As the KnK Maxx cuts through mountains of paper, there are a few basic simple tools that I use over and over again that make my life just a little more pleasant.
Let’s review what each of these very simple inexpensive things are that I use each and every time I turn on the Maxx. Starting at the top left hand side, going clockwise:
1. Brayer – a simple brayer that may cost $5-$15 bucks, that you can pick up at an art supply store in the screen print area ensures that your paper firmly and consistently adheres properly to your mat.
2. Dough Scraper with metal blade. This is the pricey dough scraper, that you can buy in a quality kitchen supply store. Don’t get the plastic ones. You use this to scrape the mat when you are done cutting. Works much better than a credit card. You won’t use the credit cards any more for cleaning off your mat once you use this. But wait!!! Don’t throw them away. You’ll need one for #5.
3. Laminated strips of paper (orange in middle). You probably use strips of paper now to protect your wheels from the mat adhesive gunking them all up. A laminated strip is easy to remove, and can be used again and again without sticking and tearing up. Brilliant.
4. Weeding tool. We all have our favorite weeding tool. I’ve used dental scale tools, and needle like clay picks. This is something I picked up in a fabric store for $.19. It came in a package with a large plastic needle (?). I have no idea what it was intended use in the fabric / sewing world, but when I saw it, I knew I needed it, and it is my constant companion.
5. Blade gap setter. OK, you know how you have to have your blade set at just the right height and you have to adjust it each time you change your paper? Some of you may use little sets of test rings to adjust that, and know how many rings to use for each paper type. Forget that. The gap height is always the same distance between the blade and the paper. The only thing that is changing is the height (thickness) of the paper. The distance between the paper and the blade is a constant. So make yourself a gap tool using a credit card and you will never have to mess around with getting that distance set correctly. Take two thicknesses of credit card and laminate them together with super glue. With the paper on the mat, put the gapper tool over the paper and gently push the blade onto the gapper tool and then tighten down. Pull the gapper tool out. The blade should cut into the tool just a smidge when you remove it. Perfect gap every time.