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My Favourite Tool: A Cutting Mat

My Favourite Tool: A Cutting Mat

A fly-by look at one tool in the hobby-space – what it’s for and why it’s good.

This time: A Cutting Board

A green A3 cutting mat with measuring grid

Up until writing this, I’d probably have said my favourite tool was my mouldline remover, but I’ll save that one for another day.

My cutting board is my actual favourite tool however, as it’s the most versatile tool I have.

Firstly, it’s a cutting board. So it gets used when I’m building miniatures, or otherwise messing around with hobby knives or glue.

Secondly, it doubles as a quick access palette when painting, if I’m just doing a quick touch up and can’t be bothered to get the wet palette out. Hence the state mine looks in!

A paint covered cutting mat
Looks like new

Thirdly, it’s my mobile hobby base. My WIP miniatures live on it, especially as a place to leave them to dry, and I can easily transport them around the house to wherever I want to hobby. In the picture below it’s set up next to the coffee machine and above the washing machine. There’s some good overhead lights in this room, so a great place for an evening of getting brush to miniature, and a place I can often leave my hobby out in for quick 5 minute touch ups when I take a break from work. I have a special place set aside for it in my hobby cupboard which is left tall enough to put the mat in with models on top, for when I need to easily clear up my hobby.

a cutting mat with a number of models and citadel paint pots covering the surface
This is a typical set-up for me. Look at the impacts of a few years of use. I particularly always like the marks black base edges leave 🙂

It’s probably worth buying a good quality self healing cutting mat, but honestly just make sure you have one in your hobby stash. To help keep it in tip top shape, here are a few tips:

  • Don’t use it as a coaster for hot drinks, in fact anything too hot, like a hairdryer, is going to warp the mat.
  • A bit of warm water and gently rubbing with a scrubber or if needed very gently with wire wool will usually clean it, but too hard and you’ll damage the mat.
  • If really stubborn, try some vinegar mixed with water, and some soap. Let it soak in the warm vinegar water for about 10 mins before scrubbing with the soap.
  • When drying, use a cotton towel, and then leave to air dry. If the corners start to warp, you put something heavy on them.
By WhamBadger

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