter stopped being able to be cranked.

here it is all cleaned up, you can see the imprinted part # on it 

8.  Here is the main roller unit without the plastic housing. I am using a screw driver the remove the black metal tab before taking out the bearing.

Here is where i have figured out the faulty bearing is within, because of the rust dust you see below the inside edge of the crank arm. 

In this photo you see the outside crank arm bearing is still in good shape.  Ultimately i replaced both, because I had extra bearings, and taking it apart is a hassle.  I used a wood dowel and hammer to pound it out and put the new one in--I am sure there are more sophisticated tools.
Yay!  Now lube everything up and start putting it back together.

All done and it has been working great for months.  The current project in motion is a quilt using old shirts and cotton dresses from my kids and husband to make memory quilts!!!  I bought an accuquilt triangle die that was narrow enough to fit through and now I will be able to keep cutting them.  It saves my wrists all that cutting. it cuts 4 triangles at a time, and i c can do 3-4 layers!

Disclaimer=fine print: attempt at your own risk, any repair requires some risk as does crossing the street...

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