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mounting with laminator issue?

Discussion in 'General Signmaking Topics' started by All-SignZ, Aug 7, 2012.

  1. All-SignZ

    All-SignZ Active Member

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    Aug 6, 2010
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    Alright this has happened a few times now and I figure why not ask to see if we are doing something wrong. While mounting a print on a 8'x2' piece of polymetal (acm) we line up the print check measurements make sure everything is square, then lay down some 4" mask on the leading edge to stop any streching or wrinkles and lay down the first 4" and double check to make sure everything still lines up, next we set the acm in the laminator square and in the middle of the rollers and lower jaw, then peel back the backing paper and begin laminating. After laminating the leading edge is good but the back edge has somehow moved about a 1/4". This only seems to happen on long and narrow mounts. Does anyone know why this is happening or how to fix/stop this?
     
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  2. GVP

    GVP Active Member

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    Nov 11, 2005
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    I believe this is to do with the crowning of the rollers (on decent laminators, the rollers are slightly thicker in the middle) which puts a slight twist on things.

    My solution on long narrow prints is to start in the middle. Forget taping down, just clamp down the rollers to hold the print and panel together. Insert print/panel into laminator to the half-way point and close rollers. Flip back the leading half of the print, peel and cut off the packing paper. Put the laminator in reverse, and laminate down the first half of the print. Open rollers, feed through up to the half-way point, flip over the remaining half of the print, remove the backing and run forward.

    Don't know if my explanation makes sense, but this method has worked for us. It's not perfect, but it at least halves the likely error.
     
  3. All-SignZ

    All-SignZ Active Member

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    yea maybe I will try this... the laminator is a royal sovereign
     
  4. RyanFelty

    RyanFelty Member

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    My laminator does the same thing so I have been just mounting by hand on the real skinny pieces. One thing you could do though is try to calibrate it. I adjust the pressure on each side so they are even; then line my material up in the center of the rollers. Then, i draw a line with pencil on the table, marking where the edge of the material starts so you can see how much it moves when it is going through the rollers. This will tell you which side needs more/less pressure in order for it to go through without drifting. i just run the material through and adjust until it is straight. it can take a while but once you have it set it makes things a lot easier.
     
  5. thewood

    thewood Very Active Member

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    We use GVP's method on long-skinny prints--basically use the laminator to hinge the print in the middle to minimize the skewing. I also recommend incorporating bleed into the design and slowing down the laminator.
     
  6. Cale Frederick

    Cale Frederick Member

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    May 19, 2012
    I have never had much luck mounting with a laminator... I got a few Big Squeegees from Signs By Dale and never looked back!!!
     
  7. IronHawk

    IronHawk Member

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    Jun 28, 2012
    Our guys have used a wider sled under the narrow piece and that has seemed to help quite a bit.
     
  8. Coloradosigns

    Coloradosigns Major Contributor

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    are you adding sufficient bleed?
     
  9. 401Graphics

    401Graphics Very Active Member

    Great idea! im gonna have to try this out. I need to knock down some walls in my shop first in order to try it.
    I have a Big Squeegee, but to me its just a paper weight, no really, I use it as a hinge with a 50yd roll of vinyl on it when mounting prints on the work table. Thats all its good for IMO, that and a straight edge. :cool:
     
  10. Red Ball

    Red Ball Active Member

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    IRVING, TEXAS
    This is how we do it.
     
  11. MikeD

    MikeD Active Member

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    Oct 25, 2011
    if your using a 40" laminator to mount a 24" print onto board, the board and print should be centered. That leaves 16" (8" on each side.) You could take 8" material of the same thickness and run it through at the same time to help even things out.
     
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