Okay, so you’ve read tips 1-6 on cutting without the mat and you’ve got all that down. (If you haven’t you can find #1 here). You’re excited about testing your new skills. BUT — before you load your material and start cutting, you need to check the leading edge.
Note: This post contains affiliate links. That means if you click the link and purchase something, I receive a small commission. You pay the same price. This helps me to be able to keep my business going and provide more tutorials. I will always be honest about my opinion of any product.
Tip #7: Check the leading edge
The leading edge is the one that’s going into the machine under the roller bar. It’s important that it is not only straight, but is a really good 90° angle to the side. When it is, the left and right rollers grip at the same time and keep everything moving through correctly.
Here’s what happens when that leading edge is even slightly off the 90°. You line up the left edge of your material with correct guideline on the platform of the machine, but in order for the left and right rollers to both grip it has to angle a bit. It looks like it’s loaded in right and you might not notice it in the beginning of the cut, but it’s magnified the longer the cut goes. Because it’s angled, it’s moving through crooked. Eventually the left or right edge will come out from under the fat part of the roller that’s supposed to grip it. The material will start sliding around all over the place.
Don’t assume a new roll or sheet of vinyl or HTV has that perfect perpendicular. I’ve purchased good quality material, particularly in sheet form, that hasn’t been cut accurately. I’ve learned to always check. Here’s an example of a brand new roll of gray vinyl I purchased. At the top it’s almost even with where the blade on my trimmer will cut, but it’s much farther past it at the bottom.
If that leading edge isn’t right, use a craft trimmer or be super accurate with measuring and cutting with scissors.
That’s all for this tip. Short but, oh, SO important. Our next tip will be the same, so be sure to read on!
Leave a Reply