mat cutter for a newbie

HSteve

Grumbler in Training
Joined
Jan 8, 2004
Posts
3
From
Powell, Tn
Let me start by saying I know know zero about this subject but am interested in it as a hobby as I will be retiring soon. For a first timer,are there any recommendations concerning mat cutters?
 

Jill

CGF II, Certified Grumble Framer Level 2
Joined
Aug 23, 2002
Posts
211
From
Omro WI
hsteve

from a hobby stand point the Logan, 300S is the most like a professional cuter I have found for the money. Logan has a complete line of framing equipment designed with the home framer in mind.
you will also want the mat cutting and decoration book by Vivian Kistler is a a great resource for both the hobbyist and the professional. logan graphs this is their web sight hope this helps you out. Also check with your local technical college they may have classed you can take.

Jill Hennes
Omro Gallery
Omro WI
 

asrai

Grumbler
Joined
Aug 12, 2003
Posts
21
From
Uxbridge, MA
HSteve, As a watercolorist I began framing my own things about four years ago. I used a Logan Simplex and was very happy with it. Last year, I decided to open a "professional" framing shop and upgraded to a Logan 750. I had to turn customers away because I couldn't cut large enough mats so after three months of use I stuck that in a box and bought the Logan 650. A few months later I realized that this machine couldn't handle the demands of full time framing and found a used Fletcher that I find works well for me. My point is, I still have both of those Logan cutters in their original boxes complete. If you're interested in buying a mat cutter I would happily sell you one of these.
 

Jean McLean

CGF, Certified Grumble Framer
Joined
Feb 25, 2001
Posts
128
From
Millinocket, ME, USA
If you need a good one for long term, effortless, mass production, no backache...get the Esterly wall mount as it is also affordable. Otherwise...save for a CMC or take out a loan. I wouldn't rent as I would go broke paying for my experiments.
 

Barb Pelton

SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
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Apr 14, 2002
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From
The Show Me State
A cmc for a hobby?! My goodness, he might as well take up bass fishing; less expensive and at least would get some fresh air. ;)

HSteve, you might give us an idea of what you want to spend, and the size of mats you'd like to cut. Matcutters are like cameras--there are good ones, and then there are good ones.
And, with all due respect to Jean, you very well may be a serious hobbyist that requires the best.
 

HSteve

Grumbler in Training
Thread starter
Joined
Jan 8, 2004
Posts
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From
Powell, Tn
Originally posted by Barb Pelton:
A cmc for a hobby?! My goodness, he might as well take up bass fishing; less expensive and at least would get some fresh air. ;)

HSteve, you might give us an idea of what you want to spend, and the size of mats you'd like to cut. Matcutters are like cameras--there are good ones, and then there are good ones.
And, with all due respect to Jean, you very well may be a serious hobbyist that requires the best.

[ 01-10-2004, 12:48 PM: Message edited by: HSteve ]
 

HSteve

Grumbler in Training
Thread starter
Joined
Jan 8, 2004
Posts
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From
Powell, Tn
I'm not sure what I need or am looking for. Saying I am a novice would be a compliment.My wife has a print that is 32x24, so something along those lines as far as a mat size I suppose. As you can tell, I'm just starting out so any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. What are any opinions concerning logans vs. altos? Thanks in advance.
 

GUMBY GCF

SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

In Memorium

Rest In Peace



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oHIo
What are any opinions concerning logans vs. altos
We have been selling both brands for 27 years. We also use the Logan and the Alto's in our Frame dept. But I must also say we have a Wizard CMC.
In some stores the Logan out sells the Alto's. Alto's out sells Logan 6 to 1 in our store.
You can cut any size mat no size limits with the Alto's and it is easy to learn.
We teach 10 mat cutting classes a year.
Most of our students Hobbyists/crafters/home framers find the Alto's easiest to learn.
The Logan has different models to choose from the Alto's only has two but they are really good. Depends how much you want to invest and the quality of tools you like to use.
I can cut a mat in half the time on an Alto's as I can with the Logan. But both are of go quality. So do you want the Ford or the Chevy? Do you want the Focus or the Continental? Will that be cash or charge?

PS. If you are going to cut less than 10 mats a year Go to a Frame shop It may seem like it cost more but in the long run it will be less expensive. ( learning curve, mistakes, wrong measurements, finger prints on mats, etc.
More than 10 and we figure you about break even.
I know there is always joy in learning something new and saying look I did that.
Don't forget when you go to a frame shop they help you pick colors when you do it yourself you pick the colors.
Good luck.

[ 01-10-2004, 06:03 PM: Message edited by: GUMBY ]
 

Barb Pelton

SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
Joined
Apr 14, 2002
Posts
2,823
From
The Show Me State
I started out with an Alto and used it for many years for oversized mats even after I bought my first Fletcher 2000. (I actually regret that I sold it). I still own a Logan hand held cutter that I use on occasion. I found the Alto easy to learn when I was starting out.
Good luck!

And Jean, I'm usually the one who misses the details in posts, due to my habit of scanning. ;) haha.
 

JRB

PFG, Picture Framing God
Joined
Aug 12, 2000
Posts
7,106
From
San Diego, CA
Perhaps if you went to a custom framing shop in your neighborhood or town, introduce yourself and ask if you can watch them cut a mat, you may get a clearer idea of what you are doing. Some shops may balk at letting you do that, others will be more than happy to let you observe.

Try not to chew their ear off, remember, they are there to earn a living, not entertain visitors. Also, by striking up a friendship with a custom framer, they may give you great deals on mat & moulding remnants.

Just remember, don't waste their time, save the war stories for the V.F.W.

John
 

PurplePerson1

SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
Joined
Sep 18, 2001
Posts
1,990
From
Mansfield, Ohio
I bought a Logan 650 to use at home, about 6 months ago. It came with a very clear video about how to set it up and how to cut a mat. You can watch it over and over. It also came with a "how to" book. It is a 40" mat cutter. I would imagine other Logan cutters would have the video, too.
 

Flintstone

CGF II, Certified Grumble Framer Level 2
Joined
Aug 9, 2003
Posts
255
From
setauket, ny
You could always try for a part time job in a frame shop. That would be a good introduction.
Also I find taking classes really gives a big boost to my skills. I took the week-long class at UMS, which was GREAT...although UMS would be a helluva commute. I also have taken classes sponsored by PFM; they were GREAT also.
Reading and videos. Here is the Decor site that was posted on the Grumble: https://secure.decormagazine.com/store/ It has lots of books and videos.
Matcutters: I started on a hobby model, I think it was a Logan 301. see similiar photo here: http://www.dickblick.com/zz171/15/products.asp?param=0&ig_id=1024
I still have mine which happens to be up for grabs for the price of shipping. I don't have any instructions though. Please e-mail me if your interested.
I now work on a Fletcher 2100 which is a pretty nice machine.

Good Luck and Happy Retirement!
 
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