5

I was finally able to setup a craft space at home and got a Blick cutting mat but after a few days it's warped. I have two culprits in mind

  1. The mat is black and it is right next to a very large window with a SSW orientation, so it gets a lot of sunlight. There is nothing I can do about this, it's the living room, so we need the light and there is really no other location for the craft space. Is there a mat that will handle being in the sun that way or some other precaution I can take?

  2. I do some leatherworking which involves hammering. Could the hammering have caused the warping? What's a good way to prevent that?

  • I don't know if there is anyway for you to do this, but I try and store my cutting mats vertically as much as possible. Many of them already have a hole punched in the center, and I will use something like a picture hook, and use the hole, or loop cord through the hole and hang from that. I have one hanging from my cubicle wall at work, and another one hanging from a hook that I installed on the side of my work table/desk at home. I don't know if that would impact the way the sunlight hits the mat, but I thought I would throw it out there. – magerber Apr 7 '17 at 19:52
3

Taking each aspect in turn:

Covering the mat with something white, a sheet of paper, a fabric sheet, a light colored towel, may provide protection from any thermal related warping. If the mat is warping in a manner that causes it to lift upward in the center, generally speaking, you may be getting "top layer" thermal expansion.

Hammering is less definitive, unless you can see patterns in the mat. If you are hammering in a regularly visited location, it may be splaying out under the mallet or hammer, causing a sort of bottom layer expansion, which would result in the edges curling upward. It would take substantial hammering in the same location to accomplish this.

Small sections of localized bending could be the result of hammering. It would result in an irregular form of warping, perhaps dimples in some areas, bumps or moguls in others.

I found this on the Blick web site: "If your Blick Cutting Mat should become bent or distorted, simply heat it in sunlight or hot water until it becomes pliable and then lay it flat until cool."

You could consider to play a hair dryer over the surface to "relax" the warping or bumps. I would recommend against anything as powerful as a heat gun, as it has the capabilities to melt the surface in a very short time.

If you are successful in flattening the mat, shade and cooling air flow are your friends.

| improve this answer | |
  • 1
    I am a big fan of hot baths for restoring shape to plastics. It distributes the heat pretty evenly across the whole object. – user24 Apr 5 '17 at 0:45
  • It's certainly the safest method. Even boiling hot water isn't likely to damage the mat, while hot air can be too concentrated. – fred_dot_u Apr 5 '17 at 1:39

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.