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  • Mat Cutters

    When I was visiting Michael's Craft Store I saw some mat cutters. I wonder if they would be any good for cutting or scoring plastic sheets such as Evergreen?
    Tom M.

  • #2
    My wife uses those mat cutters for material/fabric, paper and cardboard. I use it for thin plastic but when you start getting into the thicker plastic like .020 and .040 thats pushing it. "If you can cut something with a pair of sissors, than a mat cutter will also cut it."


    Louis L&R Western Railroad
    Pacific Northwest Logging in the East Coast

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    • #3
      Tom

      You are referring to the matt cutters attached to some sort of drawbar...straight cut type? I don't see why not...

      Les

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      • #4
        Tom, now that Les is talking about a different type than I was. Is this the type you are refering to?

        This is the type I thought you might be talking about.






        Louis L&R Western Railroad
        Pacific Northwest Logging in the East Coast

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        • #5
          Louis: Those look like rotary cutters. I take mat cutters as being used to cut photo mats. Cutting blade can be angled to cut the opening at an angle. I have a small hand operated one by X-Acto, takes a #11 blade.

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          • #6
            Yeah I am thinking the ones that are hand held or work with drawbar...

            Les

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            • #7
              Well there you go, One can never tell what another would call something. I was hopeing Tom would clear all this up.


              Louis L&R Western Railroad
              Pacific Northwest Logging in the East Coast

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              • #8
                quote:


                Originally posted by desertdrover


                Well there you go, One can never tell what another would call something. I was hopeing Tom would clear all this up.


                When I read this, even though it said "mat cutters", I read "cutting mats". Geeez, no wonder the wrong information gets out there!

                Jim

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                • #9
                  I have a mat cutter with the guide rail that I use for cutting cardboard, cardstock and of all things, mats. It's definitely a nice tool to have, but it has some limitations. The blade for straight cuts is set at a depth of about 1/8" below the cutting surface. If you try to make a cut using several passes it won't work because when the blade rides up on the material during the first passes, the guide slot becomes disengaged with the guide rail and you have no way to control the cut.

                  The blade holder for 45 degree cutting has a spring loaded blade for plunging, which would be great for the above mentioned operation, but it's set at 45 degrees. If you could combine the features of the two, you'd be set.
                  Russ

                  It's not Practice makes Perfect, It's Perfect Practice makes Perfect

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                  • #10
                    My Aunt had a frame shop and when she passed away I ended up with much of the tools she had a large mat cutter that's on a board and runs along a rail. It has both angle and straight cutting blades on it. I've used it to cut styrene sheets and it works great. Now this cutter is costly one but I'm sure the cheaper versions will work just as well as cutting the plastic is easier then the mat boards.

                    Dave

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                    • #11
                      Sorry to get back to you guys so late ...

                      I am refering to the mat cutters use for photos.

                      The ones I saw were in the $75. - $125.00 Cdn. range.

                      Of course there are more expensive ones ...

                      Is there a better unit out there made for cutting styrene or plastic?
                      Tom M.

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                      • #12
                        Tom: The accepted method of cutting styrene is to just score the line with a good sharp knife, then break it off. You really don't need to cut it all the way through with a special tool. Or are you referring to something else?

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                        • #13
                          Bob,

                          Just trying to keep everything straight and at 90 degrees.
                          Tom M.

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                          • #14
                            Tom,

                            I use a flat machinists square that I purchased from Micro-Mart a long time ago. The metal edge insures that the knife doesn't cut the edge and the fact that it's a square keeps everything 90 degrees to each other.
                            Ron Newby

                            General Manager

                            Clearwater Valley Railway Co.

                            http://cvry.ca

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                            • #15
                              Tom,

                              I use a new #11 blade and a NWSL dupli cutter to keep the lines straight. I also score and snap the plastic.

                              My wife has on of these http://yhst-82137401227281.stores.ya...i12scpatr.html

                              and your question made me think, can I use it?

                              I tried it and it worked on a test cut. It scored the styrene and I snapped it just as I always do. I will try it on my next project to see if it is better.

                              Larry

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