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Cutting Mat

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous Hardware' started by Buddy, Dec 14, 2006.

  1. Buddy

    Buddy Member

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    Are cutting mats worth the expense ? Or do many just use PVC sheets for their production tables ?

    Does anyone have a lead on the cheapest place to buy cutting mats. I'm looking at 5 x 18 feet.

    BUDDY
     
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  2. Chad.

    Chad. Active Member

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    i had one for a year, they do not heal themselves like they say they will. I just got rid of it and went to a glass top table. I love it ! The cutting mat will "grab your blade" in a rut and cause you to cut into something you didnt want to, and all the sudden your starting over again, or trimming more off than you wanted to.
     
  3. Buddy

    Buddy Member

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    That's kindof what I wondered / suspected. PVC sheeting is much cheaper than a real cutting mat. Cheap enough you can change it out whenever you choose.

    Once I thought aluminum would be great for the same reason you probably like glass....but the knife cuts into the aluminum. Glass would be great huh ?

    I need 5 ' x 18 ' is the only thing.

    BUDDY
     
  4. javila

    javila Active Member

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    We just bought two mats. If you dig down too hard you will leave permanent marks. If you cut hard enough to just get through the material, the small marks will heal themselves almost entirely. Although I'm sure after a year or two it'll look like a warzone. Beats melamine and formica tops, that's for sure.
     
  5. Chad.

    Chad. Active Member

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    check out the thread inkfish made about his glass table, it came out sick ... and i like the hard surface over the matt
     
  6. cartoad

    cartoad Active Member

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    We have 4 x 8 mats on our 3 tables and really like them, have had them since March this year. We have the ones with a grid on them, which is handy at times to help line up things. Only complaint is that it takes quite a while for them to lay completly flat if shipped rolled up. the one that came with a lot of flat stock has been flat from day one. We purchased from Sign Mart in Calif. reasonable price and good service.
    Hal
     
  7. javila

    javila Active Member

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    Hah, yeah, the mats are still curled on the edges here, about two months now.
     
  8. mtmdesigns

    mtmdesigns Active Member

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    Sign Mart in Calif.

    sign mart is the best.... quick and cheap.
     
  9. player

    player Major Contributor

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    Toronto
    Would using a heat gun on the curled edges while reverse curving the mat help the problem?

    P
     
  10. Sign Works

    Sign Works Very Active Member

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    I went several years without a cutting mat, got tired of filling the gouges and repainting it every few months. Had previously tried lexan (polycarbonate) but it got too chewed up too fast. Tried glass and formica laminate but both were too hard on blades for general cutting. My biggest dilema was that my table is 62" x 144" and noone made a one piece mat to accomodate those specs up until about 2 years ago. I believe it was Sign Warehouse or Sign Outlet Store that first came out with the larger mat, could have also been Signs + Banners. I've had it on the table for about 2 years now, very durable and I love it, works great and I would't have my production table any other way.

    By the way, the cutting mats are not PVC, They are made from polyethelene, smooth on the bottom side and kind of a light matt finish on top.

    My mat was shipped rolled up and sat in the shop for about a month that way, it definetly didn't want lay flat at first so I rolled it up the oppisite way really tight and sat it out in the sun for a couple hours and presto, has laid flat ever since.
     
  11. ovrcafnatd

    ovrcafnatd Very Active Member

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    I actually do use pvc layed on top of the table - pieces of vhb tape on corners and running some edges
    (komatex)
    I can abuse it and flip it when needed.....then when both sides are worn down
    cause' you do get some nasty exacto groove marks in it....just get another
    cheapy sheet and do it again.

    Heck, I used an old melamine type panel (from an old bookcase) my first year.
    That works too
    ;)
     
  12. Derf

    Derf Very Active Member

    I got 2 from Sign Warehouse 4x8s I think their great. as said before if you don't dig into them they do heal back up.

    I have used Metal, Glass, PVC, MDO and I have to say I like the SW cutting mats for trimming prints on.
     
  13. myronb

    myronb Active Member

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    We have one here. It layed out flat after about a day & was great fro a couple of days, the all of a sudden we noticed a hump in each corner! Not the corners lifting up, but just inside the corner is a raised spot about 5/8" or so. I tried heat & laying something heavy on it to no avail. It is a pain, but the center section works great. I was thinking of ordering another one, & just cutting this one down, but I don't want to run into the same issue!
     
  14. mystysue

    mystysue Active Member

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    We have a 4 x 8 on the back room work table and plan on getting two more for the front workshop area. I also got mine at super sign mart. We deal mainly with them or ordway as they are both close and do same day delievery free. and derf is right about them healing as long as you dont cut deep..

    sue
     
  15. Just Another Sign Guy

    Just Another Sign Guy Very Active Member

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    if you use Komatex talk to your supplier and have them save their cover sheets for you, my supplier gives them to me about 35 a year that they can not sell because of scratches, dirt etc.
     
  16. WB

    WB Active Member

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    I use LDP (low density Polyethylene) Mats. a 3/16" - 1/4" mat will normally give 6-10 months of cutting depening or when I flip it.. I actually have some old ones on some of the lesser used table that have been around for 3-4 years at least.
     
  17. Buddy

    Buddy Member

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    That settles it for me.....no official cutting mat. It's not worth the trouble it sounds.

    PVC sheeting has worked fine and we'll just use that. I was just thinking a real cutting mat might be a nice upgrade. I'm not willing to take the risk and pay the extra then find out it's not any better or worse.
     
  18. player

    player Major Contributor

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    Toronto
    The thing I noticed about using pvc is as you cut over and over the same areas, there is a fine "dust" that is created when the cuts get close and other cuts have criss-crossed over.

    Add the static charge from the vinyl and the board and it can be a problem for really clean work.

    P
     
  19. Just Another Sign Guy

    Just Another Sign Guy Very Active Member

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    i know that it depends on a multitude of personal variables such as space, money, etc. but we have a area for rough dirty work like cutting substrates/panel saw and cnc router and wood working tools, welding etc, then we have a clean room for painting that is immaculate. then we have a area for general work where we can do majority of vinyl work, sign assembly etc. then we have a clean room (well that's what we call it but i know the truth) that is where we do our digital work and anything that needs to be flawless and we have various tables in each....so I could definitely see the dust being a issue if you had one working table and you had to work on it with HDU digital prints etc...but i could never accept working with that amount of dust but again understand that space money etc may not allow you to have a variety of tables....in that case i would not want a table that could retain dust in cut lines etc.
     
  20. WYLDGFI

    WYLDGFI Active Member

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    Linden, NJ
    I picked up high-density polyethelyne (spelled correctly?) from a local plastics supply house for $65 each. The knife doesnt go though...and after you get tired of any ruts or too many cuts, just flip over and you have a new sheet! works great! Had them for almost a year...the heaviest cut ones are getting flipped over this month.
     
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