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Thread: Best Mat Cutters

  1. #21

    Best Mat Cutters

    I would recommend avoiding the Logans: mine was the 40" (model 650). The base
    is made of particle board which gets warpped at any hint of humidity, including
    ambient. I have had to throw away two of these in as many years and am now
    switching to a Fletcher (which has a metal base).

  2. #22

    Join Date
    Jun 2002

    Best Mat Cutters

    When I was young I worked at Light Impressions here in Rochester; I matted prints for the Eastman House, including a set of Paul Strand's work which was a special treat. Back then I used a heavy duty, 1/4 inch thick aluminum straight edge with a beveled side and a Dexter Mat Cutter with fresh blades. I can still cut a decent mat but I need more than a few practice cuts before I regain resonable proficiency again.

    Now I have an automated cutter do a perfect job. I look at the corners of every show I see - a bad habit - but the good auto cutters are far better than us mere humans.

  3. #23
    unexposed darr's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2005

    Best Mat Cutters

    The Valiani Astra 120 or 150. I have been using a 120 for many years and still love it.

    A Photo A Day Project:
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    LF Print Exchange Gallery

  4. #24

    Re: Best Mat Cutters

    For a total amateur, your setup, David, sounds really useful.

    Would you mind re-posting the picture? I think it was hosted on your web site in 1999!


    Quote Originally Posted by David R Munson View Post
    Well here's a very low-cost solution that is easy to use and effective as well. Got this idea from one of my professors (hope you don't mind, Bill), and having been very satisfied with the simplicity of the thing I'll likely be building my own shortly. The basic concept is illustrated in the image below.

    The whole thing is built on a base of plywood (3/4" I believe). The only parts to the thing other than that are a piece of stock steel (A) and two hold-down clamps (B). There are also two screws that *loosely* hold down the steel, one at each end. In use, you draw lines where you want your cuts (D) on your mat board (C), slide the mat board under the steel, line up your line with the edge of the steel, and put the pressure on with the hold-down clamps. You use the stock steel as a straightedge to guide the cutter. I cut the mats with a Logan 4000 mat cutter (about $30, available here), though realistically you could do the same thing with any one of a number of cutter heads. I score the mats with one pass to keep the cuts from hooking in the corners and then do the actual cut, remove the mat, turn it 90 degrees and do the next cut.

    I wouldn't even be suggesting this if it didn't work so well. It's quick, simple, accurate, and ridiculously servicable and customizable. It's also very scalable (you could build one to accomodate just about any size mat for only a marginal difference in cost). Total investment runs about $50. Sure, not a damned bell or whistle on the thing, but at around 1/60 the cost of something like the Speed-Mat, I'm not exactly going to complain.

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