The list of reasons why horse stall mats are important is long. For this reason, you can find all sorts of stall mats easily. But, the tricky part is the installation. You have to cut the horse stall mats properly for a neat, precise fitting.
Although there are professionals who offer this service, the truth is, no rocket science is involved in cutting horse stall mats. We’ve put together an easy guide from the preparation process to the post-cutting tips. Read through so that you can perform the task skillfully yourself!
To ensure a safe and successful experience of cutting horse stall mats, preparation is an extremely important step.
The first step to preparing yourself for cutting horse stall mats is to arrange for safety measures. You need to work in a space that is non-slippery. A slight unexpected movement with a sharp object in use is extremely risky.
Moreover, the room should be easy to clean after the mat has been cut. Lastly, make sure to cut the stall mats as nearer to the horse stalls as possible, as post-cutting, you will have to carry the heavy mats to the stall. Other than that, wear thick rubber gloves to protect yourself against any risk of cuts.
Next, collect your required tools. You need a tape measure, chalk, a board big enough to put under the mat, and your choice of a cutting tool.
Start by placing the rubber mat on top of the board so that your surface doesn’t get damaged. Next, measure the insides of the horse stall with a margin of a quarter-inch to allow room for expansion and contraction of the mat in changing weathers.
Use chalk to mark these measurements on the stall mat. If you’re underconfident about making sharp cuts, use something sturdy like a long metal ruler as a guide.
Best Tools for Cutting Horse Stall Mats
Here is a list of some of the best tools for cutting rubber mats. But, truth be told, the best way to cut horse mats is to choose what you’re most comfortable with. So, go through these options but select the final cutting tool based on your experience and preference.
Utility Knife and Blade
Believe it or not, you have some of the best tools to cut horse stall mats within reach. A utility knife, carpet knife, or any other blade that is sharp enough works great. You do, however, have to be patient with these tools.
There is a bit of a technique to keep in mind when using these tools. If you go too hard, the thick rubber will break your blade immediately. Instead, you should use short and neat cuts.
Do not cut through the entire depth in one go. Moreover, apply little pressure for even cuts. If you dig the blade in too deep, pulling it out can break the blade, damage the mat, and also put you at risk of getting injured.
Cutting horse stall mats with a utility knife or blade can cause friction. If it’s bothering you in the process, opt for a lubricant. If you haven’t got WD-40 on your hands, plain water will work fine too.
A hacksaw is another manual option that works the same as a blade. But, the difference is that you can go for longer cuts with a hacksaw, as compared to a blade. One downside of this tool is that you have to use both your hands. So, you’ll need help from another person to keep the mat from moving while you cut it.
The next option is to use a circular saw for cutting rubber. It is a powerful tool but should only be used with steady hands and an extremely sharp blade.
You should change the blade after every couple of mats to avoid rugged cuts. This also causes the rubber to get stuck on the blade which eventually melts, leaving behind a strong odor.
If you can get your hands on a saws-all with a fine-tooth blade, you can cut the horse stall mat in minutes. However, this tool is quick and sharp. So, it is best if you cut with at least half an inch’s margin.
Cutting rubber with an angle grinder is quick, yet, it is not recommended for a beginner. It requires a smooth hand. Therefore, in replacement of an angle grinder, you can go for a saws-all to get the job done quickly and safely.
Post Cutting Steps
Now that you’ve custom cut the horse stall mat properly, it’s time to move it to where it’s intended for. You might be thinking that you can simply pick up the mat and put it wherever you want. But, it’s a tad bit trickier than that due to the weight of the mat.
To tackle this problem, attach vise grips on either end of the mat. They serve as handles and two people can carry the heavy mat easily. An alternative to vise grips is c-clamps.
Lastly, before you take the mat to your horse’s stall, clean it. Get rid of any bumps or uneven edges. It is easier to clean the mat in an open space than inside a horse stall.
There you go! You now have enough knowledge to cut horse stalls mats properly on your own. You don’t need any assistance or professional help. All you need are good cutting tools, safety steps, and confidence.
Go ahead and resize all the misfit horse stall mats that you were previously scared to experiment with!