How to cut a deep bevel for a fabric wrap?


SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
May 30, 2005
historic Charleston, SC
As a pink-cheeked newbie, new experiences are a daily happening. I recently did my first fabric-wrapped mat project, and have been getting glowing feedback from everyone that has seen it.

I searched the archives, but did not readily see an answer for my question. What is recommended to achieve the DEEP BEVEL, FABRIC-WRAPPED MAT? (Materials and techniques)

My mat cutter is a Logan Intermediate (I know, I know - but it's what I could afford at the time. I had not yet "discovered" this incredible world of professional framers as yet! BTW, I'm not doing work for walk-in customers as most of you are doing, and don't need to do production work).

I don't understand how I can cut a correct bevel in anything much deeper than the standard matboard thickness. Your thoughts and input are greatly appreciated.
Most of us have mat cutters with adjustable blade depth allowing us to cut the thicker mats. If all you can do is 4-ply, you might want to do a built-up bevel. This is done by adhering successive layers of beveled mat strips to the back of the original 4-ply. The strips are applied in a pin-wheel fashion with beveled butt joints. I don't know if I can explain it any better... I'm pretty much a visual learner.

The fabric is attached using either a water based, heat-reactivated fabric glue (Mighty Muck (PVA) or acrylic gel medium), or a dry mount film like Fusion. Most of the fabric suppliers have tutorials for hand-wrapping mats on their web sites.

It takes a bit of practice, and a bit of knowledge of how the fabrics handle, but is well worth learning.
Originally posted by wpfay:
Most of us have mat cutters with adjustable blade depth allowing us to cut the thicker mats. If all you can do is 4-ply, you might want to do a built-up bevel.
Are you saying you have an CMC and you can cut deeper than 4 ply??

I have a Wizard CMC and 4 ply is the deepest it can handle.

My Wizard 8000 cuts 8-ply without any problem - just remove one slip sheet so that the 8-ply fits under the guide, and set the blade depth to 24 or so (may slightly vary by individual machine)
Paul--We have a Wizard and cut 8 ply, on ours we adjust the blade depth pretty radically!!
Use a new blade and toss it when your done, they pretty much eat up those blades!!
I have instructions at the shop,(taped to the wall next to the Wizard) it has been a while since I have done one so can't remember off the top of my head. Pick up the phone and give Wizard a call--that's how we got our instructions!

PaulN, as you have guessed, you may want to contact Wizard....and step into the wonderfull world of deep bevels that deaconsbench has found.

Deaconsbench, I'm not understanding why you can't cut deeper than 4-ply... but then Logan has always been a mystery to me. Can't you set your blade for a deeper cut?

We have one of the oldest models of C& H and I regularly cut mats for deep bevels in 3/16" and 1/4" Gatorboard.

Another option but with slightly more work is to lay strips on Bevel Board, then cut and miter the same way that Wally describes for the 4-ply.

I have done some of these amazing deep bevels with the Bevel Board covered in one fabric and the top mat wrapped in another.

Once you start really playing with fabric and different bevels... the world stops having restrictions.
Wally & Baer, I'm pretty much a visual learner myself, but I understand the build-up method you are describing. I'm sure I can feel my way through it. Isn't that what experience is, really? Learn a hundred ways to not do something, and one right way to do it!

You know you've hit on something when you are asked 'where did you get that great mat?'! Fabric wrap opens up a whole new world of design possibilities. It allows my artsy side to come out and play.

I tried to bevel cut conservation foamboard and could not control the waviness and shredding of the cut. I need to search around to see if there is a thicker blade available in place of the #270.

I recently placed an order with United and will be jumping into encapsulation soon. So many worlds yet to discover! Thanks, ya'll.
Beveled Foam Board
The Beveled Foam Board is easily cut with your matcutter. It is also pre-marked to aid in the placement of the mat decoration tapes. The tapes wrap the bevel for a beautiful finished presentation. Use our acid-free ATG tapes to adhere the foam boards to the back of you mats. For best results, always make your cuts with a new blade and when using darker tapes, color the cut lightly with a pencil to blend.

code # size # per box box price
UKFB 40" x 3.15" x 3/16" 25 $42.00

This product from ASAP is a useful item
Most CMCs will cut openings accurately enough that you can cut & stack 4 or 5 mats individually, with progresively smaller openings, and have what appears to be a continuous deep bevel. When the stack is naked you can see the layers, but under the fabric wrap it look exceedingly cool.

The opening size needs to be reduced by exactly twice the width of the beveled edge. That dimension depends on the exact angle of your machine's bevel. On my Fletcher F-6100 the dimensional difference is close to 1/16".

As usual, save & stack the fallouts to put in the opening after you've glued your fabric. Under vacuum that makes nice, straight creases at the bevels. Fold under and dress the corners, and voila! A perfect deeeeep bevel fabric wrapped mat made with top quality alphacellulose boards.
Jim, I am just starting out, and every dime I spend comes straight out of family finances. So I move a bit deliberately when it comes to spending.

I will not do something half-way and hope people buy my stuff...I want to put out a good quality product. That being said...

Is there a quality 'homemade' way to build a vacuum press? Can even pressure be achieved without a professional press? Am I hoping against hope?

By the way, I have a big honkin' Craftsman wet/dry vacuum that could be drafted into service today, if that were a possibility. (OK, I'm only halfway kidding about the vacuum.)

As always, I respect your expertise.

[ 08-08-2005, 03:00 AM: Message edited by: deaconsbench ]
deac, I'm just not getting it. Is your Logan a manual or not.

It was my understanding that it was a manual much like a Keeton or C&H and uses no-notch single edged razors...

Which would mean that if you slid the blade out just a tiny bit more....
Baer, yes it is a manual. What I was saying is that when I stretch the blade out long enough to cut 3/16 foamboard, I can't control the waviness. It's as though the blade is too thin for that. I've emailed Logan for some direction & suggestions. Maybe they've dealt with this before... Perhaps I just need to practice some more. But as far as cutting mats, it works just fine.
It is possible your blade is indeed too thin. I have a Fletcher 2100 manual mat cutter which uses #12 or #15 blades. Since I have a tendency to start cuts a little wavy sometimes, the #15 is a sturdier blade which gives me better control. (The mat corners, wavy; not me.)
Perhaps deaconsbench is trying to make the cut through deep board in a single one has explicitly said: start with normal blade extension, make your first cut, then without moving anything else, scooch the blade out a tad more to make another pass, and so on until that one cut is all the way through the board, then repeat the process with the second of four sides, perhaps splurging with a fresh blade at some point in this rather tedious process....
Originally posted by CAframer:

My Wizard 8000 cuts 8-ply without any problem - just remove one slip sheet so that the 8-ply fits under the guide, and set the blade depth to 24 or so (may slightly vary by individual machine)
Thanks Andrew for your reply (and sorry for the late response - something happened to email notifications it seems).

I have the 5000 series, and the previous shop owner told me it cuts only 4 ply. Do you know if 5000 can do that?
Thanks Elsa, I should really call the Wizard.

Someone came in a few weeks ago (an artist) and I turned him down. Maybe it was a blessing in disguise, as they usually want a major discount to cut a few 8 ply mats!
A little wavey sometimes aint bad. Say a cute little 3 year old girl in a bright yellow summer dress in her cute Mary Janes waving "ta ta" to the Grandparents at the airport.... :D

Now on an 8-ply... if the fabric is corse woven or dark colored, it will hide a multitude of sins.

As RevBev pointed out... that's the way I cut 8-ply. But Gatorboard, I just do a little over cut and jam it. I don't suggest Gator for fabric that are "see through". :D

It's funny how you do something so much, that you forget that you do them. Thanks RevBev.
RevBev & Baer...very cool advice. I was trying to accomplish this in one pass. If it makes sense to you, I didn't know I was 'allowed' to be that creative in cutting depth - so I didn't even think about it. Thank you both.

Logan wrote me back, and pretty much said the cutter was made to cut 4 ply, and that was it.

They obviously don't know about the Grumble.

Sounds to me like it's time for a C&H or Keeton... maybe even one of them new fangled Fletchy thingies. :D

If all it will do is 4-ply then it truly is made for Hobby scum....

sell it to some unsuspecting sunday night framer and buy one that will address the current trends for deeper bevels.

Even Eclipes and Wizard have recognized the need to cut 8-ply....

I think Doctoh was looking for some equipment...