Opinions Wanted C+H mat cutter

Vermont Hardwoods solid wood picture frame molding

mmmpj

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C+H mat cutter. I was just wondering if anyone else was having trouble with the C+H Advantage Pro mat cutter? My v-grooves are coming out awful and the bar keeps shifting so cutting a 1/8th inch bottom mat is nearly impossible.
 

JRB

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I have one of their older 60 inch cutters, it was old, thought I needed a new one before the Christmas rush, so I purchased the advantage pro. It was junk, ended up using the old one to get through Christmas. I had several engineers look at the advantage pro, they gave it a big thumbs down, said that problem could not be solved. This was six years ago. I sent it back, got a refund, and ordered a Wizard with the money. Smartest thing I ever did.

John
 

Kittyfaces

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My v-grooves were a little off at one point, but my dad, who is a tool and die maker, did some basic things to square it up and it is, once again, perfect. Once I determined it was out of square (per the manual... I was too paranoid to adjust it myself) all he did was loosen the screws a little at the top of the cutter... a little tap-tap with a rubber mallet... tightened the screws again... checked squareness... done. I love my C+H Pro... :D I've had it for 5 years.

Good luck!
 

Framerguy

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Welcome to the Grumble, mmmpj!

It sounds like your mat cutter is definitely out of adjustment. The steps to square the cutter (in your owner's manual) are simple to follow and, once squared, should be fine if you take the time to tighten everything completely and keep the mat cutter lubed and clean.

It seems that most of the problems involving framing equipment are caused by operator error or inexperience in using the equipment, improper calibration, or lack of simple maintenance of the equipment. Since the success of your cuts depend on keeping these tools clean and properly adjusted, it seems like the effort to learn how to adjust and clean the equipment is time well invested.

If you can't find another framer to teach you how to do these simple tasks, why not sign up for a workshop at one of the trade shows that pertain to your type of equipment? Most of the workshops dealing with use of equipment also cover calibration and cleaning.

Good luck.

Framerguy
 

Hobbes03

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I've been using the C&H AdvantagePro for a little over three years now (since I've been in business) and have not had any problems with it. As Framerguy said, as long as normal maintenance is performed on it, like any other piece of equipment, everything should be fine. I check mine for squareness every so often, and clean and lube it on a regular basis. It is very easy to square-up, as shown in the manual. Are there better manual cutters out there? I'm sure there are, it's just that the C&H is all that I know for now, but it has served me well. Perhaps I will go with the Fletcher 2200 at some point, or preferably the Wizard some day.

-Mike.
 
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framinzfun

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I, too, have tried to cut a v-groove on our C&H and have had no luck... It seems like the bar just doesn't stay square, it sort of shifts slightly, probably my fault.... Also, I don't like that it doesn't have an aluminum base, it seems to me as though the 'particle board' base would warp over time. Has this ever happened to anyone?
 

Bob Doyle

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I have a 48" CHPro and love it. I had bought it new from DonMar and had trouble with the first one I got. I expected a little "springiness" to the bar, but there was way too much. Turned out the hold down bar had been slightly damaged in shipping. DonMar took it right back and dropped off a second one and I have been happy ever since.

I have done many v-grooves with it and they have all come out great. The only operator error I have expoerienced was in the initial learning period I didn't hold the bar down tight enough and had bowing cut lines. But 2 mats worth of bowing and I learned quick to lean on the bar as the manual said!
 

Bob Doyle

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Oh yeah and this cutter was purchased to replace a CH4060 that must have been better than 30 years old and that particle board base wasn't warped in the least. The previous owner had taken great care of it. It was just a nightmare to square and v-grooving on it was a real headache when it wasn't squared!
 

mmmpj

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I appreciate all of the feedback, and I assure those of you who believe in regular maintenance that I would not spend that much money on an integral piece of equipment and not read through the manual. I have squared the bar, cleaned the rod, changed blades so on.......

C+H has been wonderful in that they sent me a new matcutter after many phone calls and attempts to rectify the situation. At this point I barely even touch the matcutter-I make sure I gently place the matboard against the bar to cut it, clean it regularly, turn the knob making sure that I am not holding onto the bar at the same time, I just really question the "one knob" approach.
 

Bob Doyle

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People's preferences can be so different can't they?! I'm sold on the C&H because of the one knob approach, and don't like the "noise" of the cutter on the Fletcher. Yet a framer friend of mine prefers the Fletcher over the C&H because the roller bearing noise is reassuring to him and the two point approach givces him more security that the bar is square!

Must be why we have so many choices in this field.
 
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mmmpj

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BobD- are you using a slip sheet when you cut V-grooves? I know it is recommended but through trial and error I am finding it works better w/o one....
 

John Ranes II CPF GCF

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Originally posted by mmmpj:
..........At this point I barely even touch the matcutter-I make sure I gently place the matboard against the bar to cut it, clean it regularly, turn the knob making sure that I am not holding onto the bar at the same time, I just really question the "one knob" approach.
mmmpj,

Although I prefer the Fletcher matcutters :D , I will share with you that the "one knob" design should work just fine, on your C&H Advantage Pro.

Many framers who use the Fletcher F-2100 and F-2200, use both the lower and upper tightening knobs to secure the guide for large mats. I usually tighten only the lower knob 99% of the time. Using it in this manner is similar to what you are currently doing with the single knob on your C&H Advantage Pro...

As you say, if you are gently bringing the mat blank up against the guide, once you lower the clamp to the surface and apply pressure, it is <u>the clamp</u> that holds the board in it's postion.

Slip Sheets -- Although the pioneer of V-grooves, Sean Hunt taught the technique without the use of a slip sheet, most framers prefer using one, myself included. The key is to not bring the blade down too far and engage the guide. (Bring it down only far enough to trim off the small amount of board needed to create the V-groove.)

You'll find an article on the technique in the upcoming issue of PFM (April 2004).

Regards,

John
 

Framerguy

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I am going to show my antiquity now but my C&H is 16 years old and does have a 2 point lockdown on the mat guide. I didn't know if you were talking about the squaring arm or the mat guide when you mentioned that the "bar" was moving for you.

I also have a set of aluminum blocks that are called V-groove guides or something like that. They are set on the mat guide and the guide is adjusted towards the bar/rod assembly until they just touch the assembly. With that adjustment, you can cut V-grooves with little trouble as long as your bar assembly is perfectly square with the mat guide. And that is crucial to good cuts of any kind. I use a slip sheet for cutting v-grooves and have no problems with mis-aligned cuts or hooking or uneven v-grooves.

I still maintain that, if you have carefully followed the adjustment procedures and are confident that the cutter is in all around good alignment, then it may be in your cutting stance or arm movement or follow through. We discussed this at length about a year or 2 ago and you may want to go into the archives and do a search for information on proper stance and cutting technique. Believe it or not, a bad stance, arm movement, pressure of your cutting hand, and follow through when you cut your mat, can all affect the quality and accuracy of your mat cuts.

Simple changing of your slip sheet will also help with your accuracy because, when a slip sheet gets many cuts in it, the mat cutter blade will have a tendency to try to track into one of these cuts and possibly throw your cut off one way or another.

Hope this helps you solve your problems with that cutter.

Framerguy
 

Bob Doyle

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Took awhile to respond, but no I don't use a slipsheet when v-grooving. In my simple mind I think that the extra height the slipsheet would add would affect how much I cut off the edge of the mat. Personally I like the look of a real thin v-groove.
 

MerpsMom

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I, like Tom, have a 13-year-old C&HAdvantageM48. I keep it in square and maintained, and have had no problems. I do use a slipsheet for v-grooves, and rotate the slipsheet after each pass so the blade doesn't remember the previous cut.

The aluminum blocks are handy for keeping everything squared, but I find I do have to really tighten the top knob on the movable matbar or it tends to shift.

You can get really good at eyeballing how much you're shaving off if you use a contrast color slipsheet.


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ahohen

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May 24, 2002
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127
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Raceland, Louisiana
If anyone should have "any" problems with their C & H matcutter, call and ask for Gritzko. I was having a problem cutting v-grooves (for example: in a 36" cut, the v-groove was narrow on both ends and wider in the middle). I checked the fence to make sure it was exactly parallel with the bar that holds the cutter... it was. I called Gritzco and he guided me through a few steps (very simple adjustments). What a great improvement... working like a new one. Thanks Gritzko

ajhohensee
 

Marine Framer

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How do I reach Gritzko? I have a project that is a Mother's Day gift and I can get my Advantage Pro to cut a square mat. I have tried everything and time is running out!!!!
help.gif
 

Hobbes03

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Marine Framer:

Is your mat blank square before you put it into the mat cutter? I only ask because a lot of times the full mat sheet (32x40 or whatever size you are using) is not square from the manufacturer. As standard procedure, I always square up the mat blank (full sheet) before cutting it to size and putting into the mat cutter to cut the window opening.

Just something to check if you have not already. Perhaps this is part of the problem.

-Mike.
 

Marine Framer

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Mike,

I am using the squaring arm on the cutter to cut the mat to the size I need before I cut the opening. The problem is I can't get a square mat in which to cut the opening. Just how do you square the mat before cutting it?

Thanks
 
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Hobbes03

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Marine Framer:

I square mats on a Fletcher 3000 wall mounted cutter. I've never tried doing this with the squaring arm on the C&H matcutter, although I would imagine it should work just as well.

-Mike.
 

Bob Doyle

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I have tried to use the squaring arm on my 48Pro and have had mixed results. I prefer squaring with the Fletcher 3000 wall cutter.

The squaring arm seems to slip on the mat cutter and I use my carpenter square to chack the squaring arm any time I have to use it!

Since I have the wall cutter I have never bothered to check into the issue of the squaring arm slipping, I have a better work around. If I didn't have the wall cutter I'd tighten the squaring arm.

Who here uses the squaring arm to cut things dry mounted on fomecore? I do, but have seen a lot of other framers using a utility knife and a straight edge.When I use that method it slips too much, so I go back to using my mat cutter.
 

Kittyfaces

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BobD,

Hi, I'm up the road from you at Red House... the folks I used to work for in Portland use straight edges that are called Big Yellow... they have a great grip on the bottom... I haven't gotten around to finding one for myself yet.. I tried sticking the remaining plastic from a used sheet of bumpons to the bottom of my Dahle straight edge for better grip but that made me too nervous about potential damage so I took them off...

windy today, huh?
 

Bernie

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Feb 9, 2004
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I have a daughter who was into stained glass work.
The place she gets her stained glass stuff from sells a rubberized cork strip with adhesive on one side that is made for putting on the underside of metal straight edges. It is thin but really gives a good grip without any danger of marking the work surface.
 

shopmonkey cpf

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i and the shop i work for use stright-edge bars for some trimming( we also have a wall-cutter), with a high-tension squeeze clamp at the bottom and pressure from one hand at the top, i have never had anything "slip". 'course make a coupla passes---the first very deliberate and slow...
 
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Adel

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Hi

I'm a photographer tyrying to frame my own. In the market for a mat cutter. I do print
on canvas as well, for the larger sizes.... But am having a hard time deciding between 40 X 60 wall mount size or smaller. What are
the advantages of 40 X 60 besides the obvious!?
 

David Hewitt

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The obvious, if you plan on doing larger sizes you will need a larger cutter. I had both a 48" and a 60" until the computerized cutters became available.
I am confused of your wording wall mount, as there are few options for wall mounted mat cutters. If you are referring to a mat, board, and glass cutter which are wall mounted, then I would recommend the larger size as it doesn't take up much more space. Fletcher 3100 Muti material cutter, and the Fletcher 2100 or 2200 in 48" and 60" mat cutters are all good reliable machines. There are plenty on the used market, you may want all three.
 
Last edited:

Adel

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Thank you so so much for the quick reply.
Most of mine will be under 60" X 40" but having a large one will allow me to cut the large standard size boards that I will get?
or is it better to just cut those standard large boards with an exacto knife and then use the 48" wall mount cutter?

Which brand would you recommend?
 
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Adel

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Thank you!!!
am looking at fletcher terry and the prices, deffinately want a wall mount since I have a tiny place but really don't know which size!? I probably cut a several mats, glasses and acrylic a month. most of them within the 48" range but I wonuder if the 60" inch would help cutting standard size sheets down to managable sizes and if its worth the extra money. Money does matter to me a lot these days,
but since this is a life time investment want to make the wisest choice.
 

Ylva

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Adel, welcome to the G

I don't understand exactly what you're looking for. A wall mount cutter is to cut board (outside dimensions), foam, acrylic and glass

A mat cutter is to cut the opening (with the ability to cut matboard to size as well)
 

slop101

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Hi there!
Instead of starting a new thread, I wanted to see if any of you here would know where I'd be able to find these old oval-mat blades for the old C&H oval-master...

blade.jpg
 

alacrity8

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Adel, welcome to the G

I don't understand exactly what you're looking for. A wall mount cutter is to cut board (outside dimensions), foam, acrylic and glass

A mat cutter is to cut the opening (with the ability to cut matboard to size as well)

Mat cutters come in a few varieties:
Tabletop cutters that are measured by what the largest single side they can cut. Usually 40", 48" and 60".
Computerized Mat Cutters, that are either tabletop, or wall mounted
and Wall Mounted cutters like the Easterly Speed Mat, that are like a non computerized version of the above.
 
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Ylva

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True, although I have never seen a true wall mounted mat cutter (maybe someone can post a pic?)
Did Fletcher ever make one? as Adel was looking at Fletcher

I have both a cmc and a C+H mat cutter (although it is buried somewhere as I haven't used it in a long time) Neither are wall mounted.
 

Romanf

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Speed mat makes the Esterly wall mounted mat cutter, and they can also cut board glass etc. they even a computerized model. Website is speed-mat.com
 

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Ylva

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Thanks for the pics. I could never wrap my mind around how a mat opening could be cut on a wall mounted cutter. As in, wouldn't all the fall out pieces, well, fall out, right away? I have only ever seen mat cutters on an angle, so slightly tilted, which makes sense to me.
 

Romanf

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Thanks for the pics. I could never wrap my mind around how a mat opening could be cut on a wall mounted cutter. As in, wouldn't all the fall out pieces, well, fall out, right away? I have only ever seen mat cutters on an angle, so slightly tilted, which makes sense to me.
Actually there is one for sale on the grumble site….much better pics.
 
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