After much debating with myself, I’ve decided to take the plunge and buy myself a table top mat cutter. I choose the Artist Elite Mat Cutter by Logan and as soon as I opened it, I knew I was gonna have to read the instructions!
My kitty helped, and after putting the table top part of it together, it was time to place the blades into the cutters themselves. There are actually two different cutters, one for straight cuts, and the other for the 45 degree beveled cuts. I was a little nervous with the blades, but after extreme carefulness, I had both blades in place. Phew!
As with anything new, it took me a few minutes to get used to the cutter itself, and I did go back and re-read the directions once more before I started. I was really getting a bit worried, because it wasn’t making much sense to me.
“Release the Anit-Crawl Pin and pull the cutting head towards you until middle start&stop line lines up with the bottom pencil line”
Once I started though, I was extremely surprised and pleased at the ease this mat cutter is to use. The first cut I did was crooked :( and therefore the first mat that I completed was just…well crooked.
On my second attempt (after reading the directions yet a third time) I diligently measured out and drew the pencil lines for my second 8×10 frame. All seemed to be going well, and in no time the mat was cut. Unfortunately, it didn’t turn out to be an 8X10, instead it was kinda looked like a 9×11 parallelogram. Hummmm?
Then I realized that when I cut, I need to measure off the pencil line, and not the cut line! Third times a charm. It is really a lot easier to then I originally thought. I think the biggest and hardest part of the whole thing is measuring the cut lines correctly. Math not being my strongest suit, this might take a little work. If you have ever thought that you might like the freedom of designing and cutting your own mats, I say go for it! It’s really kinda fun too :)
PS. I wanted to share a neat shareware program called MatWorks! that should take the math-out of the equation of mat cutting. It also has the added benefit of seeing different mat color combinations with the photograph you working on. You can find the MatWorks! site here.