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Lamination

Discussion in 'Newbie Forum' started by steeltech, Sep 18, 2012.

  1. steeltech

    steeltech Member

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    Jul 16, 2012
    I have been open for business for a few weeks and just had my ribbon cutting ceremony with our local chamber. My services thus far include vinyl for storefront and mobile businesses, signs on pvc-aluminum-coroplast, Banners, Vehicle Magnets, glass etching and various vinyl gift ideas. I had a problem arise that I honestly should have understood before offering the service; Lamination. I completed a custom pair of vehicle magnets in the shape of a house. This was a realtor's request. I had to hand-cut them, and Im a steady hand so I had no fears of doing this. The customer decides to stop at the local full-service car wash. She leaves the magnets on her rear seats, and of course the person detailing the inside of the vehicle butchered the magnet. She claims that her purse/handbags were thrown on top of the magnet during the shuffling that takes place when the person vacuums cloth seats. So, she called to complain to me about it. She suggested I laminate them next time to make them more sturdy.

    My problem is that my plotter is 53", My mimaki printer is 63", and my operation is very small and does not allow me to have a large laminator. I simply do not have the room. So I decided not to offer it. Ive already completed a job that included both vinyl and digital print design for a pizza delivery van, and I did not laminate the dp graphics. Am I doing a disservice to the industry by not offering laminate? Does the issue of scratched graphics, in the case of the magnets, fall under the customer simply not caring for them. I offered to replace the magnet. I would like some opinions on this dilemma.

    Thank You,
    Chris
    Capers Signs & Graphics, LLC.
     
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  2. J Hill Designs

    J Hill Designs Major Contributor

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    yes you should laminate most DP work (most meaning everything but throw-away one-use coro signs etc)

    You can laminate with the big squeegee...take some getting used to, but gets the job done :thumb:
     
  3. rjssigns

    rjssigns Major Contributor

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    Can spray or roller them too. ClearStar makes a good product. You need very little space for a laminator especially if you are doing small pieces.

    Honestly though with the rate of theft and absentmindedness with some people it is almost not worth the time to do either.
     
  4. steeltech

    steeltech Member

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    Jul 16, 2012
    I decided if I wasnt going to have a large laminator, then I didnt want to offer lamination for smaller projects and have that pointed out by a customer as a flaw. Hadnt experienced a flux of customers needing laminate on many projects at my prior workplace. Then again, Im finding out more and more just how lazy my previous employer was and I can see now the kinds of corners he liked to cut. Im trying to be detailed, pleasant, fun to work with and a student of the business at the same time. Local Competitors wont care if I make mistakes when it helps them. I appreciate the suggestions. Think I will look into providing laminate now.
     
  5. 401Graphics

    401Graphics Very Active Member

    find a used laminator, locally. I got a 64" GBC titan for $1000
     
  6. steeltech

    steeltech Member

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    Jul 16, 2012
    I squeezed everything into a two unit shop, one side is production and the other is my cut table and the counter/register. I literally have no room for any machine in here and I mean absolutely zero room. My printer is nearly 9 feet long, the plotter is 5 feet long and my production room is about 11' x 11'. Just me, my PC, plotter, printer, vinyl standing rack and enough room left over to take a very uncomfortable nap on the floor if need be.
     
  7. idsignsil

    idsignsil Member

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    Springfield, IL
    Go to YouTube and check out some of the Big Squeegee video's. You can laminate with it right on you table.
     
  8. The Big Squeegee

    The Big Squeegee Major Contributor

    You don't need any extra room for a Big Squeegee.
     
  9. 401Graphics

    401Graphics Very Active Member

    :covereyes:
     
  10. Mosh

    Mosh Major Contributor

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    Anything but throw-away coro and banners needs to be laminated.
    GET A BIG SQUEEGIE!!! or for small stuff like magnetics spray them
    with frog juice.

    BTW, did someone charge you too much for a sign so you went out
    and bought a printer? Sounds like you don't know much about sign
    fabrication... My bathroom in my shop is 12'x15'.....

    Scratched magnetics is on YOU!!! not the customer...
     
  11. gabagoo

    gabagoo Major Contributor

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    Vaughan, Ontario

    Frog Juice and solvent ink don't mix from my tests..better to use clearshiled or neshan liquid lams
     
  12. Mosh

    Mosh Major Contributor

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    I have a window job up FACING SOUTH that is Frogged and it looks good
    SEVEN YEARS IN!!!
     
  13. J Hill Designs

    J Hill Designs Major Contributor

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    Yeah I find frog juice melts the inks kinda...i use clearshield for solvents and frogjuice for thermal
     
  14. JTBoh

    JTBoh I sell signage and signage accessories.

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    yea, clearshield for us, on the rare occasions we liquid lam anymore... sometimes it gives a good texture effect to graphics.
     
  15. steeltech

    steeltech Member

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    Jul 16, 2012
    I will test clearshield and frogjuice. I will also look at the big squeegee. Great advice. And to the fella who has a bathroom bigger than my production room; Good for you. Im starting from the ground up with my own savings, multiple years experience as a fine artist, and a few short months training in the sign business, so I dont particularly care for comments like that.
     
  16. J Hill Designs

    J Hill Designs Major Contributor

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    With your small work area, I would go with film lam over liquid, as with liquid you need to keep the prints out until it dries...with film lam you can lam and roll up, freeing up your table
     
  17. steeltech

    steeltech Member

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    Jul 16, 2012
    Yeah, thats something to think about too. My cut table is a small coffee table roughly 2 feet by 2.5 feet. Mosh, Im just kidding. Put the gun back in the holster.
     
  18. ironchef

    ironchef Very Active Member

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    When i bought my printer, i went a month and a half without a laminator. We would outsource it. So i would say use big squeegee for small jobs and outsource the rest. Im going to try clearshield for micro perf. As an alternative to optical clear lam. Anyone have any luck?
     
  19. gabagoo

    gabagoo Major Contributor

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    Don't worry about Mosh, He needs a big washroom cause he so full of sh*t!!:Welcome:
     
  20. phototec

    phototec Very Active Member

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    All DP media used outside for longer then temporary should be laminated. You need to eat the DP magnetic signs, and re-make them for your customer, and as she said, they should have been laminated, even she knew that, why didn't you?

    I would recommend the Big Squeegee for your situation, and if you decide to order one from Dale, you can use coupon code s101 for 30% discount.

    :thumb:
     
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