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Is there a way to score the liner for decals?

Discussion in 'General Signmaking Topics' started by Pideas, Aug 15, 2019.

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  1. Pideas

    Pideas Member

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    Alexandria, Virginia
    I'm running 1,000 4x11" decals. I'm using my HP Latex to run the decals on a 54" wide roll. I find it kind of hard to peel off the decal from the liner. I'm just wondering if anyone has tried turning the sheet of label with liner face up and scored the back of the liner on a Summa cutter? Or is there another way to cut/score the liner so it's easier for the decal to peel off?
     
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  2. White Haus

    White Haus Formally known as RJPW..........

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    We've used these with some success: https://olfa.com/professional/product/top-sheet-cutter-ts-1/

    You need a perfectly flat surface/workbench and a fresh blade, and the accuracy of the score is only as good as your hand pressure.

    We'll run sheets w/ marks printed that we score through on the face, then flip over and backslit. With some practice you can get to about 95% success rate.

    Too little or too much pressure and you're wrecking decals pretty quick, but you can definitely get pretty good at it.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  3. fozzie

    fozzie Member

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    if you have a javelin (or similiar) cutter, these work well. we have had success with flat table, cutting on new, flat foamcore sheet.
    just takes a minute or two to dial in razor blade height. once good, no issues. take out variable of hand pressure.
     
  4. bannertime

    bannertime "You guys do banners, right?"

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    Arlington, TX
    I'm not sure I'd personally use the TS-1 for this purpose. Everything has to be perfect. I don't think it was ever intended to do any long cuts. The tip makes it hard to use with a ruler too.

    Anyways, it is possible to do with a cutter. It's only a matter of blade depth and pressure. Well, once you figure out a reliable way to line up the cuts.

    When you see split back decals they're typically done on a finishing module for a decal machine.
     
  5. JBurton

    JBurton Signtologist

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    Does the customer actually want them slit, or are you just thinking about future orders?
     
  6. ikarasu

    ikarasu Very Active Member

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    Never tried it on a summa/graphtec... We have our own backslitting machine, so no need to.

    Our customers have been requesting more and more that instead of backslit... We just kiss cut it to exact, then perf cut it 1/8" around the decal. Then they can bend and peel it off easy... Works great for smaller decals where having a slit back would be a small slit.
     
    • Agree Agree x 3
    • Informative Informative x 1
  7. Pideas

    Pideas Member

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    Alexandria, Virginia
    No, customers weren't requesting it but some have mentioned it was tough to peel the decal off the liner. I was just wondering if folks used the Summa or Graphtec for this purpose. It was just a thought.
     
  8. Reveal1

    Reveal1 Member

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    Cape Girardeau, MO
    We will often peel the 'matrix' off the front of the decals which makes removing decal from liner easier. The matrix can be removed easily by attaching the first inch of the material to be removed across the sheet width to a large steel ruler to control the material, and just pull it off at a steep angle (like 170) . If you have a clean cut and simple pattern like rectangles/circles, comes right off with a little practice.
     
    • Informative Informative x 1
  9. White Haus

    White Haus Formally known as RJPW..........

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    This is what we usually do, but just manually. Kiss cut the decals on the plotter, weed, then trim into singles.

    What kind of backslitter are you guys running? Are you happy with it?
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  10. ikarasu

    ikarasu Very Active Member

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    https://www.rollemusa.com/portfolio/semi-slitters/ We have one like this... not this exact model, next time I'm by it I'll try to see what model it is. I know we've had it for 15+ years...

    It works great. It's like a graphtec though... You have to set the blade depth everytime, if you do it wrong then it'll cut a line in the glue which leaves a mark. It's great when we have thousands upon thousands of decals to backslit though!
     
  11. stickerhed

    stickerhed New Member

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    Hands down this is the best tool for that job. Obviously if you're doing huge quantity one of the automated machines would work better, but we use this knife 25+ times per day everyday

    http://www.yellotools.us/Cutting/Knives-Cutters-Scissors/BodyGuard-Knife-Teflon.html
     
  12. JBurton

    JBurton Signtologist

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    +1 for the bodyguard knife. Protip, for the teflon 'boots', you can order 3m fiberglass tape and stick that to some backing and run it through your plotter. I think a giant roll was about $100, but you can get a metric ton of the pads cut out at your convenience. (we have run out of shoes at the wrong time more than once...) It also works well on the back of the laminator. Apply a strip running the same direction as the laminated material that comes out the back, right where the lam adhesive always hits if you get your alignment off just a little. Just wrap the leading edge under the machine so it doesn't catch. Also, apply it to a piece of 2" architectural angle to make the best damn 10' straight edge you've ever used!
     
  13. FireSprint

    FireSprint Merchant Member

    If you don't have the space for a slitter, you can add an option to your decals for an ez-peel tab. roughly a 1/8" piece of extra material that acts the same as cutting the liner but it's on the front. Depending on your process, it's relatively quick and it frees you up to work on other things while it's cutting.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  14. White Haus

    White Haus Formally known as RJPW..........

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    Cool, thanks! I never realized those can also cut right through.....seems like a great tool to have in the shop!
     
  15. sirex89

    sirex89 New Member

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    I am in the process of manufacturing a knife/holder for manual backslitting. I have used it on a run of decals that was 400 unlaminated decals on a 3mil vinyl and was extremely impressed with it.
     
  16. ikarasu

    ikarasu Very Active Member

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    https://olfa.com/professional/product/top-sheet-cutter-ts-1/

    you mean like the olfa version? Manual ones work great... but the problem with our industry is when we get decal orders, its usually for thousands... Manually scoring thousands is a pain in the ***. And if you dont do it often enough, buying a $5-10,000 machine isnt worth it.


    Our slitter broke down and I had to do 1000... I threw it in our graphtec and did a perf cut line down the back of the material, and it actually slit it really nice without cutting through or leaving marks on the front... I was kind of shocked it worked! I havent played with it since that one time since our slitter is way faster, but those with a cutter...it may be worth a try if you always have to do backslitting.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  17. Boyanski

    Boyanski Member

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    Sep 16, 2019
    Denia
    Nothing can compensate the skill of the person, applying a wrap, cutting or whatever.
    That video made me laugh. The contraption they sell for cutting the lines when wrapping a car. I can do it faster and better with naked exacto knife. That's what i use. Many years ago when I saw for first times my friends working all time using naked blades in all situations i did not get it . Now i use almost always the same.
    In all other cases - Non folding exacto knife, where pressure is needed. I cut by hand faster shapes in 2-4mm expanded PVC board than the time it takes me to program it on the CNC. In fact a neighbour business that uses my CNc services once told me that never he received such perfect cut from the time he had his business on a complex shape. Yep, by hand.
    Same goes for backing foam for photos. A steel ruler upgraded with non slip rubber one side and a steady hand.

    But back to the stickers. 1-3mm between them and when printed lift at once that area. Then they are easy to peel left on roll or cut to bands or cut to one by one.
    Every not necessary operation is a waste of time or a sign one does not know well his job. Which in fact turns to the fact that the bigger the sticker goes the more shows if one does not know the proper way to work.

    I am a one man shop and i easily apply anything up to 2 meters long. And very fast. In fact what i apply now for 15 min before an year took me 1 hour at least 2 people. The key is a heavy duty spray pump that throws a lot of water, and to key the exact amount of soap for the specific job. Of course i can apply dry, but avoid it, except for stickers.

    So for me is a very strange thing to waste time to cut the back lining of the sticker to 2 pieces, especially when if applied in the right way that will be bothering me instead of helping me. Especially that i always peel the backing from the sticker that lies flat on a surface.

    I know you all know, but for the sake of people that dont know. That's my way of applying stickers from small to 5 meter vinyls. And by the way i learned it from Youtube. at the time.

    1. Spray hard on surface using garden pump they use for fumigation. 5 liter deposit.That prepares the surface and cleans it from the floating dust
    2. Lay immediately the laminated side of the sticker or the transporter tape of the vinyl, to the wet surface. That keeps the sticker like glued so its easy to work and avoid to fold. And keeps the water from surface from evaporating.
    3. Peel all the backing. Even if 3 meter long. Or 5.
    4. Now the pump comes into play again and i wet the sticky side with a lot of water. The key here is the water to be distilled and the soap to be good as that makes the water stick to the film
    5. Alone or with a helper i take it out from the surface, flip it , position it and place it. Depends how many drops per liter soap, its easy to reposition or harder. Depends if small letters or big sticker, or sunny day outside or cold day inside i adjust that.
    6. Take out last bubbles and if its a vinyl letters take away transporting tape.
    Thats it.

    And yes i use the pump even on small jobs. Why pup a damned bottle 10 times when you pump the big pump only once. And to tell you the truth i am saving for an electric battery spray gun like the Graco. The one they use for airless painting. Instead of paint i want to throw just water and do it even faster. Battery operated as i do a ot of car wraps outside, still not big enough to have own garage for that.
     
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2019
  18. Reaction GFX

    Reaction GFX Member

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    Jan 22, 2014
    Milwaukee, WI
    FWIW, I've been using the Olfa TS-1 for years to backslit individual stickers/decals, as well as to make long edge slits on prints being applied to rigid media to get them started before running them through my laminator to apply. I use it against a 60" straight edge all the time as well with no problem. You just have to get a feel for the knife. It's not always perfect, but it certainly does the trick. For the price, this is a tool I don't know how I lived without for so many years. Wouldn't be without one now. (I also have an old Akukut, which is a small aluminum block that holds a standard razor blade at just the right depth. It works fine, used it for years and years, but I now prefer the Olfa TS-1.)
     
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