Settings for cutting without a mat?

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bamaboog
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Sat Dec 01, 2012 10:16 pm

I got my Lynx and I think I'm going to like it. I've cut a lot and apparently still have some learning to do! I am wondering about cutting without a mat. Is there a different setting I need to us? I can cut pretty good with a mat, but I am using the Cricut mat and it seems to be 'too heavy' when it tries to feed though. Most cuts are fine, but for a big cut on 1 mat, there are places where is seems to pull and the cut is distorted.

I would like to try and cut without a mat, but when I load the sheet it and it pulls it through, it's wrinkling the vinyl? I have yet to make it feed through to make the first cut without a mat. Thanks for ANY advice. Thanks to Denise already for helping me get started!!

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Deb Z
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Sun Dec 02, 2012 1:46 pm

What kind of vinyl are you using? And what kind of cut are you making?

I generally have my Lynx set at a force of 40 and velocity of 450 when I am cutting vinyl with or without a mat--and I am cutting Oracal 651. I did have some the other day that wrinkled up and cut wrong, and even a force of 10 cut through the backing--but it was some other kind of vinyl that I had picked up. No name or brand on the back, and the carrier was really thin and flimsy, almost like a tissue paper. That went right in the trash.

Be sure you are putting the vinyl in before you lower your rollers, and have the leading edge far enough through that it won't catch on the white cutting bar, and, if you have the extension tables, that it's not catching on the edge of the table as it rolls through.

Hope this helps.
Deb
BC Lynx, SCAL3, and a rank amateur at Inkscape

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bamaboog
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Mon Dec 03, 2012 2:06 pm

Thanks! I will give it a try again. I hope it's the leading edge issue. It jams AS SOON AS it tries to pull the vinyl through. I use Oracal 651 as well. I would love to cut without a mat. Just no success so far.

I have tried several different cuts but as this point it's messing up before it tries to make the first cut.

What is an extension table?

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Deb Z
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Tue Dec 04, 2012 11:26 pm

The extension tables are plexiglass pieces that screw onto both the front and back of the Lynx/Cougar/Silver Bullet machines, that give support to the mats especially. I leave mine on all the time, although I've heard that it will actually cut better off the roll without them.

I wish I could see what your vinyl is jamming on though. It sounds like it's maybe that edge just in front of the rollers? You need to have it pulled through past the white cutting bar before you clamp down your rollers. One thing that I found that helps me A LOT is to slide piece of paper in through the front, and then let my vinyl come through the back on top of that paper--then slip the paper out, straighten the vinyl and line it up, and put the clamps down. Hope that makes sense to you--but think of the paper as kind of a 'shoehorn' for the vinyl. The vinyl naturally wants to curl down, and so that would make it want to go down in that groove ahead of the rollers.

Hope this helps!
Deb
BC Lynx, SCAL3, and a rank amateur at Inkscape

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bamaboog
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Thu Dec 06, 2012 1:05 am

Well, some good news! I was finally able to get it cut without a mat! I watched and the roller to the left wasn't letting the vinyl roll through and that is why it was jamming. I had it lined up at the edge of vinyl so I moved it over and it worked great. Then I noticed there are white markers possibly where you are suppose to line up the rollers??! I don't know if that is what they are for, but that is about where I lined it up and it worked!

I normally buy the 12x24 sheets of vinyl. I just tried to cut something that was 22 inches. It rolled out the vinyl before it cut the left side. Do you have any pointers about how far I need to go on the design so it won't roll off before it finishes?

Also, when it's cutting, I noticed that the vinyl curls under the Lynx. Is that OK? I don't want it to curl back up and through the Lynx. But, when I look at the design of the Lynx, it seems it's designed to let the vinyl roll under the front as it's cutting.

Thank you both SO MUCH for your help!

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Deb Z
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Thu Dec 06, 2012 3:30 pm

That's great that you got it to work!

Yes, the white boxes you see from the front are where the roller clamps are to be lined up--anywhere within that white area. That insures that they clamp down on the driving grit rollers on the bottom. A word of warning, though--if your clamp roller is just on the edge of the lower grit roller, the lower roller can wear a groove into the bottom of your mat and it will warp/groove the mat. So make sure the roller clamps are fully over the grit rollers.

Your vinyl will roll up in front of the Lynx if you don't have the extension tables. I make sure that it doesn't go under the machine, but that it just rolls up.

As far as doing a 22" design on a 24" piece--I'd probably put it on a 24" mat. Otherwise, you'd have to make sure that it's starting to cut almost immediately on the vinyl, so that the extra 2" is at the back end, to keep it from rolling out the front before it's finished cutting. Another possibility--and I haven't tried this, but it might work--would be to tape another sheet of vinyl to the end of your one you wish to cut on--that would give it the extra length it would need to cut the full 22".

Hope this helps!
Deb
BC Lynx, SCAL3, and a rank amateur at Inkscape

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bamaboog
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Sun Dec 09, 2012 12:53 am

I have been so frustrated with cuttingn thin letters. My first cuts of thin letters was perfect so I couldn't figure it out. Then it hit me (after several days, many tries and a lot of frustration!) that the first cuts were in SCAL and the latest in MTC. I exported my project to SVG from MTC and imported to SCAL cutting the same size and it cut perfect! Emailed Sherri at Thatsscrap and she said there is no setting in MTC that would help. She went to using SCAL all the time because it works better for her.

I am a little torn about that. I really like MTC better because I have been using it for 2 years. Just wanted to out this out there for others considering buying a Black Cat that has MTC.

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Deb Z
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Mon Dec 10, 2012 8:11 pm

I've never used MTC--but I have read about the same issues on some cuts. So glad you had SCAL so you could resolve the issue easily.
Deb
BC Lynx, SCAL3, and a rank amateur at Inkscape

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