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Newbie jumping in feet first

Discussion in 'Newbie Forum' started by cball917, Sep 9, 2011.

  1. cball917

    cball917 New Member

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    Sep 9, 2011
    Hello all,

    I have been reading as much as i can. i tried to post in the welcome thread but for some reason it would not allow. Any how i want to thank for the welcome. Lots of helpful advice here. Appreciate allowing me to join the fun. i am in GA and am looking to start a vinyl sign lettering bus on the side. I have no experience with this but I am very excited to get started. not looking to do it full time. looking to suppliment with it and have a good time. I do have some questions. i have been online for 2 weeks straight looking at equip. I have found some used and some new and would like opinions, the new ones are as follows.

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/31-Vinyl-Cu...727?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item4aada59867

    http://www.uscutter.com/USCutter-Decal-Shop-Basic-Business-Package-UCPSHOPKIT1

    on the used side i have 2 i have been looking at. one is

    copam 24" 3 yrs old. 8 rolls of vinyl. winpc software. for $500

    the other is
    Roland Camm-1 PNC 960 28". older unit but in exc shape. 300 worth of vinyl, Corel Draw 10, Roland Cut Studio (latest version, Win Pc Sign). $400 worth of tag blanks etc. i can buy this package for $1400.

    i am looking for advice, it is not going to be full time. but i would like to grow as much as possible. i know nothing about equipment and would like experienced opinions. But please go easy on me:thankyou:
     
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  2. musquoni

    musquoni Member

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    I professionally recommend the roland. I have a us cutter (48") and it does the occasional wide job that i get, but it doesn't have the build quality the roland has. I also have a roland cx-24 that I purchased used 6 years ago and i still use it at least once a week for small cut jobs i get. Also the roland has a better resale value if you decide that this business is not for you. I would gladly pay more for a used roland than a new us cutter. Just my opinion.
     
  3. CheapVehicleWrap

    CheapVehicleWrap Very Active Member

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    Welcome. JUMP Newbie, JUMP! Best advice... stay away from "the Warehouse".
     
  4. Salmoneye

    Salmoneye Very Active Member

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    I recommend design classes.
     
  5. Gino

    Gino Premium Subscriber

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    Welcome from PA..............................
     
  6. qmr55

    qmr55 Very Active Member

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    Welcome from Central Jersey...
     
  7. cball917

    cball917 New Member

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    does that sound like a fair price on the roland?
     
  8. Pat Whatley

    Pat Whatley Major Contributor

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    No experience, no training, two weeks of internet research and you're ready to start your own business?

    Best of luck to you. I'd say go with the Roland. I'm no big fan of Roland but of the things you've got posted it's by far the superior machine.

    $400 worth of tag blanks? I've been doing this 20 years and I'm fairly certain that I haven't used anywhere near $400 worth of tag blanks in our vinyl shop.
     
  9. Gino

    Gino Premium Subscriber

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    Fair has nothing to do with being a good buy or not. You need to figure out what you're gonna do first.

    Buying a plotter and not knowing the software, the business, customer base, a place of business, proper licensing, insurance, other tools of the trade and so forth is like buying a dough maker and starting a pancake house without knowing what kind of oven to buy, recipes, plates, utensils, business plan and so on.

    I'm not bashing you, just amazed at how many people think you just buy a $1,000 worth of crap and expect to be making signs in 20 minutes without thinking about a single aspect of how to design, how to get your software to talk to your printer/cutter, color theory, fabrication, understanding of substrates and so much more............. :banghead:

    It's just baffling................
     
  10. Speedsterbeast

    Speedsterbeast Active Member

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    If it's not your maiin source of income yet, then go for it. But buy the largest machine you can afford. You may want to consider new since you will be requiring assistance a lot at first. You can learn how to use the machine, software as you go- just be prepared to waste a lot of vinyl along the way. You can also develop your customer base along the way as well. You may find a market for something you will be asked to do down the road that you never even thought of. If you ARE going to do it part-time for now, just be aware that there are some here that may not want to help you, but then there will lots that will. My grandfather fought for 5 years in Europe in WWII to help keep this country free. One of the things I'm sure he would have wanted was for me to able to start a small business on a part-time level if I wanted to- regardless of what some of the people around here thought. (Sorry- that was a rant from when I was in your shoes, and it's regarding some of the negative feedback that I received from some well established sign shops)
    I bought a cutter three and a half years ago to do my race car and my fellow competitors race cars. This spring I quite a secure job after twelve years (with a company vehicle, gas card, expense account etc.) and haven't looked back.

    Just remember- search the forums well before posting questions. I keep seeing several of the same questions being posted and answered on a regular basis- and I'm relatively new here- I can't imagine what the veterans see. Good Luck with whatever you choose.
     
  11. SignManiac

    SignManiac Major Contributor

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    Great insight and post Speedster. Good perspective.
     
  12. Mosh

    Mosh Major Contributor

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    This is the type of guy who got charged too much for his "calvin peeing on something" sticker and has desided to just make 'em fur himself....GOOD LUCK, btw you are not going in the sign business, you are going into the sticker business. Takes alot more than a POS cutter that you are looking at to be a sign shop. I have well over $100K worth or equipment in my SIGN SHOP!!!!
     
  13. SignManiac

    SignManiac Major Contributor

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    I'm curious Mosh, how did you begin your sign career? I myself never wanted to be a sign painter when I started. It was a chance accident. What began as a part time sideline for two years turned into my full time hobby today, thirty seven years later.
     
  14. Craig Sjoquist

    Craig Sjoquist Major Contributor

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    Welcome to a outstanding Signs 101 and people.

    What ever you pick for a cutter this will give you a good idea of what you walked into.

    Would think a better way is to work for a sign shop as a newbie and learn from there.

    In my day it was buy brushes and paint signs then went to school for it.

    If you are serious be best to pick up some books and read about sign shops and designing for advertising and graphics .. just ask
     
  15. andy

    andy Active Member

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    Buy the Roland.... it's the only machine you've found so far which is actually worth buying. For gawd's sake don't buy a used Copam for $500... it's essentially the same as the other dreadful Chinese built cutters you've linked to.

    Corel 10 is worth $30 at most. $300 worth of vinyl.... depends what type and whether it's "in life". Roland cut studio has got to be a million miles better than the horrific ArtCut type software given away with Chinese machines.
     
  16. brdss

    brdss Member

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    How about a "Calvin peeing on Mosh" DECAL??????

    What is with all the hatred? Nice welcome wagon!

    "New to the business or thinking about jumping in? Got some basic questions? Ask them here." and you start crapping on the guy? Jeesh!
     
  17. royster13

    royster13 Very Active Member

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    Best advice for "newbies"......Scour the archives and read until you go blurry......All the answers you need are already there...Some might be over on the "premium" side so an "investment" in an upgraded membership will be worthwhile....
     
  18. cball917

    cball917 New Member

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    i ended up buying the roland. i got the cutter, stand, winpc pro, corel draw 10, roland sign mate, roland cut studio. a ton of tag blanks and key chain blanks. and 28 rolls of vinyl. most of them full. he demonstrated on how to set up servo etc on cutter. machine worked great at his shop. i got it home started downloading it all. i am using my old computer that i had cleaned out last year. it has nothing on it except factory settings. its runnign XP. for some reason my pc will not recognize cutter?? is there a special way that this has to be done. also when i insert win pc disc it pulls it up as a blank cd??????? advice is appreciated. i know this software and plotter works because i actually saw it in person working yesterday
     
  19. WildWestDesigns

    WildWestDesigns Major Contributor

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    Does your computer have the latest service pack from XP? That might help. I think it's Service Pack 3.

    With regard to your CutStudio program, I would actually see if you can cut directly from CorelDraw. I know Old Paint had done it for a long time using Corel, I just can't remember how far back he was able to do it. I would suggest getting the Plugin for Corel at the very least but it doesn't work for any earlier version then X3. At the very least, do your designing in Corel and export as an EPS(I would do EPS version 3 as that seems to be what is the most universial accepted version. Oh and also remember to convert text to curves(or outlines I think it is in Corel).

    Reason that I say that is that CutStudio is very very basic with doing design work and I don't think it's worth going to these really expensive sign specific software when the 2 best vector programs out there can do it(Ai and Draw).
     
  20. tcorn1965

    tcorn1965 Very Active Member

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    Welcome from Iowa!


    Terry
     
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