Trying to cut my own mat and having a heckuva time!

I should have thought of asking this of my co-Bubblers before!

Do any of you cut your own mats (and can you recommend answers to these mat-cutting questions)? I was told by a friend that “it’s EASY!” to cut your own mat and saves LOTS of money. I have a mat cutter (this nice metal deal that angles the blade as you pull it along against a straight edge—I think there’s other kinds, but I’m not familiar with them). I’ve practiced on some scrap mat, and I mainly have two issues that have me stumped:

1) Securely holding the straight edge in place while I do the cutting. Is it simply a matter of muscling it down with my left hand while I lower the blade and pull the cutter toward me with my right hand?

2) CORNERS! There’s markings on the cutter that would seem to indicate where to start and stop cutting, but I either over-shoot or under-shoot the corners. Even when I get it close, my corners look pretty ragged. Is there a secret?

Ultimately, short of finding someone nearby that can SHOW me how to do this properly, do any of you know of a good online video tutorial? I’ve seen a couple in my searches, but they’re very basic and don’t cover these kind of details.

Any of your experienced input will be well appreciated!

Kevin

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