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Straighten the curled edges of cutting mats

Its no secret that cutting mats will over time develop a curl where the wheels run.

Most folks also know that a heat gun used carefully will soften the plastic

But then how do you very quickly get the curl out before the mat cools?

First step heat the mat only along the curved depression created where the wheels run. You heat both sides for best results but do the back side last.

Next quickly lay the mat sticky side up over the radiused edge on a countertop or table with that wheel path aligned right along that smooth radius edge and then pull the mat back and forth across the edge in the area you heated while pulling down on the mat edge that projects over the counter.

If you mat is warmed enough to soften the plastic it should only take 10 seconds or so to flatten it back out by working the curve back the other direction using the assistance of the edge of the table or counter top as an opposing force.

Comments

  • Di-liteDi-lite Posts: 3,006
    I'd have to be strapped for cash big time to even consider going through that process. Seems highly risky and if a mat is in such a bad state you must have got the user value from the mat or you're settings are way too harsh. I've discovered that re-stickying your mat is good so it may be that what you are suggestion falls into the same category - I'm obviously just too lazy to go through the rig-ma-roll of trying to flatten a wonky mat.
    Have fun, Di, ID 14610
    UK, Cameo, Serif Draw, Win10.
    Link to My Craft Bazaar | Link to Skool | Force Bazaar - Archimedes
    Feel free to use anything in these links.
  • Maybe I haven't used may mats enough as mine is flat as the day it got it I only have one genuine mat and 6 self made mat from Vegie cutting boards so rotate though them then have a bulk restickying session
    I do store my mats flat with silicon baking paper between the

    Thanks for sharing your technique. it alway great to have the experimenting done for you
    I'm for anything to save money.
    not sure I would with my $1 cutting boards
    I think they are a bit stiffer at than usually cutting mat material so may no bend that easily

    I guess it may also get some people out of bind even if its just to keep them going until a new mat arrives
    I hope you don't do this shut up inside as the fumes might not be so good for you
    I Use Zing Air, Make The Cut - Pop Card Studio, WinXP- Win7 -Win10
    Paper Modellers I Revere Marc Hagan-Guirey ----- Yoshinobu Miyamoto ----- Peter Dahmen
    Gallery ID #26944 ----- Link to My Cloud Have a Look your Welcome to Make Use of the Files
  • SandyMcCSandyMcC Posts: 6,908
    Great recommendation! I'm adding this to my Evernotes because this question does come up from time to time. Thanks!!!
    Sandy McCauley
    Cutting with KNK Force, Maxx Air, Zing Air
    Need help with your KNK? Visit this link: http://knkusa.com/contact/
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  • @kb25t17 Do you have any suggestions for mats that have warped or bucked in the middle. It affect my cuts when the blade is traveling and make stray cut lines.

    Or should I just get anew mat?

    Althea
  • Di-liteDi-lite Posts: 3,006
    @AnointedHands Take a leaf out of CrazyZings book and buy the vegie mat and make it sticky! That looks like the cheapest way to go and would solve your problems with bumpy mats..
    Have fun, Di, ID 14610
    UK, Cameo, Serif Draw, Win10.
    Link to My Craft Bazaar | Link to Skool | Force Bazaar - Archimedes
    Feel free to use anything in these links.
  • Liz_ALiz_A Posts: 9,242
    @Di-lite - those veggie mats work like a darn, and you cannot beat the price, I have had to purchase them twice when I arrived on holidays with cutter in tow and no mats, LOL!! I had to use the inside of a drawer in the dresser in a hotel room to spray the sticky on the mat (laid down newspaper). I wonder if it still smells, LOL!
  • suekayesuekaye Posts: 632
    I managed to get the curls out ... but used my blow dryer as I do not have a heat gun and it worked for @mkb25t17 thanks for sharing
  • Will someone give me more info on the veggie mats? Are they large enough to use with the bigger sheets of paper the MA can accommodate?

    Thanks
    Althea
  • Liz_ALiz_A Posts: 9,242
    @AnointedHands - the last ones that I bought are labelled:

    Flexible Chopping Mats - Carving - Chopping - Crafts.

    They are from China (where else), and are 12" wide by 15" long. The tag on mine shows I got the package of 2 for $1.

    At 12" wide, you would just get a 12 x 12 sheet on there. I had purchased mine originally for the Silhouette SD, and had to trim it down to fit. I have not used them in any other cutter, but have many report successes in a variety of cutters. The caveat would be that it would need to fit under the pinch wheels on both sides.
  • Di-liteDi-lite Posts: 3,006
    @AnointedHands @Liz_A
    In the UK we can get Messy Mats quite cheaply and they are 36cm x 50cm (about 14 x 24") There thickness is ideal and they are marked up in squares - you buy them in batches of 5 and I'm thinking with a little cutting you could make them into the perfect mat. They are cheap here but I do not know if you have them in the US although I discovered they are available in Aussie - I think you need to have a look round the Early Learning area and/or cooking area.
    Have fun, Di, ID 14610
    UK, Cameo, Serif Draw, Win10.
    Link to My Craft Bazaar | Link to Skool | Force Bazaar - Archimedes
    Feel free to use anything in these links.
  • Liz_ALiz_A Posts: 9,242
    @Di-lite - my mats are probably 5 years old already, and I have seen other packages that have 5 different sized ones. So its a matter of looking for them, and they are available in a variety of venues, including the local groceries, Walmart, etc. Messy Mats in NA seems to be something else totally different.
  • PetraPetra Posts: 286
    @Di-lite Where do you get the Messy Mats? I bought some years and years ago from Lakeland when they were selling crafty things, but I've never found any since. They were an ideal size for putting onto my dining table for added protection when crafting (although I have a suspicion the ones I had were larger than 14x24").

    I do have a couple of extremely large plasma sheets from Paperchase that I have every intention of sticky-ing up in the fullness of time to use in my Maxx Air, but the Messy Mats come with a grid printed on already, making life just that little bit easier.
  • Di-liteDi-lite Posts: 3,006
    @Petra

    This is a place I found where they are relatively cheap

    http://www.tuska.co.uk/MessyMats/115/messy-mats-pk-5.html

    500 x 380mm
    Have fun, Di, ID 14610
    UK, Cameo, Serif Draw, Win10.
    Link to My Craft Bazaar | Link to Skool | Force Bazaar - Archimedes
    Feel free to use anything in these links.
  • Thank You @Di-lite I found them in australia priced form a reasonable set of 5 $AUD17 to a rip-off $AUD43
    They are bigger than the cheap shop cutting mats I have and cheaper than the larger cutting mats from the cookware shops and the grid is a bonus
    although a have scored a line on my veggie mats to help position the project straighter

    I Use Zing Air, Make The Cut - Pop Card Studio, WinXP- Win7 -Win10
    Paper Modellers I Revere Marc Hagan-Guirey ----- Yoshinobu Miyamoto ----- Peter Dahmen
    Gallery ID #26944 ----- Link to My Cloud Have a Look your Welcome to Make Use of the Files
  • Di-liteDi-lite Posts: 3,006
    edited November 2015
    @CrazyZing - I do not know what the conversion rate is but in the UK I can get them for under £7 for 5 - have to look into postage but if buying other stuff than it would not be an issue.
    Have fun, Di, ID 14610
    UK, Cameo, Serif Draw, Win10.
    Link to My Craft Bazaar | Link to Skool | Force Bazaar - Archimedes
    Feel free to use anything in these links.
  • Crazy_Mr_ZingCrazy_Mr_Zing Posts: 2,528
    edited November 2015
    @Di-lite 1 pound = $2.14 so the $17 is reasonable and $43 is just a scam. Most of my cutting is A4 so manage with vegie mats And its no disaster if i set the blade wrong and destroy one :blush: I've seen vegie mats online in the US 15" x 18" for under 5 for under $10
    I Use Zing Air, Make The Cut - Pop Card Studio, WinXP- Win7 -Win10
    Paper Modellers I Revere Marc Hagan-Guirey ----- Yoshinobu Miyamoto ----- Peter Dahmen
    Gallery ID #26944 ----- Link to My Cloud Have a Look your Welcome to Make Use of the Files
  • kb25t17kb25t17 Posts: 277
    Di-lite said:

    I'd have to be strapped for cash big time to even consider going through that process. Seems highly risky and if a mat is in such a bad state you must have got the user value from the mat or you're settings are way too harsh. I've discovered that re-stickying your mat is good so it may be that what you are suggestion falls into the same category - I'm obviously just too lazy to go through the rig-ma-roll of trying to flatten a wonky mat.

    I guess you did not read the part where I said it only takes a very short time to do this procedure. Honestly, its no big deal and it is a money saver.
  • kb25t17kb25t17 Posts: 277
    edited November 2015
    Di-lite said:

    @AnointedHands Take a leaf out of CrazyZings book and buy the vegie mat and make it sticky! That looks like the cheapest way to go and would solve your problems with bumpy mats..

    I do production cutting as a business. I make my own mats from .020 clear polycarbonate sheets. I pay approx $15.00 for a large sheet of the material and get 6 generous sized mats from it that work for 8.5 x 11 cardstock. I have yet to wear out a mat made of this material as it is very strong but over time I do get some deformation into a curve along the path the wheels take. It takes very little effort to pull out the curve using the heat gun and reform over the edge of the countertop. I don't like the $1.00 cutting mats as they have a textured surface. I need a smooth surface for its maximum adhesion ability as the projects I am cutting have extremely small details that can pop out and get speared onto the knife blade messing up the job. So I really need the maximum adhesion that is not going to happen on a textured mat or on those ReNew sheets as they use textured dots of adhesive.
  • Di-liteDi-lite Posts: 3,006
    @kb25t17
    Hee hee - you obviously didn't read the bit where I said I was too lazy - find the hair dryer, clear the kitchen side, unplug something and plug in hair dryer, heat mat, smooth out, let mat cool, unplug hair dryer, plug in the something I unplugged, put hair dryer away. Yes the actual smoothing of the mat takes seconds but up and down stairs and all the rest of it makes it a chore for someone as lazy as me. As a money saver it's a wizz but I'm pass those days when I use to save up my pocket money (Saturday job) to buy food for the last three days of the month!
    Have fun, Di, ID 14610
    UK, Cameo, Serif Draw, Win10.
    Link to My Craft Bazaar | Link to Skool | Force Bazaar - Archimedes
    Feel free to use anything in these links.
This discussion has been closed.