7.12.14

How I repaired my Big Shot !

Big shot bearing repair
Big shot repair
            Hi friends I am sure you can all relate to the feeling we experience when something we love breaks down! A cherished craft punch breaking down is enough to put me into minor depression so you can imagine how devastated I felt when my beloved Big Shot fell ill!! My Big Shot has been with me since August 2012 [here is one of my first Big Shot crafts]and though I am not a professional crafter its been put to some heavy use since I love to use die cuts extensively like in this Lantern
Die cut made Lantern
or this completely Die cut made 3 D Paper craft Chariot
Die cut made Chariot
              Shortly after the Big Shot's 2nd birthday it started acting cranky..it would only partially cut a die on one side. Analyzing  back, I think it was my fault as one of my acrylic cutting plates had cracked a few weeks before that and instead of replacing it immediately I kept on using it and I think that must have contributed to my poor big shot breaking down!
Big shot repair
Big Shot repair
            Okay speeding up to what I did...phoned up the most knowledgeable crafty soul I knew [Crafters Corner owner and extremely talented crafter Shalini Mittal] and she diagnosed that a bearing must have broken down and that I should just open up my Big Shot!
            Does the thought of opening up the Big Shot give you the jitters...? Well I did get the jitters big time but after all I was a surgeon and I talked myself into being brave enough to perform an operation on my beloved Big Shot!Well we surgeons often call in an assistant for difficult cases and yeah you bet I called in my much more "tool savy" hubby to handle this particular case!

What do you need to repair your Big Shot

  1. Courage! - yeah oodles of it as after all I bet its your most treasured crafty possession!
  2. Camera- take photos at each step so that you dont panic when you want to put it back together and things dont fit !!
  3. Container- to hold all the screws- believe me there are quite a few screws and washers and you dont want to lose anything!
  4. Screw driver- nothing fancy - something you have at home will do.
  5. Hammer - Am I serious? Unfortunately Yes ! Yeah each tap of the hammer will make your heart shudder but yes we do need it!
  6. Spare-parts Source - this was the toughest one for me and I will tell you about it ..
Big shot repair
Big Shot repair
          If you have mustered up the courage to repair your Big Shot , do follow a wonderfully written Big Shot bearing replacement instruction by Mechanical Engineering student Leumas Yrrep. His instructions have everything you need to repair your Big Shot.
           The reason I wrote this post is to give my  fellow crafters courage and reassurance that yes we can also repair it if the need arises ! For all technical jargon do read Leumas post  as I am trying to keep it simple here!
Put your Big Shot baby on its back and start unscrewing screws!    

opening big shot
Big Shot repair
Yeah take a deep breath ,gather more courage-- you can do it , and keep un-screwing more screws!There are 4 big ones in the center [ green arrows] and  lots of little ones on the sides [ red arrows]

Big shot repair
Big Shot repair
I am not gender biased but  I have to acknowledge certain facts of life- in my home my hubby is 100 times better than me at repairing anything!So if you have a "tool savy"  hubby/boyfriend/brother/son/neighbor/anyone....ok you get what I mean.. do butter them into helping you ! If nothing else, they can be the villain and do the hammering bit when that comes and you wont have to hit your Big Shot darling!

Big shot repair
Big Shot repair
Yes this is what I make my busy ENT Head and Neck Surgeon hubby do when he drops home for lunch!
opening big shot
Big Shot repair
Once you have unscrewed all the screws, pieces will start falling apart. Dont be scared...you will be able to fit it all back together!The side panels may require a bit of force to prise them apart.If you have the funny  L shaped metal [called allen key] your Big Shot came packed with use it to remove your Big Shot handle or simply rotate the handle screw and it will come off.
repairing big shot machine
Big Shot repair
Once you remove the side panels, things really start to heat up as in become exciting!! You get to see inside your machine and what makes the baby tick and do all the magic!
repairing big shot
Big Shot repair
The view above shows the big shot back on its usual working position but with the base removed  [it easily falls away on removing the screws] The 2 big gears are attached to bearings and the cylindrical rollers.
Big shot repair
Big Shot repair
Your Big Shot has a total of 4 bearings [ on the ends of each roller] and the reason we read everywhere "do not force your platform- cutting plate- die - paper- cutting plate sandwich " is that if you force something too thick through your Big Shot, it can crush one of the Big Shot's bearings.
Big shot repair bearings
Big Shot repair
As soon as we opened my Big Shot, the crushed bearing parts fell off and the picture above shows the empty bearing socket with parts of the bearing still attached[ needed hammering to get out]
big shot bearing replacement
Big Shot repair
The picture above shows how the crushed bearing looks- many of the tiny balls in the bearing were crushed and rings deformed badly! When a bearing gets crushed the rollers of the Big Shot will not be able to give the needed uniform pressure to cut the die and replacing the bearing is all that it takes to repair your Big Shot.
How to procure a spare Big Shot Bearing
Big shot bearing
Big Shot repair

The biggest challenge I faced in repairing the Big Shot was getting the bearing. Check your good bearing to see what is written on it. Mine said NHC 6200 ZZ. Automobile spare part shops stock these bearings. In Bangalore and on an online easy spareparts.com  shop I was able to get 6200 Z [for Rupees 67!] and not 6200 ZZ.The 6200 Z was a millimeter smaller and wouldnt fit my Big shot bearing hole.
So options you have are 
  1. Try auto spare-part shops - be sure to have a good bearing to compare with what they have and even better carry the central bearing - roller part with you to see if the bearing the seller gives you fits!
  2. Try online shops 
  3. Write to Sizzix - Shoma of Art Bug said sizzix sent her bearings free!
  4. Ask crafters in your country if they know anyone who sells Big Shot spareparts
Option 4 worked for me! Shalini Mittal came to my rescue again and guided me to Reena Gupta who sold Big Shot spare parts.The bearing she sent me was not 6200 ZZ but it fit perfectly!!
How to fit your bearing into the Big Shot
            Follow Leumas instructions to fit your bearing into your Big Shot...this requires the most finesse and courage because getting the bearing to fit into the central shaft attached to your roller requires hammering !! If you are too hard your bearing will get crushed and if you are too timid you wont be able to fit your bearing on to the shaft! [ yeah its a sort of paradox!]
           Once your bearing is fit, the rest is like a jigsaw puzzle...whatever you removed is fit back...We undertook the bearing replacement and final Big Shot reassembly on a Sunday but my hubby had to visit the hospital to see his operated patients and I was too impatient to wait for him and attempted to reassemble it myself. Well I did feel pretty foolish when what I was trying to do for 2 hours he came back from the hospital and completed in 10 mins flat!!
For Big Shot owners who are in India
I want to give a shout out to Reena Gupta from whom I managed to get my Big Shot bearing [ I am in no way connected to her - I am just a grateful crafter! In fact I could have hugged her when I got my Big Shot working!!]
Reena sells Big Shot spare-parts like Big Shot bearings,  handle pin and horse shoe shaped spare-part called circlip.
Reena also undertakes Big Shot repairs ! So if your Big shot falls sick and  you are scared , you can get the professionals to do the diagnosing and repairing for you!
My Big Shot is back to life!
Yeah my Big Shot is truly kicking and back to life now! And I made this die cut laden Pop up card
Pop Up card
full of fluttering butterflies to celebrate!
Pop up card
Yeah I really went to town with intricate die cuts in this pop up card...but I think you can understand why...I had been missing my die cutting machine and was so glad to have it back!!
I hope this post about repairing the Big Shot the amateur way will be of help. Do tell me if any of you have had the Big shot/ other die cutting machine breaking down and how you dealt with it....I will edit this post and link to your blog.It will be of help to so many crafters out there.

60 comments:

  1. Ohh my ...huge congratulations and big hug for your courage and success. And every one of us who owns this machine, will say many thanks for this post.
    Well done dear!! :)


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  2. Shilpa I had no option but to try repair it myself ! The hammering part was the scariest but the Crafty Gods were kind to me!!

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  3. I think that you do many operations as a docter.This is a little different but succesfully don.
    Great tutorial!!!!!.
    Gr Elly

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    1. Ha Ha Elly yes ..but we undergo years of training to operate...this one was done on sheer bravery!!

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  4. What a gorgeous card!! I love all of the amazing details!! And thank you so much for the tutorial. I just purchased a Big Shot to replace a Vagabond that can't be repaired. It was the second one I had in like three months. The first just completely died and Sizzix replaced it. The second one was my fault...I forgot to take off a plate and the sandwich went through and then just stopped. Sizzix won't repair them so I took it to a shop in town and they wanted almost as much money just to look at it as it cost me to buy. So I switched to a Big Shot. I have a Grand Calibur that I've had trouble with since I purchase it, too. I've cracked it open three times now to fix parts that have come loose. I only use it for oversized dies now. Thanks again for this tutorial - I'm bookmarking it for when I need it!! Have a great day :)

    Lisa
    A Mermaid's Crafts

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    1. Ooh Thank you so much for sharing Lisa...the vagabond was in my wishlist. I had read a lot of negative reviews about the Calibur and your view reinstates my research. The Big shot is awesome to use and I am so glad I could bring mine back to life!

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  5. First i have to say thank You so very much for sharing your beautiful cards and the inforamtion on repiaring the big shot. wow them cards are Beautiful. tysvm again for sharing all.

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    1. You go Girlfriend!!! I'm proud of you! :-)
      Are there any instructions to repair a Spellbinders Grand Calibur die cutting machine? Thanks.

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    2. The grand calibur is not very popular in my country India so I dont own it ! Will let you know if I find a link to repairing it

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  6. Thanks for sharing. The writeup & photos are worthy of a guide book in an understandable language. Taking photos is major. My BIGkick is used so much and has not had any problems but I did crack a plate and knew to buy a new replacement plate so as to not do damage to the bearings.
    Melissa
    "Sunshine HoneyBee"

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    1. Melissa I keep replacing my cutting plates frequently...this one had developed just a crack and my laziness in replacing it landed me in trouble!!

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  7. Another Brilliant post Sonia. I couldn't live without my big shot and just had to replace my plates. I hope I don't ever need to open it up, but what amazing reference for everyone of us if we need too. Loved your card and can see your Big Shot is now working perfectly.
    Julie xx

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    1. Oh yes let the crafty gods keep you blessed Julie!!

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  8. Always so talented, Love all your wonderful projects. Thanks for sharing how you fixed your big shot. I can tell you an earlier you. Just pick up the phone and call them. I have broken my Big Shot and they sent me the parts I needed to fit it and anther time I broke it they sent me a brand new one. Sizzix is so good about taken care of their products you never have to worry about it. Just wanted to let you know.
    Hug, Patricia

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    1. Patricia...I wish I had the luxury of being able to call up the Sizzix guys! Unfortunately I am in India!!

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  9. Good for you figuring out how to fix the big shot. I hate it when one of my crafting tools goes bad

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  10. Wow, another string to your bow as a cutting machine surgeon! Glad your 'patient' made it and has made a full recovery. Your card is just fabulous! What would we do without our machines? Debra x

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  11. Thanks for the info Sonia. I have 2 broken big shots but I am not sure I could repair them..Loz

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  12. Wow you are amazing my friend. Not only are you a Doctor, fabulous crafter but now we can add machine to the list.. lol
    Have a creative day.
    Hugs Nana
    ♥ My Crafting Channel ♥
    ♥ Nana's Rag Quilts ♥
    ♥ 2 Creative Chicks ♥
    ♥ Silhouette Challenges ♥

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  13. Wow! You are so awesome to fix your Big Shot. I can't even imagine being without my Cuttlebug and/or trying to fix it! It was very cool to see the pictures on the inside! :) And yay for Hubbies! My hubby fixes a LOT of stuff here at home too. :)

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  14. A must read for all the crafters... Dr.Sonia di by writing up a post so briefly and easily on a bigshot repair you have solved the various problems millions of crafters face with their bigshots. And thanks a ton for the shout out... Im truly grateful... Thanks again. You're a gem of person.. cheers to u..!!!! Awesome job done.. :)

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  15. Handling robotic arms to repairing a big shot, aren't you a superwoman! Kudos Doc!

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  16. Wow, this is a very useful tutorial Sonia! Thanks so much for your detailed description on how to repair a Big Shot. I will keep this handy in case my BS is acting up.
    Have a great week!
    Hugs, Katie

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  17. OMG...................hats off to your patience & courage to open the big shot!! Thanks for sharing this post. On a lighter note.................you are a born doc, am sure your bigshot is feeling better too ;-)

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  18. Your card is beautiful and you certainly are a brave soul. Thank you for a very practical tutorial. I hope I never have to use it.
    Hugs & smiles
    Teresa

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  19. Awesome information and so detailed description. This is going to be a bible for bigshot users. Thank you very much for sharing.

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  20. I can't even begin to tell you how grateful I am for this post Dr Sonia..As you know I am facing a similar problem with my Big shot and your tutorial is really going to help me tremendously ..I had googled about how to open a big shot but found no helpful sites and Now your post explainling this entire process is such a boon ..Thank you so much for it :)
    Your card is really beautiful ..I am so happy your big shot is back and working again ..we get to see some more of your gorgeous projects using dies of course :)

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  21. I had my Big Shot at least 6 years. I never check how the bottom look. Great that you can fix the Big Shot. I just broke one of my punches. You knew how it feel. Love the details on your creations as always.

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  22. Terrifying to see it come apart like that but so happy that you're all reunited as a happy family again...LOL. You have mad skills.... :) OHHH your creation is phenomenal as well. An intricate beauty as always.

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  23. tfs and glad you got it fixed I love all your work. hugs

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  24. Oh yes courage galore! How encouraging to all of us crafters to know that someone has in fact fixed their machine and here you show us how to do it. Thank you so much Dr. Sonia! Wonderful! NancyD

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  25. Its indeed a boon to crafters....to read such a post....hats off to you dear Sonia.....and ofcourse thanks a lot for mentioning the name for such a small favour as well.....U R A GEM :)

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  26. How useful! Last week my big shot started to make clunking motion as I rolled dies through it. I couldn't be without one for my business so I bought a new one already, but I will give a go at repairing my old one so I have a spare for the future!

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  27. Absolutely STUNNING creations here!! I love the elegance you give to your projects with such detail!! I don't know if it's a good idea for me to take apart something! LOL!! I can't even imagine the mess I would create!! LOL!! Thanks for sharing my friend! Hugs & Smiles - *Vicki*
    My Blog: Stamp Smiles

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  28. wow!! such a detailed tutorial... and a very very beautiful card.... lovely as always..
    -Berina
    Moxie Craftie

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  29. Fabulous! Not only r u creative but also handy, I like the fact that u were able to repair ur big shot :)

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  30. Gorgeous card Dr Sonia..:)

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  31. Oh, Sonia, I can't even imagine this! What a post! You sure have lots of patience( I've said this many times, I know :) ). Great reading about how you and your hubby did the job together! That's really wonderful! And your pop up cards are simply stunning :).

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  32. What a treat to find two outstandingly beautiful projects AND a tutorial for fixing a die cut machine, Sonia! It is WONDERFUL to be able to repair our tools, isn't it? I repaired my Grand Calibur, too. We took photos of the inside and SB sent the needed parts for free! I hope you are enjoying a beautiful day! hugs, de

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  33. This operation takes a lot of courage, but rather than stay without Big Shot... it's better facing the fear!
    Thanks for sharing!

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  34. Well done for tackling such a mammoth task. Hugs Mrs A.

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  35. A good post on how to repair Big shot .. Will Save this for future use ... Thanks Dr. Sonia for this pictorial tute .. Hugs Remya

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  36. Repairing of a Big Shot, great courage need, Hats off to you! And love your sweet creation of fluttering butterflies!!!
    Thanks for sharing your talent and pictorial post, I will save it for the future, Wish not to handle this situation:)Lol!

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  37. Sonia, good for you for repairing your Big Shot. I have the Grand Calibur and Cuttlebug, but not Big Shot. But, I'm sure this is very helpful to those who have one.
    Your pop up card is a beauty and I love the wonderful butterflies. I'll sure be glad when it is warm again and they are fluttering about my yard. :-)

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  38. Hi Sonia, pleased to meet you. Good job with the Big Shot. It's so interesting to see what kind of crafting people in other countries are doing. Thank you so much for the visit. I will be back for a better look round later. Happy crafting, Angela x

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  39. What an informative post. Thank you so much for sharing

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  40. Had I not know you through your blog n posts I would surely have thought you to be a techie !! I know how much courage it required to open such costly tool ! Your post is going to help many bigshot owners now , The camera tip is so thoughtful !

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  41. oh wow , doc , you are great, good enough to work on each thing and write on that is your excellent quality. one thing i will say , courage is must and you are courageous enough ...so big cheers to you .thanks for wonderful post.

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  42. congrats on mending your Big Shot and great step by step-what a fantastic card and beautiful die-cuts--thank you for joining us at 613 Avenue Create
    Carol DT x

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  43. I feel your pain! My BS has never failed, but one day I had a panic attack just thinking about what i would do if it ever did. Even though I have a Big Shot Pro, I could not imagine, so, I purchased a second Big Shot. That was back in 2010 and the spare machine is still in its box, but no more panic attacks for me. I am glad that you were able to repair your machine.
    Hugz,
    Chana Malkah Harris, Owner
    613 Avenue Create Paper Crafting Challenge

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  44. Wow...wat a informative post Dr. Sonia...though I don't own big shot yet but I have already bookmarked it for future use....thanks for such posts u always keep sharing....and the card is super gorgeous....:)0

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  45. Great post Dr Sonia... I bought big shot last month and using it very very carefully...now i can use it freely..

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  46. DR Sonia send an email to europecustomerservices@ellison.com and they will be more then willing to send the parts you need out to you. Their customer service is brilliant. As I am sure you saw when you looked at my blog, thank you for the comment by the way. I love your creations you are so talented, always my favourite place to come to:)

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    1. Thank you Bon...yes some crafters told me about that and the good news is that after reading this post the number one seller of the Big Shot in India , Shalini Mittal of Crafters Corner coordinated with the Sizzix guys and is arranging free spareparts!

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  47. You are awesome! I just found this post. Feel relieved there is a solution to big shot troubles.

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  48. Ooh darn! If only I had read this last month before my Big Shots funeral! I am now the proud owener of a new big shot plus! This will definitely be a pin I will keep handy!

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  49. Thank you for your exact instruction. Fortunately my Big shot works perfectly, but who knows...?
    Anyway I am more than happy to follow your instructions about how to keep punches in good condition, about PC and blogers problem..etc.
    You are a master in several subjects. It is good for as crafters to know where can look for solution. Thanks for all those tutorials. At the and but not the last, I admire your creativity. That carriage you made is fantasic.

    Have a nice day, Marjeta

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  50. When I broke 2 ½ teeth off of the small top gear near the handle, I called Sizzix and they sent me [email] 3 sets of detailed instructions, plus a schematic with the part number. Excellent step by step details with pictures. They are sending me the replacement gear at no charge.

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  51. Anonymous1/9/16

    do you know iff the big schot is from stanles steel ? can i pres handmade paper in it what brings whater on the big schot

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    1. I dont know if its made from stainless steel but it is a very sturdy machine and doesnt rust. I live in the South of India where humidity is high and the material is sturdy and rust resistant. And yes it can cut handmade paper

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