Monday, April 28, 2014

Question about refreshing die-cutting machine mats

I received a question from a viewer of my you tube video on refreshing die-cutting machine mats so thought I would share the answer here as well...

I am having problems with it staying sticky and I spray it about every time I use it.  Any help on this issue?  How often do you clean your mat?  Do you have any problems with the cutting blade not cutting right on the recommended settings?  I have to adjust it and when I do usually my text gets cut up bad that I have to throw my whole project away because the other things I try to cut doesn't cut right.

Think of the mat in a side ways view, on the bottom you have the mat, then each time you add glue you put another layer on the height of the mat, moving your paper even closer to the blade and once it gets too high the blade will begin to scare the paper as the blade moves between cuts.  When I notice the blade marking my paper as it travels between cut then it's time to completely clean the mat of all glue.  

You can completely remove the glue from any mat do with Goo Gone which you can purchase in most big box stores. Pour it on, make sure all of the mat is covered, soak for about 20 mins then use a mat scraper or other tool to help lift ALL the original glue.  Scrape it all off then wash with dish soap & water then dry off (don't skip this step because if you do the remnant Goo Gone will compromise your new glue.

Now cover the outside edges with painters tape to ensure glue doesn't go where it's not supposed to.

 Now you have two options:

#1. Use  Elmer's Repositional glue (temporary) spray glue to coat the mat.  Let dry a few minute then give it a second spray.  Remove the painters tape & you're ready to go.

PROS of this method - this is quick to do, start to finish, so you could have a couple of mats ready to go within an hour.  

You can respray the mat many, many times before you have a build up enough to cause paper scaring and have to repeat the entire 'complete cleaning & gluing sessions'

CONS of this method - much of the spray is removed with each use so you have to respray every couple of uses.

When you respray you cover the whole mat and if you have only used on corner of the mat when you spray you cover the whole mat and therefore this can leave an uneven surface of glue which causes its own problems.

#2. Get the big barrel Close To My Heart blue glue or big barrel Zig blue glue.  This glue is permanent when applying paper to paper etc, however left to dry overnight it is Repositional (Temporary). Stroke the glue in rows across the entire "clean" mat, trying not to overlap your strokes, so you will have one, even, level coating of glue.  Let dry 24 hours before applying paper to the mat.

PROS of this method - this application of glue lasts a very, very long time, almost like a fresh mat from the store would.  Not much glue comes off with each paper application so you can go months between the complete cleaning & gluing sessions.

You can add another layer of glue ONLY to the areas you see the glue is diminished because you see where to apply the glue precisely and therefore you won't have uneven lays of glue.

CONS of this method - It take longer from start to finish because the mat MUST sit overnight before you can apply any paper so this is not the 'quick fix'.

You can only apply 1 or 2 applications of the glue over the last application, before the build up of glue layers puts the paper too close to the blade and the paper scaring will happen as the blade is moving between cuts.

My theory, I use method #2 most often as I like that I can just pile up non sticky mats and then plan a day to do several at a time and they last so long.

When I have a project to get done and I need to add a bit more stick to get to the end, I employ the spray, get it done then throw it in a pile for later.

Mats are expensive and to throw them away when they're just not sticky is just so much money wasted!  I have a crafting budget and don't like to use it up on mat!

Please don't hesitate to email if you have any further questions!

Have a SCRAPtastic day!