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Laminating by hand

Discussion in 'General Signmaking Topics' started by MikeSTK, Apr 23, 2011.

  1. MikeSTK

    MikeSTK Dawns Vinyl Designs

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    I've combed through old posts but can anyone offer some advice?

    We do not have a laminator. I am looking to lam small items (under 2 sq/ft). I tried to just lay it down and squeegie it but was not happy with the results and it seems bubble happy.

    Thoughts? Ideas?

    Thanks!
     
    Tags:
  2. Fred Weiss

    Fred Weiss Merchant Member

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  3. Billct2

    Billct2 Major Contributor

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    We do this, just like laying down vinyl.
    Tape the piece to be laminated to the table, hinge the laminate on one end.
    Apply using 6" felt squeege.
     
  4. Mainframe

    Mainframe Very Active Member

    DUDE! You really need to click Fred's link, life will open up & blossom for you, I promise! The Big squeegee is the bomb! A felt squeegee is a really rough way to do it, yikes!
     
  5. Billct2

    Billct2 Major Contributor

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    I have a BS.
    I'm just saying it it is quick & easy to do (small prints) if you want, and the results are fine, not rough.
     
  6. Bill43mx

    Bill43mx Member

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    Mike,
    As long as you are only doing small prints I'd suggest you consider this manual laminator: http://cgi.ebay.com/NEW-PERFECT-25-...877?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item5640e0735d

    We've used this exact model for over 2 years now and it does a great job. It's as basic as it gets, and is limited to 25" wide material, but it lays down bubblefree laminate every time. We just purchased a "real" 65" laminator, but I'm not getting rid of our 25" it's way too handy for the small jobs!

    The big squeegie is also a nice tool but personally I could never get consistent results with it.
     
  7. MikePro

    MikePro Major Contributor

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    Just get a mini roller and liquid lam costs like $60 a gallon, which should be enough for a roll of print
     
  8. MikeSTK

    MikeSTK Dawns Vinyl Designs

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    We've been using a spray lam but I don't like the finished product at all. Does the lliquid lam self level?

    Is it a nicer finish than spray anyway?

    Thanks for all the suggestions, just can't justify a good lmainator right now.
     
  9. bob

    bob Major Contributor

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    earth
    Clear Shield levels out quite nicely if, that's if, you mop it on just this side of dry brush. Use a foam brush, not a roller and certainly not a bristle brush. Thinning it to the consistency of whole milk helps a lot as well. When done properly you cannot tell the the finished produce ever had anything brushed upon it.

    As far as the Big Squeegee, do a search on You Tube. There's one particular video demonstrating a technique using double sided Scotch tape that, once you do it a time or two, produces excellent bubble free results. Try it but don't use anything more aggressive that 3/4" Scotch double sided tape. For example, don't try it with banner tape or double sided masking tap. That way lies ruin and madness.
     
  10. signcrafters london

    signcrafters london Very Active Member

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    Ask me how I know.

    :frustrated:
     
  11. MikeSTK

    MikeSTK Dawns Vinyl Designs

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    I will check it out, THANKS. ( and when did my typing get so awful? )
     
  12. Gene@mpls

    Gene@mpls Very Active Member

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    There are a *lot* of BS vids- can anyone post a link to what Bob is talking
    about- tried numerous search terms and watched as many likely vids as
    I could stand. We use and like the BS BTW- just always looking for better
    ways to do anything. Thanks Gene
     
  13. bob

    bob Major Contributor

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  14. thewvsignguy

    thewvsignguy Active Member

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    We have had our BS for about two months now. I have used it 4 or 5 times for some 2-6 sq. ft prints and worked like a charm! I was a little skeptical on how such and inexpensive item would work so great. It does what it is supposed to do and with a bit more practice I'll feel more confident is doing even larger prints. It is worth every penny and until we start to laminate larger prints this is a very cost-effective solution. Good Luck!
     
  15. Gene@mpls

    Gene@mpls Very Active Member

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    Thank you, Bob. I will give that a try.
     
  16. Edserv

    Edserv Member

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    We used a Big Squeegee for all our "hand applied" overlam jobs. It's tricky, but you can successfully use a BS once you get the "hang of it."
    If you're looking for a cold lam, keep an eye on Craigslist. We found a GBC for 1/10 the price of buying one new. But we still use the BS for jobs over 40" wide.
     
  17. gieseguy

    gieseguy Member

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    you can use the wet method. a soap water solution so it's just slippery between your fingers. spray both the adhesive side of the laminate and the print and simply squegee out the fluid. works great and no bubbles.
     
  18. signmeup

    signmeup Major Contributor

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    I just do it wet.
     
  19. omgsideburns

    omgsideburns Very Active Member

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    Big stuff I run through my laminator, small stuff I apply lam wet with rapid tac.
     
  20. Mosh

    Mosh Major Contributor

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