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Installing prints on windows

Discussion in 'Installation Equipment & Techniques' started by SameDay Signs, May 24, 2013.

  1. SameDay Signs

    SameDay Signs Member

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    This may be a dumb question but we are doing some larger prints (12 to be exact) roughly 48" x 53" almost a rectangular shape and installing them on windows. The problem is we normally laminate them which makes it easy to install but because they are only up for a couple weeks the customer didn't want to laminate and pay the extra. I stupidly said ok. Problem I have run into is that after 2 windows trying to install there just seems to be too many bubbles and when we pop them because we are using cheap orajet for the job being again its a 2 week sign and there trying to keep cost down it just doesn't want to work out correctly. Are there any good methods to install these or should we just tell them hey were laminating them because it lays much easier and looks better?
     
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  2. Moze

    Moze Precision Sign Services

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    Have you tried installing wet?
     
  3. SameDay Signs

    SameDay Signs Member

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    Have not tried installing wet. I never install wet since we laminate everything and it normally very easy. I worry that it could possibly cause me to scratch up prints to bad pushing water out since it is unlaminated?
     
  4. Moze

    Moze Precision Sign Services

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    Use a soft Teflon squeegee and spray the front with a solution of water and dish soap (go heavy on the dish soap). You shouldn't have to use much pressure on the squeegee.
     
  5. Bly

    Bly Very Active Member

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    Yep. What Moze said.
    Water with enough detergent to give a little slip.
    Wet the face before squeegeeing.
     
  6. SignStudent

    SignStudent Member

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    Wet apply, felt squeegee FTW
     
  7. CanuckSigns

    CanuckSigns Very Active Member

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    we always try to use a vinyl with air-release on windows, arlon makes one with a clear adhesive, it's not expensive at all and it saves you a bunch of time.

    If you don't want to laminate, you can apply application tape to the graphics, which will help with the bubbles, however cost wise you probably won't be much further ahead than if you used a cheap laminate.

    In future, don't let the customer's budget dictate how you make your product, are your margins on the job so tight that the extra $75-$100 to laminate the prints is going to break the bank? Who is going to be removing them in a few weeks? If it's you you will be kicking yourself for not laminating!
     
  8. CP Signs

    CP Signs Member

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    Good point about removal. Unlaminated prints can be a pain to remove. We have a contract with a road side billboard company. We do all their billboards ( 8 x 16) . Owner asked if we could be cheaper for customers advertising for only a month or two. So we tried 1 with no lam, ended up reprinting 2 panels! Never again. We do them for a little cheaper but still laminate. Yes we lose on the lam, but with a contract like this, we make it up elsewhere.
     
  9. bob

    bob Major Contributor

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    Are you serious? Application tape is so cheap it's accounted as overhead. Like Xacto blades, paper clips, and masking tape. Laminate, on the other hand, typically is more costly than the vinyl upon which it's applied. Moreover it requires far more time, effort, and equipment to apply it properly.

    Anyone trying to apply as much vinyl as described in the OP to a vertical surface that doesn't pre-mask it deserves everything that happens to them.

    Even if it were laminated I'd still mask it. I want every bit of rigidity of the media that I can possibly arrange.

    I pretty much manufacture what I manufacture and charge what I charge regardless if it's going to be up for 5 minutes or 50 years. That's no concern of mine. There might be some small consideration here or there, but not much.
     
  10. Jackpine

    Jackpine Major Contributor

    I would print it on a cheap removable adhesive vinyl like 3621 and laminate it with a cheap laminate. I would not bother with application tape. Install letting gravity do the work.....squeegee from top to bottom.
     
  11. psbc2009

    psbc2009 Member

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    Window install

    Position on window with tape at top corners, run strip of wide tape along bottom, remove tape from top corners and let drop. Get the liner started and use the BS pushing straight up the window - dry.
    General concept 222 is 6 mil semi rigid which makes it easier to install as well
     
  12. Moze

    Moze Precision Sign Services

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    Agreed, but if it's a large/thin enough window, it can flex and the Big Squeegee becomes useless. It's a quick way to ruin your vinyl.
     
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