Late last year I bought a Craftwell brand eBosser, because I love the look of the new wafer-thin dies, but I find cranking a Big Shot to be seriously tedious. The eBosser is an electric die-cutting machine with a motor — it automatically sucks through your cutting sandwich, no cranking required. I thought the eBosser had some advantages over other electric models — it has an 8 1/2 by 11 wide cutting plate surface, so it can cut and emboss larger papers. And if you overload it with too thick a sandwich, it has an abort function where it is supposed to reject the stack. And I got it for a good price and free shipping with Amazon Prime, so I got it.
Unfortunately, that abort function doesn’t always work. Sometimes a too-large cutting plate sandwich just gets stuck, jammed tight in the machine. That’s what happened to mine the other day.
So I Googled it, of course, and on the Craftwell customer forums on their website, they say to turn the machine off, then press and hold the power button for five seconds, and that is supposed to activate the abort function.
The next step is to unlplug the machine for twenty-four hours to make it reboot, and then when you turn it on again, it is supposed to activate the abort function.
You guessed it — didn’t work.
Failing these electrical gambits, the next step was to bang the plate sandwich out from between the rollers with a rubber mallet. Seriously.
I had to go to a hardware store to buy one — who has a rubber mallet sitting around the house, unless you are some kind of evil clown or something?
So I’m banging away on my eBosser with a rubber mallet at ten o’clock at night and my husband comes up and asks, “What the hell are you doing?”
I explained. By this time I had managed to make some progress on beating the plates out the front, and the plate sandwich was flush with the back side of the slot in the machine.
“Seriously?” my husband said. “That’s what they said? This isn’t going to work.” Once the cutting plates were flush with the back of the machine, the mallet would no longer be applying enough force to knock them any further.
We needed a second tool to wedge against the plates to direct the force of the mallet, like a hammer and chisel.
Image courtesy of dan / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
But with a blunt end, because a bladed end like a chisel would just chew up the plastic base plates without imparting any force.
We tried various things — a screwdriver. As expected, that just tore up the base plates. A screwdriver with cardboard wrapped around the point. It punched through the cardboard, same result as before. A ruler — too flimsy.
(I might mention here that neither hubby nor I are the handiest people in the world — quite the opposite in fact. Someone with a better mechanical sense probably would have figured this out in seconds.)
So this is what hubby finally found:
I don’t even know what to call this thing — but what it is, is a handle for an interchangeable screwdriver set. The business end looks like this:
In there you socket different sizes and types of screwdriver heads, so you can have a variety of tools in one. But empty, like that, it is a flat surface that wouldn’t tear up my base plates, and yet was long and thin enough to reach into the slot of the eBosser and keep banging at the plates, and tough enough to take the force of the mallet.
So, I held the eBosser down so it didn’t slide all over the counter, and Hubster limited his attentions with the screwdriver and mallet to the C plate, because if one plate would be knocked free they would all come free.
It took a while. At one point Hubby just snapped, “Go buy a new machine!” and I said, “No, dammit, I paid over two hundred dollars for this thing, and I’ve only used it a handful of times. We’re fixing it.”
And indeed, after enough banging, the C plate popped free of the front of the machine and the jammed sandwich was freed!
TL; DR — you need a rubber mallet and a blunt-tipped, chisel-like instrument to direct the force of the mallet against one of the base plates, and freeing it will loosen the whole stack.
Hubby told me, “You should write this down, you should write a blog post so we remember what to do next time this happens.”
And other people could read it, too, I thought. So that’s what I did. 🙂