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Easy Long Straight Cuts In Leather. How I Do It.

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I got tired of using various cutting devices and straight edges to make long straight cuts.

Too often the cutter drifted away from the straight edge or leaned to the side giving me an edge that was not square.

When the cutting device touched a metal straight edge it would dull it.

This was my solution.

I purchased a Logan mat cutting ruler and straight cutter.

I tried using the cutter and ruler the way it came but my results were mixed.

The cutter travels in a groove in the ruler. I did not like the fit but the idea was sound.

I removed the blade holding part of the cutter and screwed it to a small block of UHMW plastic.

UHMW plastic is similar to cutting board plastic just denser.

I cut my own groove in the block but produced a lip that provided a very snug fit in the ruler.

UHMW is very low friction material so even though it is a tight fit it slides easily with no side play.

The block's edges were rounded over and the bottom sanded smooth. The block travels in the ruler's groove,presses

down on the leather and maintains the razor cutting edge perpendicular to the face of the leather. Because the block

is so smooth it does not damage the surface of the leather at all.

I mounted the ruler to a 2' x 4' piece of poly board I had. I attached flathead screws from the bottom of the surface to

line up with the holes in the ruler. The nuts holding the screws fit under the recess of the ruler allowing it to lay flat.

The ruler is removable. It is lifted up to position the piece and then dropped over the bolts.

This eliminates any side to side movement of the ruler. I also cut a groove in the cutting board surface to

provide clearance for the razor cutter. The cutter never contacts the cutting surface which really cuts down on blade

drag and increases the life of the cutter.

It works better then I had hoped for. The bottom of the ruler has rubber strips which help keep the leather from slipping.

The blade holder has two depth setting which allow the blade to project 5/16" (20/64") deep. I have cut 12 oz. bridle with

little effort.

When I use it I press down on the ruler which holds the leather in place and slide the block with moderate downward

pressure. It works so well I can even cut lace with it (1/4' wide see photos).

Since both edges of the ruler are parallel I use a large square on the opposite edge when I want to make right angle

corner cuts.















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That is actually pretty funny, because my day job is a picture framer and I use a mat cutter every day. You got a bad result from cutting a straight edge using the original groove because you're supposed to put a thin barrier underneath the thing you're cutting (like a long strip of at board) to support the item you're cutting. The groove is just there to make sure the blade doesn't get its tip dulled after it cuts through the thing you're cutting and the mat board barrier.

A lot of beginners either don't use a scrap mat or make the mistake of cutting the same section of the scrap mat over and over and that results (at least when cutting mat board windows) fuzzy edges and wobbling. Your solution of making a smaller cutting groove might solve that problem, but I would try putting a piece of scrap mat underneath it, adjust your blade so it's just barely poking past the leather when you're cutting it, and see if it makes a difference.

Excellent thinking outside the box there! Even using my mat cutter every day I didn't think to try using it with leather. Likely because I mostly use mine with the beveled edge cutter instead of the straight cutter.

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I didn't like the way the cutter wobbled when I used it right out of the box. I did use a backing to clear the cutter but it did not help very much. Also without the ruler being fixed in place it was too easy for things to slip.

Making my own cutting block, which is always referenced to the groove of the in the surface of the board because the ruler is fixed, gives me great results.

The block in addition to keeping the cutter perpendicular to the leather also provides mass which helps keep the cutting stroke smooth.

Thanks for the comments. I never really used a mat cutter to cut mat board before so this device was new to me.

Edited by JamesR

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Ah yes, the Logan isn't exactly a top-grade mat cutter and the type you got is a pretty bare bones version, although it having a wobble isn't normal for it either. You might have a bad cutter, but seems you've found a workaround.

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