Frequently Asked Questions
Learn more about Speed-Mat Mat cutters
- How much space is necessary to install Speed-Mat on the wall? What if I don't have a wall to put it on?
- How many mats can I cut in a day (8 hours)?
Basic Speed-Mat User Information
- How many mats can I cut with a blade?
- What basic maintenance is required?
- The blades you shipped me aren't the same as the ones I had before. What's up?
- Will the production stop spacers fit on my 15 year old machine? Do all attachments fit all models?
- Why won't the blade in the knifehead engage any more?
- Why won't my stops hold any more? (old stops) My stops won't tighten any more. (production stop spacers).
Fine-tuning your Mat Cutter
- The corners aren't falling out. What am I doing wrong?
- Why isn't the blade cutting through on all 4 sides?
- How do I get rid of overcut?
- How do I get rid of hooks in the corners? (Run in / run out)
- How do I correct border dimensions? Opening size?
- The opening in my mat isn't square with the outside of the mat. How do I correct this?
Special Cuts and Techniques
- How do I prevent small ovals from tipping?
- My pneumatic knifehead won't rotate anymore.
- I'm having trouble cutting a V-groove with the V-groove head. Can you help?
1. What basic maintenance is required?
Lubricate the roller with a drop of oil and tighten if required. Clean the bottom guide bar, rectangle tracks and rollers. Remove grease, oil and dirt with paint thinner, then remove any remaining film of paint thinner with denatured alcohol. Clean and lubricate the sizer track with silicone spray.
2. How much space is necessary to install Speed-Mat on the wall? What if I don't have a wall to put it on?
The 3240 model requires a height of 84" and a width of 98". The 4060 model requires a height of 84" and a width of 126". The Speed-Mat may also be mounted on a heavy workbench using two 2" x 4" uprights.
3. How many mats can I cut with a blade?
5 to 10 mats per blade doing occasional custom work. 10 to 40 mats per blade doing continuous production work.
4.How many mats can I cut in a day (8 hours)?
1000 to 1500 depending on the operator and the size of the mat.
5. The corners aren't falling out. What am I doing wrong?
The blade must be released at each corner by pressing the knob on the outer edge of the knifehead handle towards the center of the handle. Then re-insert the blade by pressing firmly inward on the 1" ball knob until it locks in place with an audible click.Return to Top
6. How do I get rid of overcut?
A) Make sure the blade depth is set for only one mat thickness. B) Loosen two slotted screws and move the pressure foot towards the blade a distance equal to the overcut. The blade support screw must be backed off before this adjustment and reset to just touch the blade after this adjustment.
7. How do I get rid of hooks in the corners? (Run in / run out)
The knifehead angle is adjusted by rotating the hex shaped 034 index pin using a 7/16" wrench. If the mat corners run out, turn the index pin clockwise (arrow towards the "1"). If the mat corners run in, turn the index pin counter clockwise (arrow towards the "0").
For older models without the calibrated index pin a level may be used to make this adjustment. Level and clamp the knifehead in a vise with the long dimension of the bearing plate horizontal with the index pin to the left. Position the index handle with the arrow pointing upward. Place the level on the knifehead block. Loosen the index pin and rotate or slide it to make the adjustment. If the mat corners run out move the level bubble to the left. If the mat corners run in move the level bubble to the right. Caution: do not exceed a distance equal to length of the bubble left or right from dead level.
8. How do I correct border dimensions? Opening size?
A) The overall dimensions of the mat must be accurate. B) The mat must be square. C) If the opening is not square with the outside of the mat the rectangle carriage must be squared up. D) If the opening is not the correct size the pressure foot must be adjusted for the proper mat thickness. E) If opposite borders are not the same the rule pointer(s) must adjusted. Caution: The adjustments must be done in the order listed above.
9. Why isn't the blade cutting through on all 4 sides?
Adjust the blade depth for exactly one thickness. When inserting the blade press the knife insertion knob firmly beyond any spring action. The springs in the knifehead may be worn or broken. The rectangle carriage rollers and roller plates may be loose and require tightening or replacement. If the pressure foot has been changed it must be sanded on the machine to insure proper flatness.Return to Top
10. The opening in my mat isn't square with the outside of the mat. How do I correct this?
The rectangle carriage must be squared up with the bottom mat guide. A) Loosen the adjust screw on the upper carriage plate. B) Lock the top stops so the carriage can not move left or right. C) Align one of the vertical tracks with an "L" square placed on the bottom mat guide and lock the bottom stops to hold the carriage in place. D) Press upward on the end of the upper right roller plate to seat the roller against the track and tighten the adjust screw.E) Make a vertical cut with the carriage locked in place and check the cut with the "l" square.
11. The blades you shipped me aren't the same as the ones I had before. What's up?
We offer 3 different blade profiles. All are of the same quality and will give the same performance. There are two long blades which will work in all Speed Mat knifeheads with the exception of the Spirit quick change knife holder. The short knife blade was designed for the Spirit quick change knife holder but can also be used in all other knifeheads with the exception of the oval cutter heads.
12. Why won't the blade in the knifehead engage any more?
A) The knife depth screw is in too far. B) The detent plate screws are too tight.C) The detent plate spring is broken. D) The detent plate and upper push rod are worn so they will not engage.
13. Why won't my stops hold any more? (old stops) My stops won't tighten any more. (production stop spacers).
Make sure the tracks are clean and free of oil and grease. Clean first with paint thinner, then denatured alcohol. The standard stops wear out and need to be replaced periodically. If the production stops are over tightened this can cause the bottom block to break. Give the Gorilla a sedative.Return to Top
14. How do I prevent small ovals from tipping?
A) The point of the blade must be moved toward the metal post for ovals 4" x 6" and smaller. Position the point of the blade half way between the metal post and the plastic depth stop pin. B) The oval carriage horizontal tracks must be square with the vertical tracks. If they are not square, this can be corrected by loosening the screw on the top and bottom carriage plates, squaring up the tracks, and retightening the screws.
15. My pneumatic knifehead won't rotate anymore.
Return to Esterly Company for repair.
16. I'm having trouble cutting a V-groove with the V-groove head. Can you help?
The V-groove head requires very precise adjustment. A magnifying glass is helpful when making the adjustments. The outer blade must be adjusted with the tip 1/32" deeper than the inner blade. Remove the sharp tip of the inner blade using a very fine sharpening stone so the won't break when inserted against the surface of the outer blade. The knife depth screws should be adjusted so the inner knife blade just touches the surface of the outer blade directly below the tip when the blades are inserted.
17. Will the production stop spacers fit on my 15 year old machine? Do all attachments fit all models?
Yes. All new Speed-Mat accessories are designed to fit on all machines producedReturn to Top