Straightening Cutting Pads

There’s been a lot of chatter at my workshops about the best way to flatten out the Big Shot cutting pads after they inevitably start to bend. I tried out a few of the popular methods I found online, so you don’t have to.

The simplest method I found is to run very hot water over your cutting pad and use the divider bar between a double sink to bend the plate opposite to the way it is bowing. This method is easy, quick, and requires no additional equipment; however, I didn’t find it super effective.

Another option is to bake the plate in the oven. Wrap the plate in a double layer of tinfoil, place it (curved side up) on a cookie sheet, and weight it down with a lasagne pan half-full of water. (You can also use bricks in the pan to weight it down; I don’t have any bricks on hand, though!) Heat oven to 350 degrees and bake for up to 60 minutes (check on the plate’s progress after 30 minutes). Once your plate is flat, remove from the oven, but leave it weighted with the lasagne pan until it cools. This method is easy and quite effective with moderately warped plates.

Finally, I tried ironing a plate after wrapping it in a tea towel. The instructions I found recommended using the hottest iron setting and spending about 15 minutes per side. If you have two warped plates, that would take an hour to straighten out – I’d much rather spend the $13.50 to get another pair, than spend an hour ironing (and my wardrobe choices demonstrate this handily!). However, I adjusted the method slightly; I ironed the pad for about 5-7 minutes until it was very hot. Then, leaving it wrapped in the tea towel, I placed a very heavy book on top to keep the plate flat as it cooled – mimicking the oven method. This was easy, fairly quick, and very effective. Plus, it gave me a lot of control over which parts of the plate were being heated and straightened. I will certainly be trying this method again.

Bonus tip: use a lint roller to pick up the paper bits that get stuck on your pad!

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