Crooked V-grooves

Lori M.

May 23, 2003
I could sure use some help determining why I get crooked v-grooves. I have a Fletcher 2100 and have checked it to be square several times.

When I cut v-grooves, one end is usually a little narrower than the others and I can't seem to figure out why. It is especially noticable on smaller mats rather than large.

Thanks so much,
Lori M.
I have the same problem! :eek: I have double checked to make sure the matboard is square too. It's just a hair off, but still noticeable.
Lori, I'm sure technical people can give you more guidance but I thought I'd share a tip that has helped me have perfect v-grooves every time now. Of course having squared up equipment is a must but I think the nature of cutting a v-groove causes inconsistencies. That being said I was taught many many years ago by a very wise framer that when you get to the part where you slice the "V" take another piece of mat board and put it up against the guide the same as you would with the fall out. Start your cut on this extra piece of board and your blade will track as you continue the cut into the actual piece you are cutting. It works wonders, I have not gotten one hook or crooked corner in all the years I have used that method. Up to that point I dreaded cutting v-grooves.

I'm sure this is clear as mud, somebody else can make it clearer I hope.....
Also have a 2100.
I use the .015 double honed blades for daily framing. Just my personal preference. I use the 0.012's for V groove cuts and have much better luck.
Also try cutting it more in the center of the cutter. Fletcher told me that the bar has more "hold down" power in the center than it does at the ends.
Originally posted by Steven6095:
......I use the 0.012's for V groove cuts and have much better luck.
Also try cutting it more in the center of the cutter. Fletcher told me that the bar has more "hold down" power in the center than it does at the ends.
.012's for almost everything!

Center of the clamp on the F-2100, F-2200 and most other matcutter's indeed has better hold down ability.

Lori M. and Flintstone... Please read my article on how to cut V-grooves well in the April and May issues of Picture Framing Magazine....Mat Doctors. The answers you need are there.

John, not to sidetrack the postings, but anything wrong with using the double sided 0.015's? Not being sarcastic, just curious. Been using them for two years and never had an issue.
It may sound wierd but it's all in the body language. I had many staff members over the years with the same problem. using the mat trick to start the cut is great, been diong that for years, but you must be sure your arm and hand follow exactly the same path from start to finsh. if you are drawing your arm down the cutter and as you get to your body you move your elbow to the side you have actually changed the position of your hand as well and therefore teisted the head to a different cutting position. try to conciously lock your hand into one tourqued position (i always prefered twisting in a clockwise position) feel this in your hand and wrist and keep that "feeling" the entire lenth of the cut. not to say this is the cure all, i wouldn't know without watching you, but it has worked every time i've shown my staff.
On a fletcher 2100 the most important adjustment for v-grooves is that the guide and hold-down bar are parallel. On longer v-grooves make sure that you tighten the knurled knob on the far end of the guide. Hanna is also correct that being consistent in hold-down bar pressure is important.

Originally posted by Steven6095:
......but anything wrong with using the double sided 0.015's?.....
Hi Steven,

Nothing wrong at all with the .015 double honed blades. It's important to recognize that blades are manufactured by "blade people" and offered by the various mat cutter companies to give us options. Many framers have strong feelings about which blade works best for them.

It's also important to know how the characteristics of each blade will influence behaviour, and that results will vary slightly from one machine to the next (brand).

.015 blades are obviously slightly thicker than the standard .012 blade and were offered as an option to minimize flex in cutting particular dense material, like 8ply and black core mats.

.012 blades being thinner offer less resistance when cutting and thus if you have no flex issues and have the blade set to an ideal depth, offer the best situation for most mat cutting situations, in my opinion.

(After understanding the above statements, you still find yourself satisfied with the .015 and like the results, then by all means stick with them.) ;)

Hi John,
Thanks for the reply. I have a supply of .012s 0.15s and 0.16's at all times. The majority of the mats I cut are 4 ply rags (bainbridge Alpharags mainly) and I have found I prefer the 0.15s for those. Just personal preference :)
On anything else I do use 0.012s.
Thanks :)
Thanks to everyone, I added a piece of board in front of my cutout and also moved up into the middle of my cutter. I found that moving your board up also helps keep your arm straight. Results: Perfect every time.