How to adjust the AC-1 Circle Cutter
Unless you plan on cutting button designs for more than one size, you will probably never need to adjust your AC-1 cutter, as it should come pre-set so it will cut the size buttons you will be making.
However, if you are going to use your AC-1 cutter to cut designs for more than one size, or if your cutter did not come pre-set to cut the size buttons you need to make, the instructions below will show you what you need to do and how to do it.
Setting the AC-1 cutter's blade to cut other sizes
Look closely at the photo below and you will see the arm on which the cutting blade is attached. (It's the silver bar located between #3 and #4).
To the left of the #3, are several indentations. These indentations are called "detents". These detents make it possible to easily and accurately adjust your AC-1 to any of the following button sizes: 1", 1-1/2", 2-1/4", 3", or 3-1/2".
If you don't see these detents, the arm likely has been rotated so it could be used for a button size for which there is no detent, such as 1-1/4", BAM 2-1/4" or BAM 3") and thus the detents are simply facing down.
To adjust the cut the AC-1 makes, you first need to loosen the plastic screw (#2). Turn the screw counter-clockwise two or three revolutions until you can slide the cutting blade adjustment arm back and forth with your fingers.
CAUTION:DO NOT loosen the screw any further than two or three revolutions or the spring underneath will likely pop out and you don't want that to happen.
As you move the cutting blade arm side to side, you should be able to feel a snap as a spring loaded ball that is housed inside the cutter snaps into one of the detents. When the ball snaps into one of those detents, the AC-1 cutter is set to cut one of the button sizes shown below.
To make the cuts for a 1" button made with the Model 100, move the cutting blade arm so the detent closest to the cutting blade is engaged.
To make the cuts for a 1-1/2" button made with the Model 150 MS, move the cutting blade arm so so the second detent to the right of the cutting blade is engaged.
To make the cuts for a 2-1/4" button made with the Model 225, move the cutting blade arm so so the third detent to the right of the cutting blade is engaged.
To make the cuts for a 3" button made with the Model 300 SX, move the cutting blade arm so so the fourth detent to the right of the cutting blade is engaged.
To make the cuts for a 3-1/2" button made with the Model 350 LS, move the cutting blade arm so so the fifth detent to the right of the cutting blade is engaged.
After making any adjustments, be sure to re-tighten the adjustment screw (#2).
To use the AC-1 to make the cuts for our Mini-Magic 1-1/4" button machine or a BAM 1-1/4" button machine, simply follow the instructions shown below to set the AC-1 cutter for use with BAM 2-1/4" or BAM 3" machines.
Using the AC-1 cutter to cut designs for a Badge-A-Minit 2-1/4"
or Badge-A-Minit 3" machines
Badge A Minit's 2-1/4" buttons don't actually measure 2-1/4" and the Badge A Minit's 3" buttons don't actually measure 3", so you CANNOT use the detents on the AC-1 circle cutter to set the size cuts you need for making buttons with Badge-A-Minit machines. (If you do, the 2-1/4" cuts will be too small and the 3" cuts will be too big).
But don't worry, you can still use the AC-1 cutter to do your cutting. You just have to set the arm manually.
If you have a Badge-A-Minit button machine, our Mini-Magic 1-1/4" button machine, or any other non-standard size button machine, here's how to adjust the AC-1 cutter for your machine.
All you need to do is loosen the plastic screw (#2) a couple revolutions (counter-clockwise), and then rotate the adjustment arm (#3) so the detents face down. Then adjust the arm manually. Used this way, the AC-1 will cut whatever size button design you need, from a 1" button all the way up to a 3-1/2" button.
This part is a little tricky and you will need to do the adjustment by trial and error. The easiest way is to adjust the cutter to what looks about right, make a cut, and then compare the cut to the mylar for the size button you wish to make. The cut should not be any larger in diameter than the mylar of the button size you wish to make. However, it can be just slightly smaller, if you wish.
After making any adjustment, be sure and re-tighten the plastic screw (#2).
HELPFUL TIP: Once you have the cutter adjusted for that size, take a fine-tip marker and mark a line on the arm where it butts up against the arm's housing. Then, if for any reason you need to move the adjustment arm, returning to the adjustment you just made will be fast and easy.
Setting the "Cutting Guide Insert" to the Correct Size
The AC-1 cutter you received should have come pre-set to cut the size buttons you need to make. But if it didn't, don't worry. You can set it yourself and you have everything you need to do the job. Simply follow the instructions below.
If your AC-1 wasn't set to the correct size, the hole in the "cutting guide insert" is likely the size that is used for making one-inch buttons. To cut designs for buttons that are larger than one-inch, you need to cut the cutting guide insert and make the hole larger. It's actually easy to do.
If you already followed the instructions above for setting the cutting blade, your AC-1 is adjusted to make the correct size cut you need to make. But to use the cutting guide insert as an aid in centering your cutter, when cutting artwork, the insert will need to be cut just slightly larger than the size your artwork. If you don't, the cutting blade will drag against the edge of the insert as you are cutting your designs.
So, to do this, you want to loosen the plastic screw (#2) and move the cutting arm just slighty, so the cut it makes is about an 1/8" larger than it had been. After you have made this adjustment, retighten the screw (#2).
Now, take the metal cutting plate that came with your AC-1 and set it on a table (or other sturdy surface). Set the AC-1 on the metal plate and at the same time, push down and turn the plastic handle (#1) until you completely cut through the cutting guide insert. This should just take a few revolutions, assuming you are putting downward pressure on the knob as you turn the handle.
When you have completely cut through the cutting guide insert, loosen the screw (#2), move the blade back to where it had been, and retighten the screw (#2).
Your AC-1 cutter is now ready to cut your button designs.
Removing / Replacing the Cutting Guide Insert
Shown above is a bottom view of the AC-1 cutter, that shows the cutting guide insert correctly locked into place.
The cutting guide insert, which is interchangeable, is the part of the AC-1 cutter that allows the cutter to make accurate cuts for any size button between a 1" button and a 3-1/2" button.
Your AC-1 cutter should have come with a cutting guide insert already in the cutter and set for the size button you indicated you would be making. There should also be a spare cutting guide insert inside the box the cutter came in.
Seting up the cutting guide insert is the trickiest part about the AC-1 cutter. But pay close attention, and I'll walk you through the process.
If you look at the left side of the photo (shown above... the area denoted by the #8), you will see the tab on the cutting guide insert. You use this tab to remove or replace the cutting guide insert in the AC-1 cutter.
In the same photo, the cutting guide insert is properly positioned, with the tab (#8) situated in a groove between the knurled edges of the AC-1 cutter.
But in the photo above, the insert is improperly positioned. Notice the tab of the cutting guide insert (denoted by the red arrows) is above the knurled edges of the AC-1 cutter. That tab shoud be beneath the knurled edges of the AC-1 cutter, as are those in the photo below.
To REMOVE the cutting guide insert
To remove the cutting guide insert, simply grasp the tab (#8) and rotate the cutting guide insert about two inches (clock-wise or counter-clockwise... it doesn't matter). The edges of the cutting guide insert should then line up so it will then slip out of the AC-1 cutter.
To REPLACE the cutting guide insert
To replace the cutting guide insert, simply grasp the tab (#8) and position the edges of the cutting guide insert so they line up with the knurled edges of the AC-1 cutter. Grasp the tab (#8) and rotate the cutting guide insert about two inches (clock-wise or counter-clockwise... it doesn't matter). The edges of the cutting guide insert MUST all be positioned so they go BELOW the knurled edges. If all the edges do not go BELOW the knurled edges (#9) on the AC-1, start over and try again until they do.