Can CMC actually reduce labor?

Chuck T

True Grumbler
Aug 15, 2003
Jackson, Michigan
We are considering getting a CMC. My wife does all the matt cutting and while she does a pretty darn good job, with all her other duties, she can't keep up. We have not had much success in finding help that could tackle the C&H matt cutter. I could help out some with matt cutting on a CMC, but I have a full load also. We average 50 frames a week and thought that a CMC might actually reduce her time at the matt cutter. We use Specialty Soft software that has a direct link to a CMC. Perhaps we might could eliminate our unseasoned help. What do you think? Thanks, Chuck
Yes, it's worth it. Cutting your first massively multi hole double mat ranks right up there with sex.

I got my Wizard in 1996 and haven't looked back. The time saved on single mats is negligable, but for everthing else it's a real benefit and for me it's eliminated a payroll position.

At 50 frames per week you're probably on the cusp of it being an affordable improvement, in my opinion. If you were nearby I'd invite you over for a test drive.

Where in Ohio are you located? I wouldn't mind coming over and checking the Wizard out sometime in the spring if your close enough.

By all means you should look at a CMC. Not only would it relieve some of the current stress in your shop, but also will help out when business picks up. We own an Eclipse and are extremely happy with it.

Do a cost analysis to see if it makes sense, but at 50 frames a week, I think you are in a good place to move forward on one.
At 50 jobs a week, I can't imagine not having one.

All the new cutters are nice. I have a Wizard, but there are some out there that cling to their Eclipse. If money is not an issue. You should really look at the Valiani Future. It is truly an amazing machine. It is a bit pricey though.
I compare owning a CMC to owning a micro-wave oven. Once you have one, you wonder how you ever got along without one.

If I were starting over, a CMC would be one the first things I would buy.
Wizard has a monthly rental plan, you pay monthly for so many corners. If your doing lots intricate design or special corners, I would look into a purchase. Price is around 17 thousand for purchase, and you can cut all the corners you like, the 8000 is the latest model, and you get free upgrades on latest programs.

A double Kobe corner with offset, can be cut in just minutes, and up to 6-7 layers. Time saved is at least one employee, if not 2-3 depending on mats cut and design, usually takes longer to enter info than to cut.

I have sold all my equipment except my Fletcher wall cutter, which I need for plexi, and glass. Your CMC will cut out everthing including the outside. Ck'em out, you won't believe why you took so long to get one, and they are for the most part very user friendly. You can save all your designs, and it also does tiling, which allows you to cut many duplicate mats at the same time.

Cutting names, college mats, frats, sororities, is so simple, and again you can cut multilples. Its a no brainer IMO.....have a great framing day...
Rock, in Chagrin Falls about 20 minutes east of Cleveland. Always willin to have a beer and give a fellow framer a tour of the shop.

I'm not nearly as grumpy as I come off on here, hehe.
Originally posted by Pamela DeSimone, CPF:
I compare owning a CMC to owning a micro-wave oven. Once you have one, you wonder how you ever got along without one...
Pamela, you have hit the proverbial nail right on the head!

Think long and hard about this. A CMC, in reality, may or may not be practicle for you at this point. For many, I suspect, it was not but, once purchased, the joy of ownership makes the rationalization process quite easy.

Having said that, in preparation for a small upcoming show, I just cut about 200 (relatively fancy, 9 different designs) mats the other day for my own work; thank goodness for my CMC! The average size of these mats was 40 U.I. I dread to think how much longer these would have taken on our manual cutter...

Bottom line: practical or no, if you do take the plunge, you won't look back - especially after you've cut your first multiple mat with 30 or more openings! :D
Go for it. Your wife will love it and her hands several years from now will like it even more.
OK, I called my distributor today and he is sending info ASAP. Unfortunately, I cannot get away to see one in use. Does the CMC cut the inside first and then the outside, and do you have to start out with a 32X40 sheet or can you use a smaller size? So many questions.... so little time.... Thanks for all the great info guys... Thanks (and big hugs from my wife)... Chuck
Wizard cuts inside, outside, upside down.

Generally the inside first and then the outside. Front side, backside, bottom first, top first. Seriously, it can be set to not cut the outside, it tells you the size of matboard you will need. You do need a certain width border.

WZ has a web site with a lot of info etc. I'm fairly new at this but wonder why I waited so long. There are the right brained, left handed learning curves...I think the designers are that, I'm definitely somewhere in the middle.

Ask what they have for promotions. I'd buy a stand instead of a wall mount if I had it to do over.

I'm sure there are more threads on this subject if you do a search. Good luck shopping.
Originally posted by Chuck T:
OK, I called my distributor today and he is sending info ASAP. Unfortunately, I cannot get away to see one in use... So many questions.... so little time...
2 "oh's". I know it's none of my business but...

Although some CMC's are noticeably less expensive than others, none are cheap enough to throw caution to the wind and "wing it".

As you've been sitting on the fence about this matter, it's obvious you're in no rush. Why not wait until you can attend a trade show and spend some time with the different machines so as to make an informed decision?

Okay. I'll shut up now.
Originally posted by johnny:
[QB]" Yes, it's worth it. Cutting your first massively multi hole double mat ranks right up there with sex."

I love having a CMC, but lets not be getting crazy here.

Originally posted by JRB:
Originally posted by johnny:
[QB]I love having a CMC, but lets not be getting crazy here.

My thoughts much as I lay awake nights dreaming & longing for a CMC...uh, ah, I just don't think those apples will ever compare to my oranges!

I posted on another thread "to Wizard or not to Wizard" Maybe it belonged on this thread.


To aide you in your decision making process, I'd like to share a short story from our shop that happened on Thursday, this past week...

Our manager had just taken in a nice, sizeable order - Two shadowbox frames, one about $450 and the second $750, from the same customer framing up their daughters High School awards and accomplishments.

The first shadow box had over 40 band medals and our manager was going to sew mount them, rather than the preferred method of cutting a small "slit hole" behind the medal's clasp, allowing the clasp to sink in, and held by a loop of clear film or linen tape. Sewing would only be necessary on the bottom of the medal itself. Her reasoning was that cutting those little slots was too time consuming.

Ten minutes later, we had produced a mock up matboard with all 40+ holes (1/4 x 1-1/4 inch) perfectly cut and every one lined up in precision. On our Fletcher F-6100, this is dimensions of opening > border dimensions > space between openings V and H > Click on Array by Spacing Tool > DONE!

This simply illustrates the real time saving attributes of a CMC, in many aspects of custom framing.

Thanks John,
for your comment to Chuck.
I attended the Wizard Class at the WCAF. The first thing they said was that "95% of all mats that you would cut would be rectangular" Then they proceeded to spend 100% of the time showing how to cut fancy mat openings, nothing practical such as your example. I've been trying to evaluate a CMC for the past year. I'm trying to understand how spending many thousands can save me enough time to recoup the expenditure. You have helped a lot.
Again, Thanks