Miscuts Explanation FIXED

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Post by cataclysm80 » Mon Oct 28, 2013 7:52 pm

Here is some information on how cards are cut, written by Dave Howell, Wizards of the Coast production manager Alpha through The Dark...
snarke wrote: As described, the sheets are cut into strips, the strips are cut into rectangles, and the rectangles are stacked up in a trough. At Carta Mundi, they had a remarkably clever machine that cut a limited variable amount of the strips into rectangles, then scooped the rectangles into the trough, so they're tightly packed face-to-back.
The cutting die is not the usual thin metal edge, but a thick rectangular tube with sharpened edges. A hydraulic ram shoves the entire stack of cards (if I recall correctly, between 300 and 1000 at a time) through the die, with the pointy corners and thin bits of the sides peeling off the die as they go. It was pretty awesome watching that solid block of paper just slide through the die.
Other manufacturers might have slightly different methodologies. This description is based on my visit to the Carta Mundi manufacturing plant in 1994. I was Wizard's production manager 1993-1994, Alpha through Dark.
cataclysm80 wrote: Thanks Dave! So if I understand correctly, you're saying that the cards were basically pushed through a big cookie cutter, and that the corners were not (at that time) ground off with a rotating device? That's very interesting! Any idea how a card with some rounded and some square corners would be created using that method?
snarke wrote: Big cookie cutter; basically correct.
Rounded/square. It's hard to say w/o seeing the card, and unless the card was made by Carta Mundi, that might not be the method used. but if you have this huge block of rectangular cards, and one of them didn't quite slide down into place, so it was sticking up a bit, and then you ran it through the die, some of the corners would not get hit by the die . . .
ouallada wrote: Well, I'm pretty sure that at least at some point in time, Carta Mundi cut and rounded at different locations, as were printings for fronts and backs. That also explains square cornered cards in the market.
snarke wrote: They did eventually open a US plant, I believe. But that was all after my time. In fact, I wasn't the production manager any more when we first visited Carta Mundi. I think I was there because everybody knew that they *should* have sent me in '93, but we couldn't really afford it.
cataclysm80 wrote: Here is some info from the Carta Mundi website...
In 1994, Cartamundi, Inc. was created to enter the U.S. market as a sales office in Kentucky.
Shortly after that, in 1996, the U.S. headquarters (manufacturing facility) was established and began production in Kingsport, Tennessee.
In 2006, as a result of the tremendous growth in the U.S. market, Cartamundi acquired Yaquinto Printing Company in Dallas Texas.
In mid-2007, Cartamundi USA Headquarters was relocated from Kingsport to the Yaquinto facility in Dallas. To accomodate the growth, a new state-of-the-art building is in development for 2008. Renovation of a new 300,000 sq. ft. facility in Dallas began in September 2008. By January of 2009, after more than a year of engineers, contractors, inspectors and movers, Cartamundi USA fully occupied its new home.
I suspect that these time frames could coincide with the possible change of corner rounding operations due to the possible use of new machines.
cataclysm80 wrote: It sounds like the 1994 and prior cards should use the corner rounding process as Dave Howell described. (probably 1995 cards also) For example, if the card was sticking up a little so that the lower corners don't get cut, then the top of the card that was sticking up would be cut off by the press simultaneous to all of the correctly positioned cards top corners. You'd end up with a card that was not the correct height. Does that sound like what you've seen on your older miscuts?
ouallada wrote: The majority of cards have already been cut by this time. If there is a difference in the height, it isn't going to be due to the rounding for the vast majority of the time.
cataclysm80 wrote: If the cards are being pressed (face first or back first) through a rectangle cookie cutter in stacks of 300-1000 at a time to shear off the corners, then anything sticking up should also be sheared off.
ouallada wrote: Depends on the tool. You won't expect a tool that rounds corners to lop cardstock in two easily, would you? If that were the case, mid-card crimps would never occur, as you'd just assume that the crimp would cut the card in two instead, which isn't the case.
cataclysm80 wrote: No not easily, I expect it takes a LOT of force for a hydraulic ram to push 1000 cards through a slightly smaller rectangle to shear off corners and edges. Kind of like trying to put a square peg in a round hole.
ouallada wrote: The card will just get bent, then. Or are you saying it is more likely to get cut than bent. If you shove an a5 paper into an a4 hole with serrated edges, it doesn't cut. It bends. Cardstock doesn't have the tensile strength to remain in an erroneous position in order to get cut before it bends.
cataclysm80 wrote: I did wonder if it would get bent, and if clearance is tight as required for shearing, possibly mangled or torn. It sounds like these are features we should be seeing on any Belgium made square cornered cards, which is probably all magic cards prior to 1996 when the USA facility opened.
snarke wrote: It would get cut. Imagine a deck of cards sitting on a table. Pick up half of the deck, move the top card of the stack on the table off-center by a centimeter, then replace the rest of the deck. One card is now sticking out of the deck slightly. Next, place a cute little cookie cutter on top of the deck. Maybe it's shaped like a candy-cane. Now push. Oops! We've just crushed the cookie-cutter. Okay, let's make the cookie-cutter out of 5mm (1/4") high-grade steel, and grind an angle on the bottom edge like a knife. Now push. Really hard. The paper outside the cookie-cutter is forced away from the blade, tearing off as it goes, and the inside turns into a tidy stack of candy-cane shaped cards. (Note that when I say "like a knife," this isn't quite right. The *inside* of the cookie cutter stays perfectly straight. The bevel is only on the outside. )
Last edited by cataclysm80 on Thu Oct 31, 2013 8:48 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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Post by Neuron » Mon Oct 28, 2013 10:46 pm

It would be next to impossible to have a miscut like this if the cards were being stamped out with a hydraulic press.
Sure. I have also some of those. Only the corners are stamped, whether hydraulic, pneumatic, etc. who knows?

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Post by cataclysm80 » Fri Nov 01, 2013 2:03 pm

The card trimming method described by Dave Howell explains the features Neuron has seen on cards.

Regarding the Ice Flow & Iron Star miscuts I posted earlier, if I place another card on top of either one of them on the table, aligning them so that the left and right sides match, the top and bottom of the miscut will stick out past the regular card. If I then re-align them so that the top and bottom of the cards matches, the left and right of the miscut will stick out past the regular card. It doesn't matter which way you look at it, these miscuts are larger than a regular card.

Using the card trimming method described by Dave Howell, it would not be possible for a miscut to be larger than a regular card because those larger portions would have been trimmed off.

This is evidence that a different card trimming method does (has?) exist. Probably something very similar to what was described by Dan Bock & Hammr7.



Tav

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Post by hammr7 » Fri Nov 01, 2013 5:35 pm

Part of Dave Howell's description may be from the perspective of someone who got a tour and saw the processes, but was not an Engineer, or was not familiar with the specific equipment in use, so had difficulty in accurately describing how things actually worked..

When I was in the industry, I managed Process Engineering functions and later served as a multi-facility Technical Director (5 facilities, 2,000+ employees). I gave far too many informational tours to actual and prospective customers. The customers got overviews of our technical capabilities, enough info to "wow" them and convince them we could do the job.

When I wasn't entertaining customers, my real job involved specifying, purchasing and installing new equipment, refurbishing and upgrading existing equipment, training operators on how to use the equipment, and troubleshooting anything that went wrong so that the maintenance staff knew what to fix or change.

The oversized miscuts are easily explained by the cut-and-trim methods I described. One note of caution, however. If the card is too much larger than a regular card, and doesn't have crimps, then it likely walked out of the factory in someone's pocket and not in a regular pack. It is easy enough to measure the distance between the crimp lines in a regular pack of Magic cards to compare with the oversized card(s)..

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Post by Neuron » Sun Nov 03, 2013 3:41 pm

cataclysm80 wrote:
Using the card trimming method described by Dave Howell, it would not be possible for a miscut to be larger than a regular card because those larger portions would have been trimmed off.
Inconclusively. The rectangular mustn't be the same size as standard cards. Otherwise the entire pile would be ruined if it for some reason got displaced half a mm or even less.

On the following heavily miscut cards you can see that the shape of the cutting die tends to widen:

Image

With the Jhessian Zombies there is also extra card on the cut edges, weakening the grinding hypothesis.

Dave Howell's description fits the best with the facts.

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Re: Miscuts Explanation

Post by cataclysm80 » Sat Dec 10, 2016 8:29 am

The old method Dave Howell described for corner rounding is very similar to what can be seen in this video.
The cards are pushed through a card shaped tube and anything sticking out is trimmed off.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E-qnSqA7kdI


The newer method probably started being used around the time the Carta Mundi USA print facility opened in 1996.
It trims only the corners. You can see it in this video about 3 minutes 50 seconds in.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rsrrMgotapQ

Here is a severe corner rounding error that shows the shape of the corner cutting die.
This could not have happened with the older method of corner cutting.
Image

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Re: Miscuts Explanation

Post by cataclysm80 » Sat Dec 10, 2016 8:33 am

Here's some more info on how miscuts happen...

Sheets are cut into horizontal strips (1 strip = a row of cards).
Then the strips are cut into individual cards.

The first cut could be...
1. cut correctly,
2. miscut vertically but remaining parralel to the sheet edges, or
3. cut at an angle getting more miscut as the cut goes across the sheet.

The second cut could be...
1. cut perpendicular to the first cut and aligned with the cutting marks so that the card is shaped like a normal card,
2. cut perpendicular to the first cut but not aligned with the cutting marks so that the card is shaped like a normal card,
3. cut on the sheet cutting marks but not perpendicular to the first cut because the first cut was at an angle, resulting in an oddly shaped card, or
4. cut in a way that is neither perpendicular to the first cut nor parralel to the sheet edges, resulting in an oddly shaped card.

This makes 9 different styles of cut possible
1-1 normal correctly cut card
2-1 miscut vertically only
1-2 miscut horizontally only
2-2 miscut vertically & horizontally showing 4 cards
3-2 twisted miscut
3-3 oddly shaped
1-4 oddly shaped
2-4 oddly shaped
3-4 oddly shaped

Here's some examples...
1-1 normal correctly cut card
(if you're a strict card grader, you might call this slightly off center)
Image

2-1 miscut vertically only
This happens when the sheet is cut into strips. Because that cut affects whole sheets, these are more common than other miscuts.
Image

1-2 miscut horizontally only
This happens when the strips are cut into individual cards. It doesn't have to affect the whole sheet, it might only be the one strip. That's why these are harder to find.
Image

2-2 miscut vertically & horizontally showing 4 cards.
Legit examples of this are rare. (not counting NFC because those are made intentionally)
Image

3-2 twisted miscut
This one is severe enough to show 4 different cards. Less severe ones could show 3 cards, 2 cards, or just 1 card.
Image

This shows how cards on an angle cut sheet get more severely miscut on one side of the sheet.
The cards on the very right side of the sheet are only showing one card, but most of the rest of the sheet would be showing 2 cards, and the further left you go on the sheet, the more you see of the second card.
If the angle of the first cut had been more severe, then each card would show 4 different cards. How many cards are shown on each card depends on the angle of the first cut.
Image

3-3 oddly shaped
angled top and bottom with correct sides
oddly shaped cards usually also have odd corners.
Image

1-4 oddly shaped
correct top and bottom with angled sides
oddly shaped cards usually also have odd corners
Image

I don't have a picture of a 2-4 handy. It would be shaped like the 1-4 card above, but it would also be vertically miscut, so in this example it would be showing 4 cards.

I don't have a picture of a 3-4 handy, but I have seen one. The one I saw was sort of a parallelogram, and it wouldn't fit into a card sleeve. (a little to wide)

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Re: Miscuts Explanation

Post by BillBo » Sun Dec 11, 2016 3:29 am

Now that was helpful -- thx!
I collect land cards, just that.
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Re: Miscuts Explanation

Post by Neuron » Mon Dec 12, 2016 12:57 pm

Good overview and nicely illustrated.

However the cards 1-2 and 2-2 look fishy to me, unlikely shaped corners that point to NFC.

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Re: Miscuts Explanation

Post by dragsamou » Tue Dec 13, 2016 7:56 am

Neuron wrote:Good overview and nicely illustrated.

However the cards 1-2 and 2-2 look fishy to me, unlikely shaped corners that point to NFC.
1-2 : As I do not own a single NFC card, I don't even know what they look like when it comes to corners, or else, but I do own this type of misprints from 15/20 years ago (some that I even opened myself when Misprints were considered garbage, cost peanuts, and was sent back to WotC on a 99% basis except from very few of us).
2-2 : Is 500% legit, this has been covered from back in the years on this forum. I own 4 of them and I do have the full history of them that should be added sooner or later in one subsection on Magic Rarities (Only Commons and Rares exist).

Examples of Rares coming from the same French FBB Booster box:
Image
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Re: Miscuts Explanation

Post by Neuron » Tue Dec 13, 2016 7:57 pm

1-2: I agree that similar misprints do exist from Revised (and Fallen Empires and Chronicles), but the pictured card is with high probability from the guy who non-stop kills uncut sheets and sells them on you know where. The Revised cards below might be real, it’s an old picture:

Image


2-2: Maybe NFC is not the correct expression as people automatically think of deceptive pratices. At least, the facts are speaking against a miscut as a result of a regular print run:

a. the sheet is cut in a manner that the cards do not fit (seen also in confirmed NFC cards),
b. the corners are too round compared to normal French FBB cards (see picture below),
c. the corners are rounded too nicley compared to normal French FBB cards (see picture below)

Image

Left circle: 43p
Right circle: 26p
= 40% difference in corner rounding

The question still is, are these cards to be considered fake? Not necessarily. If it is true that they were pulled from boosters, they could come from checking a manual cutter at Carta Mundi. They wouldn’t be NFC, but the result still looks like that.

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Re: Miscuts Explanation

Post by cataclysm80 » Wed Dec 14, 2016 7:32 am

Neuron wrote:Good overview and nicely illustrated.
However the cards 1-2 and 2-2 look fishy to me, unlikely shaped corners that point to NFC.
dragsamou wrote: 1-2 : As I do not own a single NFC card, I don't even know what they look like when it comes to corners, or else, but I do own this type of misprints from 15/20 years ago (some that I even opened myself when Misprints were considered garbage, cost peanuts, and was sent back to WotC on a 99% basis except from very few of us).
2-2 : Is 500% legit, this has been covered from back in the years on this forum. I own 4 of them and I do have the full history of them that should be added sooner or later in one subsection on Magic Rarities (Only Commons and Rares exist).

card 1-2 is owned by Dan Bock. He's had it for at least 17 years.
Dan Bock wrote: I've had a Miscut Wheel of Fortune for a long time. A LONG time. As in, the year started with a "19" long time. And I bought it from someone who I consider to be way above reproach. When did everyone else first begin seeing NFCs, specifically Revised ones?
Eli Kassis wrote:I started in 2013/2014
tap4black wrote: We (Cardhaus) sold a set of Revised uncut sheets with MTG backs in April of this year (2011) to a buyer in Willmington NC, the same location as the (eBay) seller. I have no idea if this eBay seller is the same person as the buyer of the sheets, but my Spidey Sense is tingling.
dragsamou wrote: Dan Bock The seller Vueyou on Ebay was selling NFC Revised since 2009, he was the one who sold the Underground Sea NFC for $1325
It appears that professionally cut NFC cards started appearing around 2009. Prior to that, NFC cut quality was pretty terrible.
Since Dan's had his card since the 1990's, I believe it's legit.
Either way, it would still be representative of what a horizontal miscut looks like for the purposes of this article.


Card 2-2 is owned by me. As Alexis mentioned, it has a fully known history going back to when it was opened from a booster box. Alexis owns 4, I think I have 6, and we know other collectors with more of them. I have photo's of a lot of them, but I'd like to see scans.
I can line the scans up using photoshop to position them correctly, and then learn more about how these cuts were made at the factory. It may also be possible to get a better idea of how many sheets were cut like this. It's at least 2 common sheets and a rare sheet, but possibly more.
It's been awhile since I worked on that project, but here is some of the progress.
I think the Grizzly Bear & Fireball are from the same sheet, but I haven't put much time into analyzing the others.

Image


Image

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Re: Miscuts Explanation

Post by dragsamou » Wed Dec 14, 2016 8:26 am

cataclysm80 wrote: Card 2-2 is owned by me. As Alexis mentioned, it has a fully known history going back to when it was opened from a booster box. Alexis owns 4, I think I have 6, and we know other collectors with more of them. I have photo's of a lot of them, but I'd like to see scans.
I can line the scans up using photoshop to position them correctly, and then learn more about how these cuts were made at the factory. It may also be possible to get a better idea of how many sheets were cut like this. It's at least 2 common sheets and a rare sheet, but possibly more.
It's been awhile since I worked on that project, but here is some of the progress.
I think the Grizzly Bear & Fireball are from the same sheet, but I haven't put much time into analyzing the others.
I will gladly help you with that project as those will be added on Magiclibrarities in a specific subsection. The text for the tab is almost done, there's 125 to add with info, but the longest job will be to work on a mix of scans and pics, most of them in LQ (Approximately 75), then trying to hunt the 50 or so missing ones. So, meaning rotating, cropping, resizing, cleaning, etc... All of them one by one so that they fit a perfect 222 X 310 or 230 X 320 in order to be added in the tabs. In between, I'm swamped into others updates and upgrades as usual.
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Re: Miscuts Explanation

Post by Neuron » Wed Dec 14, 2016 9:15 pm

As Alexis mentioned, it has a fully known history going back to when it was opened from a booster box.
Does a video exist from the originial owner opening the cards? I tried the search feature, but it found nothing. The original posts are worth to take a close look at a second time, so if anyone has the links...

For now, if the existing history is accepted, it seems these cards are some kind of test cuts that incidentally found it's way into boosters. Or does anyone not agree that these were cut with irregular corner rounding dies? The random cutting pattern looks like it was done manually, but I'd love to hear an explanation that supports a machine job.

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Re: Miscuts Explanation

Post by dragsamou » Thu Dec 15, 2016 6:16 am

Neuron wrote:
As Alexis mentioned, it has a fully known history going back to when it was opened from a booster box.
Does a video exist from the originial owner opening the cards? I tried the search feature, but it found nothing. The original posts are worth to take a close look at a second time, so if anyone has the links...

For now, if the existing history is accepted, it seems these cards are some kind of test cuts that incidentally found it's way into boosters. Or does anyone not agree that these were cut with irregular corner rounding dies? The random cutting pattern looks like it was done manually, but I'd love to hear an explanation that supports a machine job.
Hi Ron

A wrong die was indeed used at Carta Mundi.
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