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Production Stops

Stephen Enggass

True Grumbler
Does anyone here ever use production stops when cutting a mat board that has a weighted bottom and if so, which border do you cut first? I know if I have a border of equal sides, say 2” all the way around it’s east enough, but what if one side is say 2-1/4”. How would you approach this? Maybe missing something. Thanks.
 
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poliopete

Grumbler
Different mount/mat cutters would require a different approach.

This is how I do it with my manual cutter.

Set the measures at 2-1/4" and pencil a line on the back of the mount/mat board. Then, turn the board around and
set the measures at 2" and draw a line opposite the first line. No need for any more pencil lines. Turn the board a 1/4 and make the first cut joining the two pencil lines. Turn the board again and cut the opposite side joining the two pencil lines. Then cut the top joining the two opposite cuts. Lastly, make your bottom weighted cut.

I have a superb manual mount/mat cutter designed by a very skilled framer many years ago and engineered by his brother who is a boat builder in Norfolk (UK) Unless I am doing production runs there is no need to use any stops.

This method has served me well over many years proving to be both efficient and accurate. But if I was in business these days and running a busy frame shop I would pull out all the stops and buy a CMC.
 

prospero

SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God
Make a pencil line on the back so as to cross the bottom cut that you haven't made yet.

Set the guide to the widest margin - stops to narrowest.

Cut the bottom.

Set guide to narrow margin - leave stops where they are.

Rotate 180º. Cut top.

Leave guide fixed. Place the first side. Look where the pencil mark is and set the stop on that end to the widest margin.

Cut side.

Rotate 180º and reverse the stop settings.

Cut last side.

The pencil mark is handy when you are doing double mats as the dropout needs to go back in the correct orientation. 😉
 

Paul Cascio

SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
There are any number of ways to cut a mat with a weighted bottom and all of them work. However, the method I prefer, because I find it to be the easiest, and IMO, the fastest, especially if you are cutting more than one weighted bottom mat.

In this example, you are cutting a mat with a 3-1/2-inch weighted bottom. The other 3 sides will have a 3-inch wide border.

1. Set production stops to the width of the weighted bottom (3-1/2-inches).
2. Cut all four sides of the mat at this setting, resulting in a mat with a 3-1/2-inch symmetrical border.
3. Then, using the straight cutter and squaring arm of your mat cutter, and it's measuring stop if it has one, trim 1/2-inch from the top and side borders, leaving the bottom border at it's 3-1/2-inch weighted width.

There are several things to note about using this method. It does result in additional waste in the form of the 3, half-inch strips that are removed from the mat. However, I consider this a small price to pay for the speed and ease that I've found this method offers.

You may question the speed and ease of using this technique as it does require you to make 3 additional cuts. However, if you try it, you may be surprised in finding this method to be quicker, easier, and also more foolproof than drawing pencil lines, or resetting production stops.

I respect that in this industry there are multiple ways to do almost anything, and the method you are using is the one you believe is best. However, in two decades of teaching framing classes, I've taught Weighted Bottom Mats using a variety of different techniques. I've found this method has proven to be the easiest to learn and use, and the fastest, especially for new framers, or for framers who don't cut weighted bottom mats on a regular basis.
 
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Stephen Enggass

True Grumbler
There are any number of ways to cut a mat with a weighted bottom and all of them work. However, the method I prefer, because I find it to be the easiest, and IMO, the fastest, especially if you are cutting more than one weighted bottom mat.

In this example, you are cutting a mat with a 3-1/2-inch weighted bottom. The other 3 sides will have a 3-inch wide border.

1. Set production stops to the width of the weighted bottom (3-1/2-inches).
2. Cut all four sides of the mat at this setting, resulting in a mat with a 3-1/2-inch symmetrical border.
3. Then, using the straight cutter and squaring arm of your mat cutter, and it's measuring stop if it has one, trim 1/2-inch from the top and side borders, leaving the bottom border at it's 3-1/2-inch weighted width.
I like it.
For this method then, in your example, you would need to begin with a piece that is 1" wider and 1/2" deeper(taller) than your final mat size need. Correct? To account for the 1/2" trims.
 

Paul Cascio

SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
I like it.
For this method then, in your example, you would need to begin with a piece that is 1" wider and 1/2" deeper(taller) than your final mat size need. Correct? To account for the 1/2" trims.
Yes, Stephen, you are exactly correct. I see that I failed to note that in my post.
 

RoboFramer

PFG, Picture Framing God
I like it.
For this method then, in your example, you would need to begin with a piece that is 1" wider and 1/2" deeper(taller) than your final mat size need. Correct? To account for the 1/2" trims.
Yes, Stephen, you are exactly correct. I see that I failed to note that in my post.
No need to make that calculation, it just confuses things. Work from the image out, if it's 10x10 and you want 3" top & sides and 3.5" bottom, cut the board to 17x17, cut the aperture and then trim 1/2" off top and sides
 

artfolio

SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
Crikey!! I never thought there could be so many different ways to do something so simple and I never, ever, used a pencil to mark anything other than a multiple opening or odd shape.

My method with the Fletcher 2000 was as follows:

1. Set the cutting bar to the wider matt width first and cut the base then rotate the board anticlockwise, shifting the production stops at each turn.

2. If there are multiple matts to cut with the same measurements I did them in batches of no more than 10 at a time for small ones. Only big matts needed to be cut individually to avoid handling damage. With practise shifting the stops take split seconds and the whole drill is much less complicated than it sounds.

3) If you rely on production stops as I did it is vital to regularly check your blade depth and production stop settings to avoid overcuts or undercuts. I always cut a sacrificial test matt before each session.
 

Stephen Enggass

True Grumbler
No need to make that calculation, it just confuses things. Work from the image out, if it's 10x10 and you want 3" top & sides and 3.5" bottom, cut the board to 17x17, cut the aperture and then trim 1/2" off top and sides
That makes a lot of sense. So basically add the weighted base amount to all 4 sides of your aperture size for board size, cut aperture with base amount all around, then trim from top and sides the overage amount of the weighted base. In your example .5”. I like it!! Great solution. Thank you Paul & Robo!!
 

Paul Cascio

SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
You've got it. And as RoboFramer noted, the math is simple.
 
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alacrity8

MGF, Master Grumble Framer
I used to do the method that Paul describes.

I then developed a method of
1) Setting the stops to the Top and Sides width.
2) Draw the starter line for the weighted side.
3) Cut one Side and Top with these stops.
4) Adjust the stop for length of cut to Weighted dimensions, but not width.
5) Cut final Side.
6) Adjust the stop for length of Cut to Top and Sides, and Width to Weighted dimension.
7) Cut Bottom.

I Then got a CMC and rarely ever cut weighted mats by hand.

The most important thing to remember with weighted mats, is the orientation of the mat.
Using Paul's method, I have cut a perfect mat, and then trimmed the wrong side off.
Using my method, I have put the mat in the cutter wrong end bottom.
Using a CMC, I have programmed the cut wrong end bottom.
In all of these cases, I have done so when cutting multiple mats, and had to throw away the lot.

Brian
 

Rick Granick

SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God
It is easy to cut a weighted mat using the cutter's stops. Let's say your borders are 3" top/sides and 3-1/4" bottom. Size your blank to the actual desired finished size. Set the cutter's stops to 3" and set the mat guide to 3-1/4. Cut the weighted (bottom) side first. Then readjust the mat guide to 3". Cut the opposite side. Then cut the two remaining sides. "No problem, lovely budgie."
:cool: Rick
 

Stephen Enggass

True Grumbler
But this way the last 2 cuts, ie. sides, stops at 3" would not be accurate, no? One would need to be 3, the other 3-1/4", then vise versa for the other side.... Unless I'm missing something...
 

RoboFramer

PFG, Picture Framing God
No-one has used the terms "start of" and "end of" cut stops, so here goes (for cutting the blank to the finished size first) for a 3 inch top and sides with 3.5 bottom

Mark which is the bottom if you like, just in case you lose where you are.

Set margin guide to 3.5" and both stops to 3, cut
Set margin guide to 3, end of cut stop to 3.5. Leave start of cut stop at 3, turn board anti-clockwise, cut.
Set end of cut stop to 3, turn board anti-clockwise, cut.
Set start of cut stop to 3.5, turn board anti-clockwise, cut.

For a double mount there is no need for pencil marks, simply put a dab of ATG tape in the centre of the first fallout, which is now your slip mat - fix the next piece of board on top and carry on as above but with 1/4" difference or whatever.
 

Stephen Enggass

True Grumbler
I guess what I like about the first approach is that you only set the stops once, then trim top and sides. The later technique requires more adjusting of the stops. Thanks for all the info. It all helps. Getting an unused 48” 2100 in a couple weeks.
 

RoboFramer

PFG, Picture Framing God
Do you typically remove slip mat when cutting second mat of double mounts...?
I don't (or rather didn't, I have a CMC now) but that is because I always cut the second board slightly smaller than the first (another story but I still do that with a CMC) and there is a chance that the first could slip under the margin guide.
 

snafu

MGF, Master Grumble Framer
All this talk about manual cutters is bringing back bad memories of cutting several 30 to 45 opening mats for photographer.
This is why I got a CMC back in 1995 and actually I still do work for the same photographer today
 

RoboFramer

PFG, Picture Framing God
I once did a 50 aperture cigarette card mat WITH MAT FILLETS on a manual cutter!

The apertures were not all precisely the same size, some were and some were very close - the Morso could also not be set for such small cuts without some adpation either! That and a couple of other $20 jobs* made me bite the CMC bullet.

These days I'm not even watching it in action on such jobs.

*$20 job - a job, where, had you said to the customer "Here's 20 bucks, please go away" - you'd still be at least $20 better off!

.
 

poliopete

Grumbler
No need to make that calculation, it just confuses things. Work from the image out, if it's 10x10 and you want 3" top & sides and 3.5" bottom, cut the board to 17x17, cut the aperture and then trim 1/2" off top and sides
Ignore my first reply. That's how I will be doing it from now on, such a simple yet practical method.

Even after a life time of framing there's still plenty to learn and it's not the first time I have shamelessly copied from RoboFramer.
 

Rick Granick

SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God
No-one has used the terms "start of" and "end of" cut stops, so here goes...
That's a good point. I should have mentioned in my explanation that you have to watch the start and stop points of the cuts that intersect the weighted side, and start and stop at the appropriate places to avoid overcuts. But, you do have the cutline of the weighted side as a visual reference.
:cool: Rick
 
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