The 7 minute cutting test

At the start of my classes, we do a cutting game. It’s like “tell a secret” but with paper. It seems like a silly exercise when we could be doing much more important things but that’s the point. It is mind numbing and it should be pointless. Unfortunately the results of the exercise show the need of it is quite the opposite of pointless. Dispensing with the controversy at the start of class is the easiest way to build all of the other skills needed in production pattern making. It works like this:

  • Draw a rectangle 2″ x 6″. Cut it out. Mark this piece as #1.
  • Take piece #1, trace it and cut it out. Label this piece #2.
  • Take piece #2, trace it and cut it out. Label this piece #3.
  • Take piece #3, trace it and cut it out. Label this piece #4.
    Lather, rinse and repeat until you have 8 pieces.

That’s all you have to do. I just did it and timed it; it took seven minutes. Do you have seven minutes to play the cutting game?

Supplies: Pattern paper, pencil and scissors. If you don’t have oaktag pattern paper you can use a manila folder. If you have paper you prefer to use for pattern making, that’s your choice.

Cheating: I hope nobody cheats. Cheating is defined as making piece #1 and tracing it out seven times instead of using piece 2 to trace piece 3 etc. Cheating would also include drawing the 2″ x 6″ rectangle eight times and cutting those out.

Submit your entry: When you’re finished with your eight pieces, stack them with the smallest one (#1) on top. Take a picture of it in such a way as to show the layers to best advantage and send it to me or leave a link in comments where the photo can be found. If you can’t upload a photo, send the photo to me and I’ll edit your comment to add a link to your photo. You can always email me from the “About” page.

Note: If you know the solution or point of this test, please refrain from mentioning it in comments. You can weigh in with part two to come. Thanks!

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21 Comments on "The 7 minute cutting test"

3 years 2 months ago

I did it one by one (as you explained) I cut it inside the traced line. All of them are the same!!!

3 years 6 months ago

I think a video is optimal and I don’t have one available. As for scissors, see this entry.

3 years 6 months ago

I am here cutting card and wondering how to get a smooth line. I know it is somehow possible. What is the best posture, type of scissor and method?
I got called out on aircutting in class the other day.

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