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Air Bubbles

Discussion in 'Tips & Tricks' started by sdimmick, Jul 1, 2010.

  1. sdimmick

    sdimmick Member

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    Does anybody have any tips on less air bubbles? I seem to be having issues with the bigger projects. I also have issues around the edges when i outline things with it being solid behind. I use calandered vinyl, R-tape Clear choice on smaller jobs, and i have been using 24" maintape med. tack for the larger jobs....i use to use R-tape conform with high tack, but didnt like how hard it was to peel off.

    I know this has prob been a discussion before, if someone has a link to the thread, let me know!

    Thanks!
     
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  2. MikePro

    MikePro Major Contributor

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    sounds like a squeegee problem to me :)

    just poke sum holes and let the sun do the rest for ya.
     
  3. jfiscus

    jfiscus Adobe Shinobi

    On larger areas of vinyl (more prone to bubbles) I still like to use application fluid just so that I don't have to poke bubbles.
    And yes, a new squeege sometimes makes a world of difference.
     
  4. Craig Sjoquist

    Craig Sjoquist Major Contributor

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    care full sqeeging, don't move so fast,
     
  5. signcrafters london

    signcrafters london Very Active Member

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    I rarely, if ever, pre-layer two or more colors because of bubbles. One at a time = no bubbles.
     
  6. sdimmick

    sdimmick Member

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    i layer two or more quit alot actually....but i have done some larger jobs single layer that get bubbles. I'll have to try a new squegee and slow down.

    You mean slow down on application of tape or on substrate?
     
  7. bob

    bob Major Contributor

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    Air bubbles are almost always indicative of bad application technique. It doesn't matter all that much what vinyl or app tape you've chosen to use. If and when you learn proper squeegee technique the bubbles will go away.

    Moreover, pre-layering vinyl is generally considered a rather amateurish technique as well as a sure fire bubble generator, at least in my village. It's faster and far simpler to apply the various individual layers to the substrate than try to pre-layer. Accurate registration, like proper squeegeeing, is something else you'll eventually pick up. Or not.
     
  8. AUTO-FX

    AUTO-FX Very Active Member

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    Do you use a center hinge method or do you just plop it down and start squegeeing? That could be one problem. Do you use a good quality squeegee? I like the 3M gold or Universal has a nice grey one. The angle of removal when pulling off the app tape matters. Go sharp and slow. That clear tape is a little aggressive, but good for small registrations.
     
  9. sdimmick

    sdimmick Member

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    I rarely prelayer, usually do them serperately....but, like you suggest, "a rather amateurish technique", i prob have issues with...what is the best way to apply with proper squeegeeing?
     
  10. sdimmick

    sdimmick Member

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    I used 3M gold and use the center hinge method...i guess i need to slow down when removing tape....does it matter when applying the tape what direction to squeegee?
     
  11. Gino

    Gino Premium Subscriber

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    Using calendared vinyls is also part of your problem. You can't squeegee as hard on that as you can cast without possibly tearing or slicing your vinyl. It's not made for that. Also, calendared is not a good idea to have more than a bottom layer and a top layer with none in between.

    Your not quite using the right materials for your intended application.

    Cutting corners will also bite you in the end.....................
     
  12. The Big Squeegee

    The Big Squeegee Major Contributor

    I would not use application fluid on layers if an edge of the underlying vinyl will capture the fluid.
     
  13. sdimmick

    sdimmick Member

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    Never used app fluid...have done a few 4x8 signs with ease....my squeegee is over a year old, seems ok, but i was using these cheap ones i got for free, i threw them away, maybe those were the issue...
     
  14. OneUpTenn

    OneUpTenn Active Member

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    I actually love application fluid and really dont see how you guys do the larger vinyl without it. I use it on almost everything except regular yard signs. It gives you so much more time to play with the position and the bubbles I have when I use application fluid (if any) go away so much faster than the ones when I do not use application fluid.

    I swear by the stuff
     
  15. AUTO-FX

    AUTO-FX Very Active Member

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    yeah, it is nice,especially for vehicle installs, but if your in a hurry you have to wait for it to tack up a little before you can peel off the app tape or else you CREATE bubbles with the pulling. If you know what your doing you really dont need the stuff for flat applications. just poke the big ones and the little ones usually go away on their own. There is one more trick with the app tape....
     
  16. bob

    bob Major Contributor

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    Regardless of what you're using or how you hinge it, proper squeegee technique has three main points...

    1. Hold the masked vinyl off the substrate and always let the squeegee put the vinyl in contact with the substrate.

    2. Never squeegee unplowed ground. Always start the stroke with the squeegee completely on the last stroke and end the stroke with half to a quarter of the squeegee still on the previous stoke. Start each stroke off the image and end up off the image. How do you start I hear you cry. You make the first stroke completely off the masked image, generally on the hinge, and pick up about half a squeegee's worth of masked vinyl at the end of that stroke.

    3. Constant and firm pressure on the squeegee and constant speed, from the beginning of the stroke to the end of the stroke.
     
  17. ABPGraphics

    ABPGraphics Active Member

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    :goodpost:
     
  18. ABPGraphics

    ABPGraphics Active Member

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    I sooooooo totally agree - I love my Rapid Tac!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
     
  19. SignManiac

    SignManiac Major Contributor

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    I'm with Bob on the proper technique method. I slung vinyl for twenty five years or so dry. Rarely would I ever need or even want to use fluid.
     
  20. Bigdawg

    Bigdawg Just Me

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    When I first started laying down vinyl I had no idea you could do it wet... I agree with Bob's techniques here... That's some good, sound advice.

    Still very rarely lay down anything wet unless it's just too big for me to handle by myself and I still try to avoid doing it that way.
     
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