Freehand V-groover?


MGF, Master Grumble Framer
Aug 28, 2002
eastern pa
Is there such a thing? I want to try my hand at doing some freehand mat designs... without a computer mat cutter. Is there a good hand held freehand v-groover out there?
Yep...called an Xacto knife...actually I have a free-hand v-groover at the shop somewhere...called a "free groover" If I remember right.
Design flaw or operator error...dunno...could never get the thing to work. Email me your address...I'll send it to you, and if you can get it to work you can buy me a drink in Atlanta.
(this is assuming I can find it...)
I bring this up because I saw one, some odd brand that probably uses blades that are nonexistent, in a hardware catalog... and I thought maybe there was one made by a more reputable manufacturer....

And thanks for the offer, Wally, but if you can't make it work, it would just turn into a paperweight around here.
Wally is right on two counts.No Jokeing. One there is/was a cutter with two opposeing Exacto No. 3 blades held at appx. 45 deg. angles,which could have their depth adjusted with the insertion of shims of varing thickness,and it was called a "Free-Groover". The down side is it took a lot of practice and the right touch to perfect it's use. Especially when you had to adjoin to intersecting V-grooves .This required you to continue cutting while lifting at the same time and not over cut at the intersection.

His second point was that the other cutter is a hand held Exacto knife which you stiffen the blade on your finger ,to prevent flexing. It also is extremly helpful and Highly recommended that you attend Brian Wolf's classes demonstrating the same use.

The down side is this take even more skill and practice. And after you watch Brian you will become extremly disapointed when you try to do what he makes look so easy.I have done both and a few other methods . Just do a search in the archives.Look under carved mats.
Buddy has done some great mats. I had one of those free groovers, gave it away to some do it yourselfer. Not sure if she got it to work or not.
"Frameco" make one for use on their systems that can also be used freehand. By removing one blade it can also be used for cutting out shapes freehand. Does take a bit of practice
Practice... practice... what in life DOESN'T take practice? At one time I was pretty good with that clear cube freegroover thing. Wonder where that got put?
Logan has a V groover that is supposed to work with various mat cutters including the Fletcher.

As for the freehand one, I saw one in Hobby Lobby. It is a blade in a block that can be pushed around on the mat. Don't know how well it works.
Originally posted by wpfay:
Yep...called an Xacto knife...
Absolutely... the gizmos, and blocks for this purpose do not work nearly as well as a simple, hand-held blade...

Aside from exacto knives, scalpels work quite well for freehand mat carving. These can be found at most good art supply stores or medical supply outlets.

Tip: make sure your blade is razor-sharp.

Good luck.
Many moons ago, I watched a demonstration by Brian Wolfe at the Crescent? booth at the Decor show at the piers in NYC (I told you it was a long time ago)
Brian used this little "Doohickey" thing with two blades to embellish mats w/ a design. Really impressive.
Of course, Brian is a "Wizard" when it comes to mat cutting. :D
Buddy, shame on you. You could have helped Brian out a bit... you know he's bashfull about his books...

Framinzfun, get everything of Brians then cut, cut, cut...