This post is part of my Checklists series. Each post in the series is a set of brief reminders to guide you while you work on a project. The Cutting Without the Mat Checklist helps you remember each step to take when you are cutting something like vinyl or HTV without using a mat. With each checklist, I provide links to more information about the topics. For a detailed explanation of all these tips, check out my series, “Cutting Without the Mat Without Losing Your Mind.” If you’ve never cut without a mat before, I recommend going over my Successful Beginner Projects: #10 — Vinyl Wall Quote.
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Cutting without the mat checklist
- Make sure the material you are cutting is one that can be cut without a mat.
- Select “None” on cutting mat.
- Turn on “Show Cut Border.”
- Check your material’s width.
- Double check the Loading Orientation Arrow.
- Move the right white roller in.
- Check the leading edge to make sure it’s absolutely a 90° angle to the side.
- Use the correct guideline on the machine platform.
- Use the correct loading method.
- Check to see if the material loaded straight, using the “Riding on Cardstock Method” if necessary.
- Use the arrow keys to roll the material in and out to make sure it’s going to stay under the rollers throughout the cut.
- Know beforehand some strategies for working with curled material.
- Double check the Cutting Checklist.
- Know ahead of time what to do if something starts to go wrong.
- Check the cut before you unload.
- Reset the roller and change your mat setting after you’ve completed the project.
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