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For a temporary job I'm working, one of the tasks we are sometimes required to do is to unroll these giant spindells of paper (think rolls of toilet paper the size of a trash bin except the paper is tough) and pack the paper into a box for recycling. The goal, really is to remove the cardboard center piece. The way they've been doing it is to cut through it with a knife. But this is tiring and takes a while.

Is there a more efficient way of doing this? I was thinking about maybe cutting in the middle to try and remove the center piece but it's just in there so tight.

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  • $\begingroup$ The roll is the size of a trash bin and the paper is tough, but what about the inner center? How thick is it? And when you say "cut through it with a knife", is "it" the whole roll or do you mean cutting from the middle (though the hole) straight onto the center piece, skipping the rest of the paper? Also, is the width of the roll (height of the center piece) the size of a trash bin as well? And how big is the center hole? Please edit your question with this information. $\endgroup$ – Wasabi Sep 20 '18 at 18:55
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you could also get a car jack and fixture it in such a way that when you crank the jack handle, it presses the core out of the roll sideways. A simple version of this is called an arbor press and can be bought from tool supply stores.

You can also try a log-splitter, which uses a motor to drive a wedge down into a log and split it into pieces. here you would fashion a ram pin to replace the wedge and set up the paper roll so that the ram would push the roll core out when you turned the thing on.

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    $\begingroup$ why the downvote? $\endgroup$ – niels nielsen Sep 21 '18 at 4:48
  • $\begingroup$ I agree, people should give some feedback when downvoting $\endgroup$ – user190081 Sep 21 '18 at 13:06
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How about a small battery powered circular saw with depth set to the thickness of the roll? Google "as seen on tv circular saw" to get some ideas.

Cut it twice, pull out the narrow part, gives the larger part room to collapse.

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  • $\begingroup$ "the size of a trash bin" sounds larger than one of those saws could handle? Granted trash bins vary in size... $\endgroup$ – Jonathan R Swift Sep 21 '18 at 20:48
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  1. Get a piece of dowel of similar diameter to the internal diameter of the toilet roll and place it over a bin.
  2. Get a small rubber/friction wheel and secure it to a pin so the pin can be placed into an electric drill.
  3. Unroll the paper into the bin using the electric drill and rubber/wheel.

If possible attach a number of rubber wheels to an axle that goes into the electric drill and you can unravel several rolls of paper simultaneously.

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Drill a hole in the tube. Stick a blow-off nozzle in the hole with 140 psi of shop air and float the tube right out. Air bearings. Once you got it figured out, make a hard pipe handle long enough to keep your face out of harm's way. I used to fix high-end push-poles that folks had broken. This is how I got the things off my mandrel.

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I'd go down the route of trying to cut the core from the inside-out, after which you could roll it in on itself, and remove it without unrolling the reel, or generally making a mess as would be the case with cutting/sawing from the outside-in.

Depending on the thickness of the cardboard, this might be achievable using a hot-wire cutter, or you may need to use a reciprocating saw. I have, on a past project involving a similar problem where a very long cut had to be made (with no access from the outside), re-purposed an old bandsaw blade for this task. It was threaded through the tube in question, and attached to a strong tensioning spring at the far end. A standard handheld reciprocating saw was then used on its lowest speed to pull the blade back and forth. You have to take it slow, but the cut can be made, with very little manual effort. If I can do it with Aluminium, you can do it with cardboard!

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