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Keeton Kutter Questions

Twin Tiers Photography

Grumbler in Training
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May 29, 2020
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4
Hi, I am new to this forum and new to Keeton Mat Cutters. Over the years I have cut hundreds of mats starting with consumer level Logans and then finally moving onto a Fletcher. I recently came across a Keeton on my local craigslist and the price was so cheap I couldn't resist - I am also a professional woodworker and that made it even harder to pass up - Oak and Chrome office furniture and equipment is a weakness :) I have looked through some of the Keeton threads from the past on here and one of the threads suggested there were some Keeton experts on here and that providing pictures and serial numbers would help with advice on use and maintenance.

Here is what I picked up:
serial 16614
No paperwork or instructions - but did find a PDF online with 1 page of troubleshooting
seems to have cutter stops on the bar - But I assume its missing some kind of mat edge stop, maybe would have attached to the short bar in the middle of the device ?
Shockingly I couldn't find any youtube videos on these Keeton Kutters

If anyone has any insight it would be appreciated Keeton Mat Cutter 2.jpg Keeton Mat Cutter.jpg
 

wpfay

Angry Badger
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Sep 1, 2000
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10,739
I have a few of them and have never seen that kind of mat guide hardware on a Keeton. Looks like something you would find on an old Carithers or C&H mat cutter. I have serial no. 7706 with a prototype mat guide, and Serial No. 13628 with the final design for the heavy duty mat guide. The first photo is of the prototype, and the second is of the heavy duty. There is a third cutter to the left Serial No. 16801 and it is routed to receive the HD mat guide.
The mat guide in yours would have attached on the bar that has the measuring scale on it, and been a right triangle shaped piece that would have rested on the support mid way when extended to the left of the board. This kind of mat guide was not normal to a Keeton as far as I know.
I would check with Steve Adams at https://aimequipmentcompany.com/ to see if he has any spare parts lying around. He may also be able to ID the make of the mat guide for you.
IMG_0129.jpg IMG_0130.jpg
 

wvframer

Humble Picture Framer
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That looks an awful lot like my first used mat cutter. It was very old and came out of a closing hardware store.

I sold it long ago and did not keep any pictures.

You might also check the manuals page here. Go to Resources, choose framing equipment manuals. Then click on the orange button at the right to see the available manuals. Larry Peterson has uploaded some Keeton manuals.
 

Twin Tiers Photography

Grumbler in Training
Joined
May 29, 2020
Messages
4
Thanks for all the replies so far
I was struggling to work the resources page - I guess I didn't see the big orange button (or maybe I thought I needed to select items first before clicking on downloads) BUT now I have some paperwork for this cutter - Although it was a little blast from the past to see the hand drawn diagrams
I don't think I saw much about blades in the instructions other than a reference to Keeton Blue blades I assume those are long gone - were they any different size or hole geometry than common Logan or Fletcher blades ?
Is the head in my pictures the standard Keeton head (not Hendrixson) ?
 
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wpfay

Angry Badger
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I have a small stash of Hendrixson blades and could part with a box of them. They came from Bob Hendrixson's widow about 10 years ago. Send me a PM (Click on my <<< avatar and click on "Start Conversation") if interested.
As far as using other blades, until the Hendrixson blades came along we used .012" thick single edge no-notch blades. I don't know if they are available still or not. The Hendrixson blades are far superior and last a very long time. If you experiment with other blades, don't try the single bevel blades. They don't work with the way a Keeton does.
There is an adjustment set screw at the tip of the blade holder, and it needs to be set so the blade is held against the guide bar, but not pinching it against the bar. This helps keep the blade from wandering during the cut. Prop the bar up and put a blade in the holder so when rotated it would just barely penetrate the mat you are trying to cut. Observe how the blade lays against the guide bar. It should settle snugly against the bar at the point when the rotation is complete.
Keep the bar clean and lubricated with something like Tri-Flo. Wipe on and remove most after you have run the block up and down the bar a couple times. I use to use lighter fluid to clean the bar, but use mineral spirits now.
Check the edge of the bevel of the bar for any nicks. A fine grain corundum stone can be used to smooth out any irregularities. The newer Keeton's chrome had a tendency to flake off, so keep an eye out for that too. This chrome plating failure was partially the cause of the company closing.
 

Keith L Hewitt

SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
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May 26, 2006
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Twin Tears,
By chance I happen to have Keenton Kutters "Instructions for Heavy Duty Mat Guide"
I will copy and attach.
Hope it helps you and any others with this dare I say ancient machine. :D
 

Attachments

snafu

MGF, Master Grumble Framer
Joined
Mar 2, 2003
Messages
926
I had one like that. Mine had a lot of play in the cutting head, had to hold the cutting head just right or it would give you bad cuts
 

wvframer

Humble Picture Framer
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That play in the cutting head drove me wild. It was the main reason I did not keep it.
 
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Twin Tiers Photography

Grumbler in Training
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May 29, 2020
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4
Thanks for the instructions Kieth, thanks wpfay (I did message you)

Does anyone know at what serial number range they started having the chrome issue ?

thats too bad about the play in the head = I wonder if that was a common issue ? I haven't looked at mine much since I got it - basically picked it up and put in storage (GF thinks I need to finish a few projects before starting a new one :confused:)
Do these heads slide on bearings or maybe a bronze bushing ? or if not I wonder if a bad head could be fitted with bearings or even delrin bushing to slide better and more true
 

Twin Tiers Photography

Grumbler in Training
Joined
May 29, 2020
Messages
4
Oh and for anyone interested - as I was trying to find more information on these kutters I came across a book on amazon titled "A Perfect Union" - The blurb states it is about Bill Keeton - the father of modern picture framing and inventor of this type of mat cutter (the CH and Fletcher are pretty similar - I never knew they copied this design from the Keeton). Actually I guess from the title the book is probably about him and his wife and it would seem the book was written by family members ? I never knew the history of these things I just remember seeing them in highschools and such in the late 80s early 90s
 
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