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Thinking of clearing up some stuff that have been left lying around the house, I picked up a pile of flyers and promotional booklets that managed to find their way into our weekly mail.
Two of those booklets came wrapped up in clear wrappers with a piece of sticker with our names and address printed on it. Not wanting people to find out our address and our names, I removed those plastics wrappers and fed one of the pieces to the paper shredder. Since the shredder claimed it could even shred credit cards, I expected it to be able to work on thin plastics wrappers.
To my horror the plastics wrapper became entangled in the shredding mechanism! The motor ground to a halt and refused to advance any more. After a few more attempts at stopping and starting the motor a few more times without getting the film out, I stopped the motor and peered into the mechanism from below.
Being able to stretch and wrap it around, the strips of plastics clung to the mechanism. I think this happened due to the fact that unlike regular pieces of paper, and credit cards, the plastics film is stretchable, even though it may be thinner. The motors heated up after my repeated attempts to get the gears to turn after they were stuck. That did not help the situation when it further softened the plastics and make them stretch and wrap around the gears even more.
Paper Shredding Machine
The following steps also involve using a pair of scissors to cut and pry the plastics free from the shredding mechanism. Please do not cut yourself on the scissor blades. Also, do not apply force with the blades on the mechanism. This may dislodge them from their current alignment. It may also bend or dent them. All this may affect the proper functioning of your shredder after you’ve remove the offending plastics wrapper.
First, engage the reverse gear to make the motor go in the opposite direction, to let the machine attempt to spew out the plastics wrapper in the reverse direction.
Take a pair of scissors, open up and insert a single blade in from the loading end. Aim for the mess of tangled plastics and try and cut them loose with the sharp end of the blade.
Specification Paper Shred
Turn the motor to expose the mechanism from the bottom. Use your fingers to try to pull on the tangled mess. Pull at different areas where the plastics go into the gears. In doing so, we are testing which parts of the gears are gripping harder on the plastics wrapper. Depending on how your mechanism was designed to shred, you will realise bits of your wrapper come off easily. For me, the middle part grips the plastic the tightest. There is no way to pull the plastics out for even an extra inch. The sides (for my machine) did not exert any pull on the plastics so it gave me a lot of freedom to remove bits of the plastics that stick out from there.
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