ragged edges on my Bainbridge mats...

Julie-Tulie

MGF, Master Grumble Framer
Joined
Feb 15, 2005
Posts
797
Location
Western Wisconsin
Hello All,
I was looking in the archives trying to find info on why the edges on some of my Bainbridge mats aren't cutting very well...they are ragged in places and I have never really had that happen before, except on Crescents Chinese Red, because I used Artique and Crescentmats at previous employers. Now in my own shop I am using Bainbridge and am a bit concerned with this trait. I understand that I can burnish the edges and use an emory board, but how about some suggestions as to not having it happen at all. Is there a better blade that will do the trick...something? Please give your suggestions!
Thanks
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I'm using a Fletcher cutter and the 1200 SE blade...have thought about going with the double edge 1200 or even the 1500...ordered the SE blades by mistake and have never used them before, could that be the problem?
 
Julie -
Are you using a slip-sheet? You need to have a slip-sheet (another piece of matboard) underneath the mat that you are cutting.
Also check the depth of the blade, it might be cutting too far into the slip-sheet and causing it to drag, which might cause ragged edges.
Last, make sure you are using a new blade - don't try to cut corners (sorry) by over-using your blades - they are cheaper than matboard.
 
I am using a slip sheet and new blades...it is very frustrating as this has NEVER happened to me in my 14 years of framing. Anyone else?
 
Make sure the blades aren't in backwards. Just to humor me, try one backwards from however you're using them now.

I don't have much luck with SE blades, though I'll use them sometimes for 8-ply mats.
 
Check and see if your blades are penetrating into the slip sheet. We have used SE blades exclusively for several years and have found that sometimes we have to correct a poor edge on all blades; swipe sharpening stone gently on the cutting edge/point and see if it helps.

We use SE blades because I have a tendency to hook corners if i don't.

Jack Cee
 
I haave tried the blade backwards and it doesn't help, at least I think it is backward...I have the beveled edge facing me. Maybe it is an angle thing as well as a poor edge on the blade...will try the sharpening stone idea...someone in the archives mentioned the softness of the core of different mat boards...I am using the Art Care mats...
 
Swipe the blade a few times across a scrap of mat board before using. It serves the same purpose as using a sharpening stone and eliminates any little burs the blade might have.

I've used single edge blades for cutting mat openings for over 10 years. I cut mostly Bainbridge alphmats and never had any problems with fraying. Crescents are a different story. :rolleyes:

For burnishing you need a tool called a "bone". It is made of plastic and looks like a flattened, pointed stick. Gives a smooth edge unlike an emory board which tends to leave a soft edge.
 
When it is fresh, any typical matcutter blade should give clean cuts on any typical matboard. I've never heard of a fresh blade giving ragged cuts unless the slip sheet is worn out.

Fletcher is very good about taking care of problems. Have you talked with them yet? If not, please do. Maybe they will suggest replacing that box of blades.
 
Got one, thanks, and I do have scrap mat board, I will give it a try!
 
Wipe the blades before putting them in the cutter……………..some times there is a film of anti rust or manufacturing fluid on the blades which can cause problems….
 
I move the slip sheet with every cut...your suggestion to call Fletcher is a good one, I will do that as well, thanks!
 
Just a thought...Is it really humid where you are? I've had a few mats that just turned to mush when I tried to cut them. Tried everything. Turns out they had absorbed so much moisture that nothing would cut them right. Solved it by running them through the press for a cycle.
 
OH, now there's a thought...I will try that as well!!! Thank-you!!!
 
The only mat that has givn me a problem is Bainbridge #8506 Tuscan Brown. I change the blade every two cuts for that one. Also I use 1200SE blades only.


-Mike.
 
Originally posted by Hobbes03:
The only mat that has givn me a problem is Bainbridge #8506 Tuscan Brown. I change the blade every two cuts for that one. Also I use 1200SE blades only.


-Mike.
Interesting. I stopped using Bainbridge 8183V (called Deepest Blue, I believe, but looks almost black) for the same reason.

There was no way to cut that mat cleanly, no matter how much you cursed or prayed. And the slightest nick shows up magnified on it too!
 
I use B8183V Deepest Blue quite often as I love the dynamics of "almost black" mouldings and matboards. I'm cutting on Fletcher 2000-60" with Fletcher #05-012 .012 Super Keen blades. Would love to get a CMC, but volume isn't justified yet when I can cut so easily and mostly do very traditional matting and framing. When I have multi-opening mats, V-grooves, etc. I often farm them out to two different subcontractors.

Many of the Bainbridge boards seem to have a softer richer paper surface which often will leave shards along the cut. I use a small piece of superfine grit sandpaper and lightly touch the edge at an angle and they clean off very easily.

Bainbridge boards also seem to cut creamier or more butterly if that is an understandable description.

Artique boards seem to be very firm and hard surfaced without marring as easily as Bainbridge. Crescent seems to be in between the two as far as smooth cutting and durability of surface.

I show and sell all three lines in their entirety including all the specialized boards from all three companies. In addition I do fabric and paper wraps which open up limitless oportunities beyond the manufacturer's offerings.

Try the sandpaper process with a very light touch and see if it solves your problem with clean cuts. Of course, a new or sharpened blade and undersheet on the cutter make a world of difference too.

Dave Makielski
 
TruVue Black Forest 5902 does the ragged thing on me everytime. I MUST use a new blade when cutting this particular mat & then it still needs to be lightly sanded. This is also one of those where the dye comes off very easily...even onto fingers. It also mars easily. But it's a very popular color & I hate to get rid of it.
 
Originally posted by Dave:

Many of the Bainbridge boards seem to have a softer richer paper surface which often will leave shards along the cut. I use a small piece of superfine grit sandpaper and lightly touch the edge at an angle and they clean off very easily.

Bainbridge boards also seem to cut creamier or more butterly if that is an understandable description.
Dave Makielski
I really like Bainbridge mats, except that "shardy" B8183V!

And sanding it (no matter how lightly) will expose a different lighter color under the Deepest Blue, so the damage is very visible.

A couple of months ago, after going through countless pieces, I decided to use B8517 (black) instead, to save the rest of my hair and my sanity!

I hope nobody comes in and specifically asks for it.
 
To sand the edges I use a diamond glass sander. It also doubles as taking the edge off those pieces of glass which are a bees d--k out. Its a wee bit better than sandpaper our a nail file.
 
Thanks to all...it is good to know that it is not JUST me that this is happening to. Will try to update you all with my results.
 
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