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Need info help on installing a DECAL !

Discussion in 'Vehicle Graphics' started by decalman, Dec 15, 2016.

  1. decalman

    decalman Member

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    I have removed this 2 year old rv decal at the customers request. It took 7 painful hours. The glue was dry as hell but lively. I couldn't get it to " snot"

    ( in first picture with ladder) I used all my glue removal methods Rapid tac, vin.off, razor tool min spirits, heat gun. The glue was on paint, and not responsive, but finally came off, many hours later. In this picture the customer set up this lame ladder deal, just to show me.

    I have installed a few similar decals before. The new one that the customer is providing is fresh from the factory and 3 parts going across horizontal. The front cap of the trailer has a crease up and down the middle, and the rest of surface is curved.
    The main decal( contour cut) is taped while the other 2 decals aren't taped.

    Whats the best way to install these without creasing the thing? I wonder if its OK to wet it up with a spray. Theres no info on this provided. The last time I put one of these on, I did crease it somewhat, I'd like to avoid that this time around. Thanks IMG_20161212_151540.jpg IMG_20161212_163648.jpg
     
  2. crystalcoastgraphics

    crystalcoastgraphics Member

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    Sep 30, 2011
    North Carolina
    What kind of material is it, does it have air egress? I would imagine the center piece has the transfer tape to try and keep it from stretching to much when applying, then the other two don't so they can conform to the shape of the front a little easier. Try to let it lay where it wants to, and work from the middle out, pushing towards the curve. I probably wouldn't apply wet because when you get to the outside areas that will need a little pulling, you will want it to stick.
     
  3. ams

    ams Very Active Member

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    Here is a big tip on removal. Use the MBX Vinyl Zapper. It would strip the decal and all glue in 3 - 4 minutes. I've used it dozens of times with perfect results every time.
     
  4. Kottwitz-Graphics

    Kottwitz-Graphics Premium Subscriber

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    As far as removal, try a wallpaper steamer. It heats up the adhesive and softens the vinyl, making removal that much easier.

    As far as application, I'd think rapid tac and a heat gun would be the way to go... you can use application fluid on most vinyl, except reflective.
     
  5. Kottwitz-Graphics

    Kottwitz-Graphics Premium Subscriber

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    Except on aluminum panels (ambulance, fire trucks). It will burn the paint, and turn it yellow...
     
  6. decalman

    decalman Member

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    I don't know the type of vinyl, it doesn't say. I'm just going to have to wing it.

    I'll spray it a little to get some slide.
     
  7. shoresigns

    shoresigns Active Member

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    Nov 1, 2011
    Vancouver, BC
    Wow, we don't get asked to do many removals like this, but I think I'm going to start saying NO whenever it's unlaminated.
     
  8. Gino

    Gino Major Contributor

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    Ya also can't use it on the plastic parts of vehicles. :rolleyes:
     
  9. d fleming

    d fleming Very Active Member

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    Removed old sun shield from front of large rv lasy year. 32 hrs at 75.00 per. Pain in the tail but very worth it. Toughest part was getting paint match for touch ups. Thank goodness company had had paint stats available on line.
     
  10. decalman

    decalman Member

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    phoenix
    Yes. My meter was running at 55 per. That's the speed limit.
     
  11. Kottwitz-Graphics

    Kottwitz-Graphics Premium Subscriber

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    Your only charging 55 per hour for removal? You really are leaving money on the table...

    Removal is the **** job of the sign industry... at least make it worth your while. And remember that your charge should be per man hour.

    When I do removal, I charge minimum of $75 per hour. And if it's a big job, I will call my nephew, and pay him $35 per hour to help me. He doesn't complain, and he doesn't know that I make a profit off his labor...

    When your asked to remove something, tell your customers that the charge is $75 per hour, and never, ever estimate how many hours it will take. If they balk, and say that they will only pay so much, then only do the amount that they offer, in the time it takes you to remove. And be fair to them, don't skip between jobs, don't answer your cell, and if you take a smoke break, don't do it on the clock.

    I have, in fact, invited customers to watch the removal, or they can try it themselves, and I often will hand them a lil' chilzer, and a heat gun... 9 time out of 10, they will pay for the removal. I don't ever break out the wall paper steamer in front of them. That is my own secret weapon, and if it speeds up the process, I don't over charge them, and they just believe I have the process of removal down to a science.
     
  12. ams

    ams Very Active Member

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    On those you have to use a lighter touch. I haven't had that happen to me, it's a slower process but still prefer it.
     
  13. decalman

    decalman Member

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    You got some very good points, but I'm dealing with lots of cheap skates, and lots of times it goes over 12 hours. They bail. Plus my overhead is low.....But on the other hand, I think I will bump it up some. I work hard. It's great, it keeps me in shape. I am pretty young, just 60.
     
  14. Kottwitz-Graphics

    Kottwitz-Graphics Premium Subscriber

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    Can I ask you a serious question, and Its not meant to be mean, but do you run a hobby vinyl shop? The reason that I that I ask, is you seem to have a lot of excuses to attempt to keep your prices low...

    Can we tackle each one?

    You got some very good points, but I'm dealing with lots of cheap skates, If you cater to cheap skates, they will tell all their cheap skate friends, and the cycle continues. Getting out of this cycle can be very difficult. Once your established as an "inexpensive" shop, its hard to raise your prices... "You only charged so and so *this much*." You can do this one of two ways. You can raise gradually, and tell your customers that expenses are going up, and you have to pass them along. By the time you get where you want to be, you could lose half your clients, and you will have to replace with higher paying clients. OR... you can raise your prices to the point where you want, and clients will jump ship, and tell all their cheap skate friends, and you will have to hustle to replace with clients that want your services.

    and lots of times it goes over 12 hours. They bail. I can understand that some clients don't want to hand you an "open ticket", but if you allow them to see how difficult removals can be, unless they want to do it themselves, what alternative do they have. But again, this comes from the cheapskate customer. You have to replace them with clients that value your work. See my comment above about the removal. Try a wall paper steamer, and see if it works for you, but leave a little mystery to your process. Don't show all your clients your little secrets. And they need to know how expensive some cleaning products are. When my customer see me remove glue with rapid remover, and they remark how simple that makes it, my response is always "For $80 a gallon, it better".

    Plus my overhead is low..... An excuse. You may have a low overhead, but if you were to have to change location to, say a commercial shop, do your prices reflect the ability to cover the extra expenses?

    But on the other hand, I think I will bump it up some. There you go!!!

    I work hard. It's great, it keeps me in shape. I am pretty young, just 60. There is a book that I got several years ago, and it sheds a lot of light on business. Its called "The E Myth Revisited", and it explains the differences of building a business, verses making a "job" for your self. I highly recommend it, and I reread it at lease every year.

    There is one thing to remember. If you keep prices low, you can potentially devalue your current market, which not only hurts you, but all the sign companies in your area. We all are faced with it, no matter where we are.
     
  15. decalman

    decalman Member

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    Thanks for the lesson. I admit. I can use a price overhaul.

    Excentuatintg my questionable comments in red ink, has quite an effect!
     
  16. ams

    ams Very Active Member

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    I agree with Kottwitz about the cheap skate thing. When I started, the first few years I advertised on craigslist a lot and did signs dirt cheap, mainly because I didn't know how to price that well and also because I felt bad charging the customer a lot of money. So if I was doing double sided yard signs, two color cut vinyl for $14 - $15 each, this went on for awhile. Once I expanded and moved into a building 3X larger, had higher rent, more employees, utility bills, etc. My price went to around $25 each and am doing printed vinyl on them now, much quicker and cheaper. All of my old customers had a hissy fit and left. To this day I still get people coming in saying "My friend used to buy blah blah from you for this price, can I get them? When I tell them the price.... instant attitude. I try to explain about higher bills and that I was losing a ton of money, didn't help".

    So it will bite you in the butt like it did me. You will spend years trying to fix it, you also will gain the reputation of being the cheap shop and everyone will associate your company with being low cost but cheap quality. I've been there, so trust me, change asap. I love helping other sign shops out and making friends, while pricing is different in every state and city, I am willing to help you using my experience with pricing and structure. I started my business on $8,000 to my name and today am doing $250,000 in sales.
     
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