Mat Cutting Resources and Advice
Welcome to the Logan library of tips, advice, and answers to frequently asked questions.
Logan Graphic Products is a family-owned business, located in the Chicago suburbs, that has been manufacturing mat cutters and related products for graphics, framing, and display for 25 years. One of the oldest manufacturers of mat cutting equipment, Logan offers numerous patents, features, and options that are the result of years of experience.
Tips & Advice
Basic Mat Cutter Maintenance
The following is general advice covering all Logan board mounted mat cutters:
Calculating Border Sizes
Knowing what size to cut your mat borders to is a mystery to some first-time framers. In reality, a perfectly cut mat that proportionately surrounds your artwork can be done without needing a degree in physics:
Better Cuts with Backing Sheets
The backing sheet forces the blade to produce a better cut by supporting the face paper of the mat you are cutting:
How To Cut Left-Handed
We receive calls from time to time on the subject of left-handed cutting. The answer is yes, you can cut lefthanded with Logan equipment:
How To Adjust Your Mat Cutter for Proper Blade Depth
Hold the bevel cutter upside down in your hand with the blade activated in the cutting position:
Importance of Proper Blade Depth
Using the right amount of blade depth on a mat cutter is probably the most crucial area.
Proper Cutting Technique: Oval & Circle Mat Cutter
Operating the Logan #201 Oval & Circle Mat Cutter may seem awkward the first time.
Parts & Services
From Logan: Logan products are covered by a recently expanded warranty, and our service doesn’t stop when the warranty expires. In fact, some customers call Logan to replace parts on 25 year old Logan equipment — they would rather repair it than replace it! Some parts may no longer be in stock/available. If we have a part you need in stock, we’ll be happy to get it to you. Our customer service team has provided friendly, fast, knowledgeable help since 1974. Call us toll-free (800-331-6232) for answers to your questions.
|Logan 201||Oval & Circle Mat Cutter||download PDF|
|Logan 301||Compact Board Mounted Mat Cutter||download pdf|
|Logan 650, 655 & 660||Framer’s Edge Board Mounted Mat Cutter||download pdf|
© Logan Graphic Products Inc. For more information, visit logangraphic.com or call us at 800-331-6232 or 847-526-5515.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do I cut a 30” x 40” piece of matboard when my Logan Compact mat cutter is only 30”?
The Logan #301 Compact Board Mounted Mat Cutter was intended as a portable, no-frills and affordable but compact version of a full size mat cutter. It makes a great tool for those just starting out or those who cut a few mats and don’t need a full size mat cutter. The fact that it’s small and lightweight makes it easy to transport and store but it will still deliver professional quality mats. The base board has a full length of 32” (81cm) and comes with a parallel Mat Guide and Guide Rail. Available with a bevel cutter, bevel and straight cutter or with no cutting heads at all, the Logan #301 Compact has become the world’s biggest selling mat cutter. Now everyone knows that matboard comes 32” x 40” (81cm x 101cm). So the question is, how do you cut a 40” (101cm) piece with the #301 Compact? Easy.
The #301 Compact was designed as an “open end” mat cutter. Without a squaring arm or similar device attached to the base board, a piece of matboard can slide through the length of the machine. For example, if you wanted a 2-1/2” (6.35cm) border on a 40” (101cm) piece of matboard, first set the Mat Guide on the 2-1/2” (6.35cm) mark and draw the lines on the back of the mat. Start your cut from the bottom as you always would by inserting the blade and sliding the cutting head down the length of the rail. You will get to a point where the cutting head has reached the end of the Guide Rail but there is still 8” (20.32cm) of matboard to cut that is hanging off the end of the base board. Stop cutting but leave the cutting head with the blade still down in the matboard. With your free hand, grip the edge of the matboard nearest you and slide the matboard, backing sheet and bevel cutting head still in place as far back as necessary to finish the cut. This method of cutting and sliding will allow any length of matboard to be cut. Even 60” (152cm) board!
Making the most of a 30” x 40” matboard
Why am I getting a hook in the corners or a curve in the bevel cut?
The blade is probably cutting too deep. Check with your instruction manual to properly adjust your blade so that it barely passes through the mat you are cutting and only scores the backing sheet. Excess blade will flex causing a hook or curve.
Why am I getting overcuts in the corners?
The blade is probably cutting too deep. Check with your instruction manual to properly adjust your blade so that it barely passes through the mat you are cutting and only scores the backing sheet. Excess blade starts the cut too soon and stop the cut too late causing an overcut.
Is using production stops the fool proof way to get perfect mats?
No, production stops are exactly that. Production stops that are used when production mat cutting which is cutting many mats in succession that are the same size. The stops speed the whole process of repeat cuts. They are only accurate if you set them properly and have your blade depth set properly.
Why am I getting a ragged cut?
Make sure you are using a proper backing sheet under the mat you are cutting. The best material to use is scrap matboard. Never use self-healing vinyl desk tops pads. A proper backing sheet creates a better finished cut by supporting the face paper of the mat you are cutting. Or your blade may be dull. Change your blades often and whenever starting a new project.
Why don’t I cut all the way through the matboard?
Make sure you are using a fresh blade. Also make sure you are applying sufficient and even pressure on the cutting head throughout the cut. The last resort would be to increase the blade depth slightly.
Why is my bevel cut going the wrong way?
Always cut from the back of the matboard to avoid a reversed bevel. See that you are cutting from the proper sides of the lines. Cutting from the wrong sides of the marked lines will cause a reverse bevel.
Why are my mats not coming out square?
First, understand that full sheets of matboard bought at a store will most likely be un-square. To insure all four sides to be square, you must cut all four sides in a perfectly square matcutter. If you still have the problem consult the instruction manual on how to check and re-square your squaring arm. (machines that have squaring arms only).
Do I need to buy the most expensive machine to get the best looking mats?
Do I need to buy the most expensive machine to get the best looking mats? No, all Logan mat cutters produce identical looking high-quality mats. The more you spend on the equipment the faster, more comfortable, and more durable the machine will be. Decide on how much matting you will be doing before purchasing.