cutting Bainbridge mat


SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
Dec 11, 2001
Knoxville TN
Ordered about 15 Baibridge boards, 8464V which is a vellum finish. Wizard, with their brand new premium blades at $100 per box, cut then with fuzzy edges both on the bevels and on the edges.

Switched to cheapy Artique mats, no problem. Switched to other Bainbridge rag boards, no problem. Finally returned the 8464V for another color and off we went with no problem.

Question: does anyone else have problems with fuzzy edges with these "V" suffixed mats? I know it stands for "vellum" which is a toothier paper. But am flummoxed over why all of a sudden the Wiz won't cut them properly.

I think you have come across one of the vulnerabilities in the Wizard design. If a mat is marginal in this area such as when cutting reverse bevels in fabric mats, the Wizard's 45 degree angle cut is too shallow. My manual Fletcher cuts at an angle steeper than 45 degrees and is therefore less likely to (and rarely did) leave frayed edges.

Perhaps someone from Wizard could contribute this discussion?

Pat :D
I'd buy the argument in a heartbeat BUT it's only doing it with that one mat. Not withtheir Alpharag, not with the fabrics,chenilles, etc. Just 8464V

I'm now suspecting a bad batch, or run since I ordered 12 at once, used 10 and have two left. OUr kind Bainbridge rep couldn't explain it either.

O well=---just another mystery in life. :eek:
Try burnishing the edges with a burnishing bone. Order one from Larson Juhl or United. Lightly run the bone over the edge of the cut, this should solve your problem. You can also do it the old way, use the back of your thumb nail, thats the fingernail on your thumb, not a plastic Thumbnailer insert. Another method is to lightly sand the edge with 220 grit sandpaper, then burnish the edge.

I'm currently trying to get my hands on some 8464V so I can see first hand, but in the mean time I'm also looking for more information about what properties the "vellum" exhibits over other paper or cotton matboard. It was my understanding that vellum is actually animal skin and not paper, but I couldn't find any info on Bainbridge's site that explains the "V" and what exactly it's made of.

I doubt it's the angle of the blade causing the problem if both the core and the surface are fuzzy... maybe this particular mat is hyper-sensitive to drag caused by a slightly over-rotated blade or something, but until I get a sample to experiment with I can't be sure.

Michael, are you cutting just straight rectangles? Have you tried an oval?

I'll update when I find out more...
My understanding is that the Bainbridge vellum is just a surface sizing to make the board more suitable for line work, French mats, etc.

I don't see how that could affect the core.
John: did that with one of those little blue thingies with ribbon of sandpaper on it. Helped a little but not perfect. And with each of these ten jobs at about $450 each, we want PERFECT

Steve: will try cutting oval. Will see waht happens.

can report that the Alpharag -- 8647??-- I tried of the same color--no problem at all. Also cut Bainbridge mat allday yesterday and no problem.

Go figure.

Vellum was, in fact, animal; however, now in the paper industry it refers to a surface. Usually a little more "tooth" or "feel' than a normal finish.

Ron: apologies for my stupidity, but I cannot see this surface being conducive to French lines, particularly since it isn't sized like the Crescents that are supposedly designed for French matting. But, could be, and probably am, wrong.

[ 01-15-2004, 07:21 AM: Message edited by: tnframer408 ]
Michael, it could be MY stupidity at work here. I may have been thinking of the Crescent product.

I think I'll go shower now. I usually can do that without hurting myself - unless I try to shave my ears.
Sorry Michael, I don't use any Bainbridge mats except when they are replacing an out of stock Crescent or Tru Vue. I probably shouldn't have given my two cents.

The "v" line of the Bainbridge Alphamats is sized specifically for watercolor panels and pen lines. I just did a passel on the 8431V. the standard Alphamats that are not sized also have the zeolite molecules in the surface paper and if you try to put a watercolor wash on them you will find every one of those little buggers as they attract and condense the pigment in the watercolor (empirical studies have shown).

Michael, I would guess you got a bad batch of the vellum finished happens. If you are still in to experimenting, you might try desiccating one of the boards by putting it in a (160 degrees) vac press for about 15 min. Once cool enough try cutting it & see if humidity wasn't a problem.
I have had the same problem with other boards, Bainbridge, Crescent and Artique. Drying them out a bit really helps.
WOW WALLY WOW Great idea Although I've substituted I now have about 10 fallouts that are huge enough to be useable.--project size was about 30 x 40 finished size with a 4" border.

Will try dessicating tomorrow and report back.

tried the ovals on Wiz today and they still "frayed"
I don't have a computerized mat cutter but I am having trouble with several browns and rusts in Crescent rag and select. I try not to use these mats. If I have to I have found that if you buy fine emery boards in the nail polish of the cosmetic section they work fine. Since they have a really fine grit, they smooth the ragged edge pretty good.
We have a Valiani CMC which cuts at the same angle as a manual mat cutter (very nice machine, by the way!).

For what it's worth, we had similar problems with (only) one particular brown Alphamat matboard (I don't remember the colour, off-hand).

Unfortunately, this was for a huge family photo montage consisting of about 16,000 openings of various sizes and shapes (of course!)...

We tried cutting the mat from the front, from the back, new blades, hopping on one leg, standing on on our heads ... you name it...

In the end, we've decided to stay away from that particular mat. The surface paper (of, perhaps, that batch of matboard/colour only?) seemed to be of a consistancy that caused problems.

We had never encountered this problem prior, and haven't since.

Having said all that, I'm sure it hasn't helped. Perhaps we can file this posting under "misery loves company".

Best of luck!
well the dessicting seemed to work. Many thanx, Wally; heated the board for about 10 mins or so and was off and running. Now I can put those "V" corners back in my mat inventory. :D