Slightly OT: Mat cutting tools for picture framing

Hello All:
I'm about to start making a bunch of frames for pictures of our two kids and I want to cut the mats myself too.
I've seen the Alto system at a woodworking show (http://www.altosezmat.com/a-03-00-productinfo.html ) and it looked great during the demonstration. I also noticed that Lee Valley sells a couple of systems (http://www.leevalley.com/wood/page.asp?page2123&category=1,43293&ccurrenc y=2&SID=).
Any of you guys cut your own mats with one of the these systems (or another one)? Comments or recommendations welcome.
Thanks,
Jim
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I matted hundreds of pictures in the bad old days with a Dexter Mat Cutter and a T-Square. Certainly a minimum investment. Remember to give the bottom as viewed an extra quarter to half inch to over come the optical illusion. If double or triple matting, you will have to add almost an eighth as well on the interior mats.
http://www.dickblick.com/zz171/02/products.asp?param=0&ig_id 16
NB - when people ask who matted them, don't admit you did - or admit framing them. Everyone seems to have a lot of things they want done cheaply....

and
(http://www.leevalley.com/wood/page.asp?page2123&category=1,43293&ccurrenc
another
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On Sat, 25 Oct 2003 09:49:47 -0700, "Jim Martin"

I've borrowed the Alto. It's worked great for me every time.
Barry
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Logan makes the best mat cutters (and in various price ranges).

and
(http://www.leevalley.com/wood/page.asp?page2123&category=1,43293&ccurrenc
another
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I've used the Logan compact mat cutter for over ten years and it has worked great. It's item B on the Lee Valley site you posted.

and
(http://www.leevalley.com/wood/page.asp?page2123&category=1,43293&ccurrenc
another
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On Sat, 25 Oct 2003 09:49:47 -0700, "Jim Martin"
I use a Logan, which I still think is damned expensive for a chunk of aluminium and a razor blade. I don't much like their guide rail, as I find it too lightweight and prone to slippage. I just use straight edge, but it's much heavier and has an anti-slip surface underneath.
I don't like systems like the Alto, because it encourages you to cut ugly matts where every cut is the same distance from the edge. it probably works fine, but I don't like the result.
http://amol.org.au/recollections/ is a useful site on some issues around high quality matting and framing.
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Jim Martin wrote:

I've cut a fair number of mats with the Alto system. It works great. I have not yet tried the oval templates, etc. which are available - I've only cut rectangular mats thus far. I've never used the Logan so I can't compare.
By the way, if you're doing any significant amount of framing, I also highly recommend the "framing and glazing tool" which Lee Valley sells. This appears to be the Fletcher FrameMaster, which is what I use (though mine didn't come from them). It is expensive ($76 plus $17 for 3000 points), but makes short, painless, and curse-free work of inserting framing points. It's one of those specialty tools that does just one thing, but does it so well that it's hard to live without once you've tried it.
-Brett
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