Square - No Square

Amy McCray

SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
Dec 3, 2002
North Prairie, WI
Arghhhh. Purchased a Fletcher 2100 15 months ago. Actually, I Love it! Except - I have squared and re-squared the squaring arm until I'm blue! If I make it square out to say, 32", then the very next cut, at something as close as 26", is out of square by as much as 1/8"!!

After several attempts to solve this last year, I just gave up and went back to hand marking lines and cutting based upon that. Now that I'm pleasantly much busier, this is wasting valuable time. I revisited the squaring problem and much to my surprise, it's still a problem. I was hoping the cold winter would have frozen out the gremlins, but nooooooo.

Any chance the squaring arm is dysfunctional? Oh, boy, is that a loaded question. :) I don't see how it could be off, since it's just a straight piece of metal, but what the heck is going on?

Any ideas would be appreciated. This is making me crazy - make that crazy-er.

Amy McCray
Hickory Hollow Framery
Originally posted by amy m:
I don't see how it could be off, since it's just a straight piece of metal
Wanna bet? Check it, all you need is for it to have a little curve to drive you insane.
Hi Amy,
I just bought my Fletcher 2100 a month ago and just started having this same problem! I haven't found an answer yet, but will let you know as soon as I do.

Fellew "Arghhhhh-er",
I have an old C&H 48" mat cutter, and have the same problem. I did have to change the squaring arm though... it was slightly curved. :eek:

I'm still tring to fix it. (So don't feel like it is out of wack, just because it is a Fletcher.)
Originally posted by amy m:
Arghhhh. Purchased a Fletcher 2100 15 months ago. Actually, I Love it! Except - I have squared and re-squared the squaring arm until I'm blue!..............Any ideas would be appreciated.....
Hi Amy,

Hopefully I can offer some assistance...

1) Check to make sure that the bolt that holds the support arm to the machine base is tight. The support arm obviously keeps the squaring arm in position. (So if this can move, you're in big trouble.)

2) Definitely review the squaring procedure as illustrated in the video, as HannaFate suggested. In this procedure, a piece of foam core board is cut top and bottom, then flipped over and cut again to see if 180º is accurately bisected. (It's a great test that works well.)

3) Adjustments to the squaring arm are made with the black eccentric nut, on the underside of the squaring arm at the right end. (where the support arm attaches).

4) Once Squared....the squaring arm should hold it's position. Moving the machine off the table is not a good idea, as a slight bump could throw it out of position. Mat cutters are designed to have permanent "homes".

I hope this helps. I want to emphasis one last issue with squaring mat blanks. Unfortunately a fairly large percentage of framers think that making two cuts will accuarately size a mat (i.e. 16 x 20). Most framers know that a minimum of three cuts is necessary to assure that the blank is truly square (90º at all corners). ;)

Please feel free to contact me personally Amy or the customer service department at Fletcher-Terry if you continue to have further problems.


(Consultant to The Fletcher-Terry Co.)
I've experienced the same thus testing and adjusting is required. BUT, I've also discovered that mats are not always evenly cut! It's most unfortunate, but it's true.
Thanks everyone. Yes, I actually did watch the video ( I read owner's manuals and insurance policies too - eee gad). Also know about both screws and have cut multiple mats in case the mat's not square. I did not flip foam core upside down though, so will try that. It's encouraging to know that there are indeed some unsquare squaring arms out there. Misery loves company. Have a good week!

Amy McCray
Hickory Hollow Framery
Forgot to mention, the cutter is not moved from one place to another. It has a permanent home. Will watch the video again to see if I missed anything.

Amy McCray
Hickory Hollow Framery
Just wanted to add "my thanks" also.

I'll go home and fire up the VCR again.

Another thing you can do, once you have it square, is nail a couple of pieces of wood down around the cutter and the arm to brace them in place.

That way, the next little earthquake won't unsquare it!

(we had a couple last week)