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Any tips on laying down 48" transfer tape?

Discussion in 'Vinyl' started by ryandavis03, Oct 25, 2016.

  1. ryandavis03

    ryandavis03 New Member

    Oct 21, 2016
    Hello all,

    I'm not that experienced in the plotter cut graphics world. I recently purchased a brand new Graphtec FC8600-130. I'm doing backlit signs so I'm using 48" 3M 3630.

    Anyhow, after I weed the graphics I need to apply transfer tape of course.

    So, my question would be, I have a 48" roll of r.tape that I sat for an hour after delivery today trying to figure out how 1 person is supposed to apply this tape? 30" seems like the max width I can handle alone.

    Any tips? I'm doing 3 colors so running it through some sort of roll laminator isn't an option since they need to be taped and aligned on the table. To transfer them all into 1 layer.

    Or any tools? I tried it on a sample sheet of vinyl and it was way too wide for me to handle. Crinkle up and fell onto the material. Would of been a nightmare if it were an actual job laying on the table.

    Many thanks!

  2. Texas_Signmaker

    Texas_Signmaker Very Active Signmaker

    Oct 21, 2016
    Frisco, TX
    I usually just use a 30" and do half on one side and half on the other.
  3. windowtintexperts

    windowtintexperts Member

    Jul 30, 2014
    tampa, florida
    do you have a laminator, we thread ours on laminator and run them through
  4. tylercrum

    tylercrum Member

    Dec 23, 2008
  5. HDvinyl

    HDvinyl Trump 2020

    Nov 20, 2008
    halfway house.
    Big Squeegee
    • Like Like x 2
  6. 2B

    2B Moderator

    May 5, 2011

    we have a homemade version of this on our table.

    for the wider application tape, we found a single person can to it easy enough with a small diameter rod (we use electrical conduit pipe) roll the tape around a couple of times to ensure it doesn't slip off and you are good to go
  7. eahicks

    eahicks Magna Cum Laude - School of Hard Knocks

    Apr 17, 2012
    Laminator. All day long.
  8. MainostePrint

    MainostePrint New Member

    Dec 26, 2015
    we use our laminator almost for every application tape install. only very small cut jobs we lay by hand. We have 2 laminators, and the other we use mainly for the application tape.
  9. briansipsy

    briansipsy New Member

    Nov 8, 2016
    I know this is a bit late, but I agree with everyone on the laminator thing. We actually have a 20' table with an air powered roller that we use now, but even when we used a laminator, you can piece your vinyl together before masking it. I usually cut pieces of my other colors so that there is a score mark in the backer and I can lay it all directly onto one piece of backer then mask it all as one piece.
  10. ams

    ams Very Active Member

    Oct 28, 2010
    Two tips for you, #1. Put a 4' ruler on each end and stick it to it. Flip over and lay down holding both rulers, one in each hand with the middle as the lowest part. #2. Only buy 24" rolls and just overlap them, EASIEST!!
    • Like Like x 1
    • Agree Agree x 1
  11. CSOCSO

    CSOCSO I don't hate paint, I just overlay it.

    Jul 18, 2012
    you have two options without a laminator:
    you have the "upside-down" method and the role core aka. the tube method
    both methods are 1 person jobs.
    upside-down method.
    You will take the transfer tape and roll it out on the table exposing the sticky part facing up.
    Roll up your graphics. then place it on the transfer tape and unroll it on to it. Sometimes I unroll 1 foot and that's what i place on the transfer tape. that 1 foot will help you align the graphics so you won't run off.

    The other method is that you lay down your graphics facing up. You take your transfer tape and unroll it half a foot. Stick it to the graphics. If you can use a masking tape and tape the edge down to the table. Then you use a tube ( the tube that's inside any vinyl).
    You will place it right against the transfer tape and using the tube you just start rolling it forward. Do not touch the transfer tape. all you have to touch and roll is the tube. You roll it forward and the lamination will roll against it ( backwards basically )
    Make sure you secure the first edge of the transfer tape because you can get nasty bubbles and wrinkles if you don't do it right,
    • Like Like x 1
    • Agree Agree x 1
  12. decalman

    decalman Active Member

    Sep 2, 2012
    I learn something new every day. I wish I could see this done
  13. Modern Ink Signs

    Modern Ink Signs Member

    Jun 27, 2008
    Waukesha, WI
    We run outlets through our laminator. Even with 3 colors you should be able to register.

    Option 1:
    Create registration marks, boxes work well, and cut with each color. Assemble

    Option 2:
    Cut a weed boarder around each color. Leave this on and tape. Align the box when assembling.

    Are these RTA or are you doing the sign in your shop? If in my opinion, if it is in your shop you should not have to assemble before applying. Apply each color in turn.

    Also pics help us visualize what you are doing.
  14. euronymous

    euronymous Member

    Mar 20, 2017
    If you don't have a laminator stick to smaller rolls. I do a lot of 4x4s and use 12" app tape that I lay down by hand and give it a good squeege. It's usually faster than setting up the laminator depending on how many 4x4s I'm working with. Even 30" tape sounds like a real pain to work with by hand
  15. MikePro

    MikePro Major Contributor

    Feb 3, 2010
    Racine, WI
    +1 here. I've been applying graphics for 20+ years now, and still have issues trying to flop a 48" chunk of transfer tape by hand.
    Roll dispenser/holder should be the standard for your shop if you intend to do a lot of transfer tape application.

    however, if you DO intend to do this by-hand. Get a second person, and just have one person hold the roll, and another person pulls out the length of tape needed, float it over the graphic to be masked, and puller starts applying transfer tape to graphic while holder keeps a slight tent/angle on their-end.
    helps having the application tape start out further than the graphic, so that graphic is taped to your table and won't shift around during application.
    • Like Like x 1
  16. TheSnowman

    TheSnowman Major Contributor

    Aug 28, 2007
    I don't have a laminator, I'd probably do it with two people, but since that's not an option, I'd go big squeegee.
    • Like Like x 1
  17. papabud

    papabud Lone Wolf

    Mar 7, 2016
    Toledo, OH
    i attached a roll holder to the end of one of my tables that holds my roll of transfer paper. i use both 54" printed material and 30" cut vinyl. so i just buy the 30" rtape and over lap as needed. when i started the boss wanted me to use 48" transfer tape but i never did get that stuff to lay down nicely.
  18. now i have an old roland FJ52 media reel on the end of my table, i just place the roll in it and pull it over the graphics, give it a flip of the wrist as it gently lays in place. before i had the media holder, i had a rigged system with a piece of conduit and a notched 2x4 to act as a media holder.

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