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Old 10-25-2021, 01:47 AM   #1  
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Default Self-healing Magic Mat

I bought two of these a few weeks ago, for use on my Gemini Jr. die-cutting machine. I came here and sang their praises, after a day of turning out great die cuts. Then yesterday, I used them on some new dies, and both Magic Mats warped terribly, but not the way regular cutting mats warp. Curiously, they warped the way the Gemini Jr. "plastic shim" warped, with a big bulge in one quarter of the shim. I don't know how a mat could self-heal but I do know the Magic Mat does not self-heal. I would like to hear if others are having success with the Magic Mat. One of the times I used a Magic mat, it bent across the entire mat, about an inch up from the end of the mat.
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Old 10-25-2021, 03:02 AM   #2  
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The same thing happened to me and it's difficult to get it to straighten out again. It helped to put them in a sheet pan, pour boiling water over and then set a pot on top. They're not perfect, but mostly back to normal. I tried using them in other sandwich combinations and the same issue came up; perhaps my machine is just too tight? I now have them set aside in case I find another way to use them.

I've gone back to using the regular plates but with only the thicker plastic shim and the thin magnetic sheet. (The manufacturer recommends using the metal shim, as well.) I've been doing this for a few months now and my plates are still nearly flat, not overly indented from cutting. I understand each machine can be different, but there is sufficient pressure to cut the majority of the dies without that one in the mix. (Intricate dies will likely need it.)

Hope this helps!
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Old 10-25-2021, 03:11 AM   #3  
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[QUOTE=fl_beachbum;22123521] I've gone back to using the regular plates but with only the thicker plastic shim and the thin magnetic sheet. (The manufacturer recommends using the metal shim, as well.) I've been doing this for a few months now and my plates are still nearly flat, not overly indented from cutting. I understand each machine can be different, but there is sufficient pressure to cut the majority of the dies without that one in the mix. (Intricate dies will likely need it.)

What sandwich do you use? I found that my mats still warped, even following the books instructions and Jennifer McQuires videos. However, I bought the double sided Gemini Jr Mat (used for their double sided dies) and haven't had as much warping. From the bottom up, I use the clear mat, the double sided mat, cardstock, die face down (so it cuts into the double sided mat), the plastic shim and another clear mat. I have used this sandwich for several months now and it seems to work fairly well - I still have to rotate and turn the individual mats after every few cuts, but by doing that they warp in the opposite direction and seem to be okay. I still wish they'd come up with better mats, but that double sided mat seems to work best for me for now.
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Old 10-25-2021, 03:24 AM   #4  
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From the bottom up:
clear cutting plate
plastic shim
thin magnetic sheet
die facing up
paper
clear cutting plate

I have the first three taped together the way JM recommended and it helps it to be less fiddly. I simply make sure I flip and rotate the plate getting cut into.

I haven't tried the double-sided mat. After trying the magic mat and it failing, I was hesitant to try anything else especially since the original plates seem to be working so well with this sandwich. But thank you for your feedback. I'll definitely keep it in mind in case I ever need to try something else.
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Old 10-25-2021, 04:02 AM   #5  
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I use them in my Big Shot and have no trouble. I had to add a shim using a sheet of thick cs and a few cheaper dies need and additional shim of regular cs. No problems with warping.
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Old 10-25-2021, 09:46 AM   #6  
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Never tried it, but Scrapbook.com recommended heat gun on it.

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Old 10-25-2021, 11:37 AM   #7  
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Thank you for sharing the tip about fixing warping. I love my Magic Mat. I am not sure if it works with my magnetic plate, so it is put away right now. I do enjoy cutting with it on my Big Shot Plus.
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Old 10-26-2021, 05:52 AM   #8  
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Quote:

Originally Posted by BahbView Post
I bought two of these a few weeks ago, for use on my Gemini Jr. die-cutting machine. I came here and sang their praises, after a day of turning out great die cuts. Then yesterday, I used them on some new dies, and both Magic Mats warped terribly, but not the way regular cutting mats warp. Curiously, they warped the way the Gemini Jr. "plastic shim" warped, with a big bulge in one quarter of the shim. I don't know how a mat could self-heal but I do know the Magic Mat does not self-heal. I would like to hear if others are having success with the Magic Mat. One of the times I used a Magic mat, it bent across the entire mat, about an inch up from the end of the mat.
Ditto
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Old 10-26-2021, 08:26 AM   #9  
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I absolutely love my magic mat. I have been using the same one with my StampinUp Emboss & Cut since the mat first came out. I did had some warping occur. I heated the mat with my heat tool and set something heavy on it. The mat cooled flat.
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Old 10-26-2021, 09:06 AM   #10  
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I'm using a Vagabond 2 and my mat is grotesque, but it does the job. I'm primarily using it as a non-cutting mat. I tried the heat gun bit, but it didn't flatten out much and re-bulged promptly.

I'm finding that using the regular Sizzix plates as top (non-cutting) plates is resulting in deep, deep imprints of the non-cutting side of some of my dies, which sometimes imprints on other things cut with open dies. I usually cut my cardstock down to close to size because of the things that can get imprinted on the excess as it's run through the machine. I think the regular Sizzix plates have gotten considerably worse in the past year or two, which is really disappointing. My newer plates also have more bowing issues, even with flipping and rotating.
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Old 10-26-2021, 09:34 AM   #11  
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So far my mat is ok. Scrapbook.com did send a dedicated email discussing how to use them that also included a vid. Did you guys get that? Not that someone who has been die cutting for years cant figure how to figure it out...
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Old 10-26-2021, 01:42 PM   #12  
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I've tried several ways to flatten my plates. The hot water did not work for me. I try to rotate my plates to prevent warping. The best thing that works for me is when I am done die cutting, I put a sandwich together, insert it in the machine and stop it halfway. The pressure from the machine straightens out the bulges. I have three machines - Gemini Go, the big Gemini and my manual machine is a Cuttlebug. I do this in all the machines and it seems to keep the plates pretty even. I too, have problems with the cutting mat bulging, so I will try the heat gun approach. It's been a very frustrating journey in die cutting; but some of the processes do work for people, just maybe not everyone. I do appreciate all the tips I receive from this site.
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Old 10-26-2021, 02:43 PM   #13  
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I don't have a cure for the Magic mat issue but I do have one for the warping Gemini Jr. plates--I got this tip from one of Jennifer McGuire's videos. Buy the Gemini Jr. Double-Sided Die Cutting Plates--they come in a set of 2. I'm not sure what material they are made out of but they are very thin and light green. The sandwich would be: clear plate/green plate/cardstock/die/green plate/clear plate. And ideally, you flip the plates so that the die is cutting up. I do a LOT and I do mean a lot of die cutting and both sets of plates have remained unwarped. I will admit the green plate is scratched up like crazy but no warping! I haven't had to use any other shims with it--if it's an intricate die, I just add a piece of cardstock as a shim.
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Old 10-27-2021, 03:19 PM   #14  
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I bought a tiny 'Magic Mat' when Scrapbook.com had on sale, just to try it out. They definitely should not be called "Self healing"....that's just stupid. It's not a completely hard surface like the Precision Base Plate, so there will be some kind of cut when you die cut, just like the acrylic cutting plates. I don't have much success with cutting with Magic Mat because it's not metal. I use the Precision Base Plate for detailed dies only as it makes the press too hard for open dies and warps them.
The magnetic plate will hold the Base Plate, but the magnets are not strong enough to go through that metal plate to hold your dies in place.
I don't use the little magic mat enough to have warping.
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Old 10-27-2021, 08:39 PM   #15  
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Quote:

Originally Posted by GypsyRoseStamperView Post
Never tried it, but Scrapbook.com recommended heat gun on it.

Thank you for sharing! I sang praises of the mat in the beginning as well but was disappointed with the warping. I will be using this trick to flatten them out again.
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Old 10-28-2021, 02:43 AM   #16  
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Originally Posted by wavejumperView Post
So far my mat is ok. Scrapbook.com did send a dedicated email discussing how to use them that also included a vid. Did you guys get that? Not that someone who has been die cutting for years cant figure how to figure it out...
I don't remember seeing the video. Maybe I can search for it on YouTube so that I can actually use it.

I don't think I will buy the double-sided plate mentioned. I don't really want to spend more money on something else. I shared its a previous post that the dies cut well and my plates don't warp with removing the thin metal shim from the sandwich so I'm just going to stick with that. i hope you all find the combination and plates that work for you
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Old 10-28-2021, 05:05 AM   #17  
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I've tried heating the mat as they show in the above video, but it works only temporarily. The next time I use the mat, it bubbles again. Also, the pressure is sometimes too much, and the dies leave outline impressions on my cardstock. The Magic Mat really doesn't live up to the hype for me. It's got a lot of "unhealed" cuts and has bubbled in the middle. Plus I have to use a cardboard shim with it. I'd rather just use my Sizzix mats. No fussing necessary, and they really aren't expensive. They last forever, and I only switch them out when the cut marks start leaving impressions on my cardstock. And that takes a long time to happen.
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Old 08-16-2022, 10:16 PM   #18  
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I'm just wondering if people buy the Magic Mat because it's supposed to last longer than the regular cutting plates, or if it actually cuts better? I was given one and have only tried it once, but still experimenting with different shims because I couldn't get a good, clean cut.
Karen

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Old 08-16-2022, 11:44 PM   #19  
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I have been using regular cutting mats for a long time now. I found my latest one at Dollar Tree because it was thin like the others I had used previously. I don't know anything about the Magic Mat other than it works very well in the sandwich. I still have to use shims, but since I'm protecting my (expensive) plates, it's worth it. I didn't want to spend a the extra $ on a "brand," so I was thrilled when I found my current one at the Dollar Tree. I got two mats in the package and cut one in half to fit my cutting machine. It works great!!! I hope you hear from people who are actually using the Magic Mat. I tend to research other products to try to save $$$$, and YT videos are wonderful and informative. Let us know how you are doing with it.
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Old 08-16-2022, 11:49 PM   #20  
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Hi. I tried the heat tool on the cutting mat and it worked great. I took a little time and I used my brayer to smooth it out. After I was done, I stuck it under my desk mat and it works fine. I'll probably have to keep doing it, but it's worth it and quicker.
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Old 08-16-2022, 11:55 PM   #21  
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Oops! Forgot one thing. The absolute favorite thing I use on my dies is powder. It's an added bonus to any of the sandwiches I use and it works beautifully on intricate dies. I recommend it highly. Let me know if it works for you.
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Old 08-17-2022, 03:23 AM   #22  
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Oops! Forgot one thing. The absolute favorite thing I use on my dies is powder. It's an added bonus to any of the sandwiches I use and it works beautifully on intricate dies. I recommend it highly. Let me know if it works for you.
Powder? What kind and how does this help.

I have the magic mat. I haven’t used it in a while as I wanted to use my magnetic plate. Maybe I need to get it back out and remind myself how it helped or didn’t help.
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Old 08-17-2022, 06:23 AM   #23  
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I'm just wondering if people buy the Magic Mat because it's supposed to last longer than the regular cutting plates, or if it actually cuts better? I was given one and have only tried it once, but still experimenting with different shims because I couldn't get a good, clean cut.
Karen
I haven't been able to get a great cut with mine either. I have to add shims, and I bought the Magic Mat to avoid that kind of thing. Add that to the terrible warping and unhealed cuts, and I'm very underwhelmed. I won't be buying any more.
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Old 08-17-2022, 07:38 AM   #24  
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I use baby powder. It sort of lubricates the die so that the pieces just fall out. I've tried wax paper and that didn't work because it clogs the cuts and is hard to get out (at least for me it is). The powder doesn't interfere with the work of the die. I also use the powder when I'm heat embossing. So inexpensive and it works the same as the brand products.
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Old 08-17-2022, 07:47 AM   #25  
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Thanks for sharing about the powder. Might have to try it sometime.
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Old 08-17-2022, 07:57 AM   #26  
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You bet! Also, you can use any powder. Some use cornstarch, which is one of the ingredients in some of the brand products. Baby powder smells better, though.
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Old 08-17-2022, 12:23 PM   #27  
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I use baby powder. It sort of lubricates the die so that the pieces just fall out. I've tried wax paper and that didn't work because it clogs the cuts and is hard to get out (at least for me it is). The powder doesn't interfere with the work of the die. I also use the powder when I'm heat embossing. So inexpensive and it works the same as the brand products.
What a great tip. I've used waxed paper, but also have trouble pulling the waxed paper out of intricate dies. Never even thought of using baby powder.
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Old 08-17-2022, 03:53 PM   #28  
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Wax paper is my secret weapon with "fiddly" dies, but I don't try to cut through it. I use a flat piece of wax paper, or maybe wad up a small piece, and rub it over the cutting edge of a die, then go ahead and cut. Each rubbing is good for 3-4 cuts, depending on the die and the paper I'm cutting. I never have a problem, and I have not noticed any "waxy" buildup, even when making a hundred identical cards with a particular die.
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