i wanted to share a few simple tips using the hands free mat, for the slice. the hands free kit is a MUST, for any slice owner. and not just because it's magnetic, and you don't have to hold the slice while it's cutting. although that's cool. i think the biggest thing i have noticed with the hands free kit, is that you get cleaner and more accurate cuts.
for adhesive, i find that the repositionable spray adhesive works the best and gives the most even coverage. and it will last you a long time, on your mat. i know some think that you have to put a fresh coat of adhesive on, every time you go to use your slice. but did you know that it's ok to leave the adhesive on, in between uses? i simply place a 12x12 sheet of cardstock on my mat. it will cover most of the glass, especially the areas that you actually do the cutting on. the tackiness from the adhesive holds the paper there, until you're ready to use the mat again. i just tuck my mat away, or on my expedit shelf.
when i'm ready to slice again, i just remove the cardstock, putting it to the side to use again when i'm done. i have left the adhesive on my mat for up to three weeks or more. and the mat is still tacky and useable, even after that much time has passed since it's last use. occasionally, i might want a little more stickiness on the mat. if the mat it still looking pretty clean, i will just spray another coat of the spray adhesive right over the previous coat. it works just fine.
obviously, if you have too much build up or gunk on your mat, you will need to clean it and start fresh with your adhesive. but if it's looking pretty good, don't be so quick to think you need to start from the beginning. sometimes, i might only slice a few shapes. and then it will be a week or two, before i slice anything else. these are really the times where this comes in handy, since you havn't done enough to really wear out your adhesive yet. if you've been slicing like crazy, and doing a TON of cutting, then it might be time to clean up and start fresh.
as for cleaning the mat. with my original glass mat, i used to just toss it in the sink and scrub all the adhesive off. but with the hands free mat, you cannot submerge the mat in water. it's magnetic, and has the cushy side on the back for embossing. you don't want to get the mat really wet. i know there's so many ways that people go about cleaning their mat. i'm just sharing my way with you. take it or leave it. i use a mr clean magic eraser. it doesn't have to be the "extra power" one, that's just what i had handy.
i cut one of the sponges into small pieces. usually, just one square will work for each cleaning. i get it wet, and squeeze out the excess water. and then i rub it around the mat, in a circular motion. it gets all the adhesive up and loose, so that i can just wipe it off the mat. i do tend to get bits of adhesive in the grooves along the edge of the mat, and that does drive me crazy. so every once in a while, i get in there with a toothpick, and flick it all out.
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