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Learn how to use an X-acto knife and straightedge to cut thin and thick boards based on Doug's expereience as an architectural ...
student and practicing architect.
Tags:How to use an X-Acto Knife,X-Acto Knife,architect,architecture,be an architect,become an architect,design,designer,doug patt,house,how to architect,xacto
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Hi, I am Doug Patt and this is how to architect. Hi, I am Doug Pat and today we are going to learn how to cut like an architect. Cutting materials by hand is still part of the education and practice of an architect. These are some pointers about how to do so.
Well, remember these are rules of thumb but you are responsible for how you choose to use them. This is cutting mat. I use one. I will not cut on the final cover I got on my drafting thing or on the wood table itself. I have seen people do it for years in school and it is dumped. It will eventually screw up the surface of your drawing desk and mess with your line quality especially when your pencil hits big davits you have created with your knife.
Now, these cutting mats come in many sizes. This one is 18 x 24. I have been using it for the last 17 years. It tact’s away nicely and it is the right size for most detailed work. These are the exact tow tools I use. I like this one because it is easy to handle and good for cutting small parts and this one is a little more industrial but I would like it for just about any job. I keep my blades turned over or pushed down when I am not using it. This is no joke. These blades are wicked sharp and will mess you up. I got this scars to prove it.
Now, about straight edges or rulers I never use plastic or wood. When you are cutting along these materials the knife edge can cut right into them because they are so soft. It will destroy the edge to your ruler or it will wreak yourself off and cut you. This metal straight edge is steel and 24 inches long. I would like it because it is long enough that it works for many like cuts and I can really get a good grip on it when I am pushing down. If the straight edges too short, they can be tough to hold, move when you do not want it to or simply too short for your cut.
This one has a cork bucket. The cork is there to keep it from slipping when you are pushing down on the surface being cut. I use it sometimes but sometimes I do not. The reason I turn the ruler over at times is that the cork holds the edge of the ruler up of the surface being cut and depending on your lighting creates a shadow.
Now this is being a little meticulous but the shadow and the distance the straight edges just held up sometimes makes sure a cut which is not as straight as I prefer. Regardless every time you are cutting keep your fingers back from the edge of the ruler and always press firmly on the ruler and down on the cutting tool while running at along the straight edge.
Now when you are cutting anything never try to get through the object you are cutting on the first strike especially when cutting deep parts like foam core or cardboard. Strike the material a number of times to get a precise clean cut. The first strike being the most gentle. Do not rush. If you got a new blade you may go through on the first pass but it will typically run my exact tow through a second time just to make sure I got a clean cut. It goes without saying always use a good blade and never cut with a dull one. You are just asking for uneven edges or injure as the blades tends to slip more when it is dull.
Lastly, corners are tricky. The end of the cut will typically not get to the corner of what you are cutting particularly when you are cutting thick material like stone core. What I do here is try to start my cut in the corner. By the way, with stone core use a good blade. You will mangle the interior stone core when cutting with a bad blade. Oh! And one more thing to remember when you are throwing those blades away dispose of them properly or wrap them in tape. When you are jamming that garbage down you do not want to put your hand it will use blade. Good luck!