Product Guide: Ever Increasing Circles

The problems with cutting circles and ovals are that you want the cutting blade to move around, in some cases, quite tight curves and, at the same time, cut cleanly at an angle of 45º.  The solution is to use the tip of a scalpel blade so that the width of the blade does not prevent “cornering”.  Then by making the blade repeat the cut, each time at a deeper setting, the tip will eventually complete a cut through the thickness of the selected board.  A final issue is to ensure that the axis around which the blade turns remains in the same place.

Quite an engineering conundrum.  However, what you end up with is a machine such as the Logan oval and circle cutter.  This hand held tool is actually quite a fine piece of engineering and because of the restrictions on how it has to behave, is not something to be handled roughly. 

Once you have set the cutter up, it is worth being careful with how you store it.  Used with the recommended “light touch” you will have no problems creating wonderful looking circle and oval mounts: singles and doubles.

Why would you want to use one?  Here is a list of just a few uses.

  • Traditional style portraits (vignette) where you want to focus the attention on the person not the background
  • Remounts of images – where a picture has previously had a circle / oval mount you will need to refit with similar mount otherwise faded areas will be evident
  • Recreating a traditional look on watercolours
  • Mounts around circular objects – such as framing a crocheted dressing table mat
  • Needlecraft – sometimes the design is circular or oval. Other times you might want to focus on a central area of sewn work
  • Raised circle / oval – again with needlecraft as well as the central focus, raising the mount with foam strips behind gives a simple, clean cut look plus the depth away from the glass for beadwork
  • Memorabilia – some pieces require a circular surround (plates etc) or an oval (medal cluster)
  • Photography – as well as portraiture, you can also take out areas of uninteresting surroundings (zoom study of a central feature) and it can give a zoomed in feel – like looking through a telescope or camera lens.
  • In a multiple opening presentation, a circle or oval aperture will give a high quality finish to a framed piece.
  • Combination cuts – half circle with rectangle beneath gives and archway  … cut the circle first, hold in place with masking tape, then cut the rectangle.

As with all Logan kit, there is a good set of instructions in the pack as well as an owners’ manual being available on-line for download as back up.  When planning the aperture position, plan for a rectangular cut with surrounding border (usual method) so that you can cut mount board to the “glass size”.  The position of circle or oval can be marked up as in the instructions of the cutter.  If creating a circle, the diameter is set on the cutting arm.  An oval is created by adjusting the movement of the arm around the central axis: the offset is the difference between the circle diameter and height of the desired oval.  You may be surprised to find that it can make a circle cut up to 20” across. 

As with all mount cutting, you need a piece of mount board under the panel being cut – that also needs to move with the panel being cut. The secret to good cuts is to use the left hand to hold down the central “foot” of the cutter (rotating it anti-clockwise) whilst the right hand lightly rests on the cutting arm (thumb over the cutter) and without any downward pressure as such, guides the arm in a clockwise direction.  Aim to maintain contact between the cutting head and the board rather than pressing the blade in.  After 4 passes, lowering the blade each time, the cut should be complete and the core can easily be removed.

Whether framing other people’s work or your own, this cutter can give an extra dimension to how you present artwork.  Once you have practised a few times, you will have no problems with this precision kit.  Friends, family and customers will be impressed with the finesse of your work. 

We do demonstrate and give students a chance to use these cutters during our Mount Cutting & Decoration training days as well as having them on show at the various exhibitions we attend.

For product details click: Circle / Oval Cutter

Posted on: 5 Oct 2007@09:38:42, updated on: 5 Oct 2007@09:51:44.