(tl;dr: I found a donated tool at work that will make my work so much easier.)
In my previous post, I mentioned that I was on my feet at work all day for essentially three days straight. The reason for that was that I had to mount 130 posters onto foam core. The posters were all 18" x 24".
The way I was trained to do it by my coworkers was to take a 48" x 96" board, cut it into three 48" x 32" pieces, laminate and apply adhesive to the prints (that were printed 2-up on 42" x 25" paper), and mount the laminated prints to the board. I'd then use a straight edge and a razor blade and trim out the posters to size. We can get six 18x24 posters out of one 48x96 sheet of foam core. I always hated doing it this way, because we're wasting a tremendous amount of materials.
I spoke with my friend who manages a store at my previous employer to see how he does it. He applies the adhesive to the boards, and he doesn't laminate the prints. After applying the adhesive, he cuts the boards to 18x24, then mounts the posters to the boards. He's able to get ten 18x24 posters out of one 48x96 sheet of foam core.
When I checked our foam core supply, we only had 26 sheets. To mount 130 posters, I'd need 22 sheets. If I mounted them the way my friend does, I'd use 14 sheets (I prepped an extra one just in case, and I ended up needing some of them).
I took the large boards to his shop after work that Tuesday, and he and I spent two hours trimming them to size. I did them there because his foam core cutter is much better than ours.
I have been thinking about how I can convince my boss to go to the expense of purchasing one for us. I figured that producing less waste would be one argument. The main issue is that a new one runs at least $3500. I wasn't looking forward to the discussion.
That brings me to today. While in the warehouse portion of the building getting a case of envelopes to print for a job, I saw a strange thing leaning against the wall, partially hidden by a large part of a high-speed folder. I went over to it, and recognized it as a much better wall-mount cutter than the one we've been using. It appeared to even be a step up from the one my friend has at his shop.
I asked the production manager about it and learned that it had been donated to us by a school that no longer needed it, but he didn't know if it was all there. He said I could pull it out and check it over and let him know what it needs.
Functionally, it is perfect. It's covered in a layer of dust from sitting in the warehouse for who knows how long. And it's missing the blade holder and wall mount hardware. I did some research, and we can get both from the manufacturer for less than $300. Except the manufacturer isn't an approved vendor for the school district.
I contacted our mounting supplies vendor and asked if they could source them for me. She's going to get back to me with a price.
Even if she doubles the cost, paying $600 for a $3500 foam core cutter is a hell of a deal, and I know she won't mark it up that much.
This model will handle items that are 63" tall. We have a map of the school district that we produce that is 50" x 54". We mount them on foam core that is 60" x 120". Our current cutter will only handle 50", so we have to hand-cut the boards down before mounting the maps. With this "new" cutter, we'll be able to save time and use it.
What's this thing?
Why that's a large foam core cutter!
Yesssss, my precious!