April 2, 2015

Dear Debbie.....

Good Morning and welcome to another edition of "Dear Debbie". Today I have a blog reader that asked:

Debbie, could you do a Q&A on how to keep the cutter pads from curling up after some usage? Once they start warping like this it is difficult to keep dies, thinlets, etc. in place on the magnetic platform. What do you do to keep them flat? Thanks. 

Here's my Big Shot Cutting Station in my stamp room:

Notice that I have 2 Big Shot Machine's that I use for my classes. If you take a look at both machines, my cutting pads are all nice and flat. Here's a close-up below:

You'll also notice that I have added scotch tape on the end of one cutting pad and I wrote with a Permanent marker on the tape "Place on Non-Cutting Side". Why do I do that? First take a peek at both of the cutting pads below. These two pads are a set that are the exact same age:

They don't look the same do they? You will notice a few cutting lines on the one on the left. That's because I had a few customers that DID NOT READ what I wrote on my cutting pad and did not follow my directions....unfortunately, that does happen. 

My method for keeping my cutting pads flat works for me and it's my own thing. I follow my own rules that I made up for myself after years of working with my Big Shot Machine. It's not written in stone that this is correct but it works for me and here's what I do that may help you:
  • Designate one cutting pad to be your non-cutting pad. What does this mean? It means that before you cut your paper, you will make sure that this cutting pad is always on the non-cutting side of  your die. For example, if you use a Framelit, Edgelit or Thinlit = cutting pad on top of the Framelit, Edgelit or Thinlit. If you use a Bigz Die, the die cutting blades are on the top  and cut from the top so your designated pad needs to be placed under your die = non-cutting side.
  • For the cutting pad that is designated to take the brunt of the cutting, this pad always goes on the cutting side of the die. So backwards to what I wrote above. This cutting pad is the one that will have all the cut marks on it and look awful.You can't even see through it.
  • For the designated cutting side pad, I always flip it. Meaning if after a few cuts it seems to want to slowly start curling or warping, I flip it on the opposite side. If  you keep flipping and alternating sides, it pushes it back in a flat position all by itself. Curling is an end result when the pads are always used on the same side. So don't wait until the curling or warping is bad enough to cause a problem. Alternate your sides every now and then to alleviate this problem.
Think about it too, if you work hard and pay attention to keeping one cutting pad like new with no cut marks in it, you'll be able to see through it when cutting with your more delicate dies. Especially when you use dies the coordinate with your stamping. It's much easier to place these dies in position over your stamping when you can see the image!

Plus, another great thing about keeping one clean and clear of cut marks, you only have to replace one at a time so your 2nd set of new plates will last you twice as long as you only need to replace with one new one and you can store the other one for later. 

I hope this helps. I've seen pins on Pinterest where people are microwaving their cutting pads or putting them in the oven. I've never had to resort to doing this by using the method above. Thanks for the question! And.....I need more questions for future posts. Please ask!

Before  leave you for today, I wanted to remind you to visit Create with Connie & Mary today because it's Nicole Tugrul's turn for Preview Week and she showing us a PREVIEW project today  if you leave a comment on her blog, you have a chance to win a FREE subscription!

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