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Newbie with several questions

Discussion in 'Newbie Forum' started by KPC, Aug 25, 2006.

  1. KPC

    KPC Member

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    Just wanted to drop by and say Hi.

    I haven't been on here much in the past few weeks, but I have been toying around with the machine and learning the ropes. I might be just breaking the surface of understanding this equipment, but I've had some great success and have learned a great deal in the past month or so.

    As one person said, that he is going to have to run several rolls of vinyl through the machine and learn it on his own. Well that is exactly what I've been doing and having fun in the process. I'm not really interested in printing / cutting out large images. I've been sticking to small stickers less than 6" in size and this machine has been working flawlessly.

    There is such a learning curve with using equipment that I didn't anticipate prior to purchasing it. However, now that I've spent the time and got over the initial hump of figuring out the basics like using a CutContour outline to direct the machine to know where to cut, it is all starting to come together without much frustration or difficulty.

    I don't have the luxury of starting out working in a sign shop, and even after talking with family members and friends to see if they know of anyone else in my area who might be doing this as a hobby just like I am, I've ran across nobody. So there is a great sense of pride in learning everything on my own, regardless if it is costly and time consuming.

    Sorry if I started out on the wrong foot with my initial posts. For what it is worth, as I've said before, there was a great sense of frustration because this equipment was giving me such a headache at first. Just like someone who doesn't have any computer experience at all, might go out and buy a new computer and printer just to make some brochures. If they design a simple brochure and can't get it to print out, there is going to be frustration. In my case, within a hour of owning the machine I could get the image to print, but it took several weeks of trying to figure out what a CutContour line was and how it is used to direct the machine I couldn’t' get it to cut.

    I have absolutely no regrets with buying this machine, regardless what its value is to the eyes of the professionals. I actually just ordered in some more vinyl and related supplies recommended by several supply companies that I spoke with on the phone. So I'm anxiously awaiting these supplies to arrive so I can learn even more.
     
  2. Outline Graphics

    Outline Graphics Member

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    WOW... How the HELL did I miss THIS one?

    Yup... no bashing going on in here!
     
  3. Pro Signs & Graphix

    Pro Signs & Graphix Very Active Member

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    Well KPC - keep at it. Necessity teaches us a lot of things. I will give you credit for recognizing the learning curve, which is why many of us were offended at the outset. Believe me when I say it is just the beginning. Just when you think you chased away Murphy, his twin brother comes along. :smile:


    Outline - I think you are missing more than you know or even let on! :Big Laugh This board does a damned good job of regulating itself and does not require a Monday morning quarterback, that does not have all the facts.

    If you are so offended by this wonderful board, what the hell are you doing here? Don't bite the hand that feeds you (information)!!! The last point is something that you yourself admit to.
     
  4. Outline Graphics

    Outline Graphics Member

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    Pro,

    Yah, because it would be MUCH easier to pick up and leave than it would be to expect people to be decent to one another (not referring to only this thread).


    Yeah, that's pretty evident...

    I've not bitten the hand that feeds me. It's too busy beating people up. I couldn't possibly catch it :)

    Don't worry about me. I'm good. Just amused. I've actually got it figured out though. If there is a thread with more than about 25 posts, it's probably going to require an asbestos suit. See... I'm learning :)

    Oh, and you don't have to worry about me. I'm a big boy. If I want to leave I will. I know the way, but thanks for the advice. I'll stick it with all of the other useful stuff I've gathered the past couple days

    And yes, there is some good information in here. You just have to duck alot to get to it is all :wink:
     
  5. meg101

    meg101 New Member

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    WOW ~ as a "newbie" I'm a little shocked by what I'm reading for my first visit here. I did not see anything wrong with his original post ~ as a matter of fact I could see myself asking the same type questions. I have a small little side business creating custom items, mainly t-shirts, mugs, ect.... I saw a vinyl cutter at a show the other day and it caught my attention. I LOVE creating things and doing things "myself". I will try anything once. I may not be any good at it, but if I liked it I will keep trying until I teach myself the basics. But in order to teach myself the basics it is nice to have some help or insight from others who know what they are doing.

    I joined today thinking I could get some help/insight on what type of cutter to purchase and how hard it would be to actually use it to make decent heat transfers and stickers or “decals” as I read they are called. Now I’m not sure if I want to put myself through the ringer by asking what seems to “professionals” as stupid questions. I, like the original poster, like doing things myself. I guess it is the creative nature in me. I am interested in getting a vinyl cutter to cut heat transfers mainly … then thought I could do advertising on my car for my business… not the sign industry (since that is NOT my business)… but my other custom works. And who knows once I got good at it moving up to a better cutter and adding that to my current inventory. Wow who would have thought that was such a huge NO NO to the “professionals”.

    As a “newbie” this was the first forum I went to for information. I don’t see it as a surprise why the original poster came here first either…. As he was a “newbie”.

    Some posts were very helpful while others were just down right hate filled.

    I guess I will just keep my questions to my self and try to find the answers I need by researching for weeks and weeks!!

    I was just shocked at the replies in this forum. I hope it was a rare occurrence and this forum is really intended to help each other instead of help out “professionals” and dumb down “hobbyists” or “newbies”.
     
  6. Pro Signs & Graphix

    Pro Signs & Graphix Very Active Member

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    I will admit that I was hesitant to respond to this post, only for the sake of just letting it go. The more I think about it, I realize that it is just not going to happen.

    Starting from the top.

    As stated by even the forum's owner and administrator, Signs101 is intended to help professionals, and those that want to be.

    Had you read and understood this thread, you would realize that we became upset at the fact that the original poster gave the impression of looking for an easy way out, without putting forth the required effort. If you have really been reading all the information that is available, you would have seen that the original poster now even agrees with what we were saying and even understands why we took offense to the "easy way out" appearance. As a matter of fact, this gentleman not only understands what our position was and is - he is also seriously trying to do as much research as he can - all in an effort to learn the basics.

    Now in regards to you Meg101, you are already starting off on the wrong foot. You call yourself a "newbie". Please, tell us what that entitles you to get from us? In my opinion - nothing. Your very first post is nothing more than an insult to one of the largest groups of proud and giving people to the sign industry. You dwell more on the harshness that was doled out rather than the reasons that caused the situation.

    I will again stress the point of all of us being "proud and giving". Coming here to try and learn something only with the intentions of taking a shortcut, or circumventing the need for a professional signer is very offensive. This is NOT a Michael's hobby class. This is HOW we actually earn our living. At the same time, there are others that are doing this part-time, and that is fine. These very same people approach this with the same seriousness we do, and we all try and help each other as much as possible.

    Now you must/should ask yourself what category you fall in. You mention a part-time business. That's fine, and there is nothing wrong with that. You mention that you may hopefully decide to upgrade to better equipment, if you like it. That is good and shows us some ambition. Just asking what "cutter" to buy does just the opposite. When you say "research for weeks and weeks", do expect to get any sympathy for it. For the record, none of learned what we know in a few days. Not even weeks. It has been years - with many more to come.

    This forum has search features, just like many others. Use the keywords below, and do some research.

    Keywords: Cutter; Plotter; Servo; Stepper; Ioline; Roland; Graphtec; Gerber

    With these keywords, you should gather more than enough information to make an educated decision on what many feel is the best plotter to buy.

    Also, in this thread, you also Outline and myself "go at it". We do not always disagree with each other, and we all have own opinions. With over 4000 members, this is going to happen. And even though some disagree and "go at it", everybody's position becomes known and everybody moves on to the next day.

    Why does this pertain to you? Simply put, Outline has made some contributions to this forum, as have I and countless others. As of now, you have not, and your very first post can be viewed as very inflamatory. Around here, respect is earned.

    This post is not intended to beat anybody up. Take it for what you will. Before you start passing judgement, think very carefully.
     
  7. Fred Weiss

    Fred Weiss Merchant Member

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    Well Meg, I can only tell you that the original poster, through poorly chosen words, succeeded in offending more than a few people here. This isn't the first time a newbie has received harsh responses but it is not the norm. For every thread like this one there are hundreds that contain nothing but helpful, courteous replies to very basic questions.

    What happened in this thread was that the originator made it very clear that he felt professional sign people were largely ripoff artists and that no particular skills were needed to do what a professional does. In addition, he did not understand the most basic elements of the technical requirements to operate his equipment and ignored the replies that courteously supplied that information.

    My main concern as the operator of this forum is keeping things running smoothly. I do not censor free speech and people are allowed to speak their minds ... for better or for worse. I do feel that you should delay the formation of the opinions you've posted until you are a bit more familiar with our community. You might then be able to see the side of those who posted harshly or at least be able to find room for some benefit of the doubt. These same people are also guilty of giving their time to strangers by providing informative answers and a helping hand.

    I certainly hope you will join in and post your questions as they come up ... especially after you make a reasonable effort to first find answers on your own. Most of us here really enjoy helping other members, be they old hands or newcomers.
     
  8. gtjet

    gtjet Active Member

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    Actually the guys been told 3 times how to do what he asked to do and shown a sample of doing it.

    Just buy Flexi Pro, about $3995 or so, then you can cut and print easily, just create your project and hit the cut button or put a contour cut around it from the menu and then print and cut.
    It is the program I use and have used in the past on our PC 600 til it (the pc 600) became obsolete and we up graded to a better machine.

    Not sure of the wisdow in doing your own decals, after buying the machine, the software, some quality clipart, supplies, maintaince and repairs I will bet it will have cost you 3-4 times the money you would have spent and this is if you value your time at zero dollars and you do a lot of signage.

    Even sign shops sub out work to other shops on projects it does not make sense to do our selves for me that would be sand blasted signs or CNC routed signage for example. I only get a few jobs a year so I can not buy $15000 to $20000 dollars of equipment to do $5000 worth of work.
    Best of luck to you.
     
  9. signage

    signage Major Contributor

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    If you use the search feature and look up the original poster newer post you will see that we do help those that put forth an effort to learn. This web site is not welfare for sign maker wannabees. Good Luck
     
  10. meg101

    meg101 New Member

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    Pro Signs & Graphix

    Now in regards to you Meg101, you are already starting off on the wrong foot. You call yourself a "newbie". Please, tell us what that entitles you to get from us?

    What do you mean by this? I am a “newbie” …. Isn’t that what you call someone NEW to the boards? Did I in anyway imply that “entitles” me to get ANYTHING from you? I thought I could come here to find answers to all the questions I have. Not that anyone is forced to answer anything I may post. I don’t “expect” anything from anybody. I am simply stating my first impression of this board from the first post I read. Maybe I missed something because I’m not a “PROFESSIONAL” but I did not read anything wrong in his post. Like I said, it could have been me asking those exact questions.


    It sounds to me that the people who are really “proud of giving” ~ give positive information. Not just to “professionals” but to everyone.

    If you think coming here and asking questions, such as, what is a good entry level cutter is trying to take a shortcut, or how to get a cutter to cut, or how to clean up artwork to have the cutter cut it correctly, is taking a short cut then why even allow newbies or hobbiest on this board? Why not make it just for “professionals”? I don’t see thoses questions as being a shortcut, other than trying to learn from someone else and cut down on mistakes…. Is that what you are so hung up on? You learned by trial and error and so you are unwilling to help someone else and think they should start making the same mistakes? Some posters are great and were very helpful.... but some are very defensive about newbies asking questions.

    Now you must/should ask yourself what category you fall in. You mention a part-time business. That's fine, and there is nothing wrong with that. You mention that you may hopefully decide to upgrade to better equipment, if you like it. That is good and shows us some ambition. Just asking what "cutter" to buy does just the opposite. When you say "research for weeks and weeks", do expect to get any sympathy for it. For the record, none of learned what we know in a few days. Not even weeks. It has been years - with many more to come.

    I fall in the “just starting out category”…. I’m trying to learn a few basics before I buy. Yes I have a part time business. I am currently pregnant with twins due Tuesday so until then it is part time. Soon it will be full time. What does that have to do with anything? Why would asking what cutter is good be a bad question? And when I said I would “research for weeks and weeks” I simply meant instead of getting any answers for this forum I would just research cutters on my own. No I don’t expect sympathy. I know even if I had every question of mine answered from this board, it would still take me years to learn how to create beautiful transfers/signs/cuts. It takes trial and error to learn the "how tos" in just about everything. But a board like this is supposed to make things a little easier and help when people need it.

    This forum has search features, just like many others. Use the keywords below, and do some research.

    Keywords: Cutter; Plotter; Servo; Stepper; Ioline; Roland; Graphtec; Gerber

    With these keywords, you should gather more than enough information to make an educated decision on what many feel is the best plotter to buy.


    Yes, and instead of asking questions, I will just research like I said. It seems to me questions that are from non professionals are not welcome here by some.

    Also, in this thread, you also Outline and myself "go at it". We do not always disagree with each other, and we all have own opinions. With over 4000 members, this is going to happen. And even though some disagree and "go at it", everybody's position becomes known and everybody moves on to the next day.

    I was never talking about anyone specific so I’m not sure what you mean from that comment.

    Why does this pertain to you? Simply put, Outline has made some contributions to this forum, as have I and countless others. As of now, you have not, and your very first post can be viewed as very inflamatory. Around here, respect is earned.

    You may look at it as inflammatory ~ why I don’t know. The only thing I was saying is as my first time here and my first post read, I was shocked. Most boards I visit are very supportive and helpful to EVERYONE. Yes some newbies ask off the wall questions, or questions that may sound "stupid" to "professionals" but every other board is supportive.

    This post is not intended to beat anybody up. Take it for what you will. Before you start passing judgement, think very carefully.

    Like I said, I was simply letting the posters here know what my first impression was. I was not passing judgment on anyone. I’m sorry you feel that way ~

    And yes you all are right…. The first three posters were great and very helpful just the way boards are meant to work. Yes, he should have thanked them. But I don’t understand why others felt the need to bash someone for asking for extra help. It sounded to me he was really frustrated…. Not at the boards, but at his cutter and lack of knowledge.
     
  11. Pro Signs & Graphix

    Pro Signs & Graphix Very Active Member

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    Congrats onthe twins!

    As for this board, Fred makes it possible, and the professional sign people are the ones with the information.

    In terms of how "we" professional people react to some questions, look at it this way:

    Would you call your plumber and ask about hard-learned knowledge to accomplish a job? Would you pick up the phone and call an electrician and ask him/her how to do something as prescribed by code. Both cases would be to circumvent either expert in their field. If anybody did, they would be told "no". Do not mistake us with people like Emeril. People like that will show all sorts of things BUT there objective is to sell you their products - which leads to the next point.

    Many new people just try and buy the cheapest equipment possible. When doing this, their equipment vendor invariably teaches nothing about the use and operation. Instead, these very same people come here and ask us information - only to try and do silly things like undercut us, and destroy long established pricing structures.

    When you get your first plotter, you quickly learn what I am talking about - as everybody does.

    In reference to the word "newbie", around here it is not usually someone new to the boarrd - rather someone new to the industry.

    Why am I even giving you the time - well because you mentioned a part-time business and aspirations to do better if you like it. That is respectable. You did NOT say: "I want to buy a plotter so I can replece my current sign man". The sign business and decoative apparel are great businesses for women with children. You will find that we have a few here that have done just that - and they are damned good!

    You totally misunderstand what that point is. For starters it will not take forever to reach that level, but it will not be accomplished in minutes either. Read, read, read! The more you read - the better you will be. 99% of all questions asked by the newbies have been addressed here. USE the search feature - it will save everybody time, including yourself. The exception to this are questions that ask where to buy certain items/supplies. Get aquainted with a vendor, preferably close by. This vendor will help you understand the uses of their products. Get a price guide from signcraft.com . It will help you understand how a pricing structure works, along with giving you the average pricing of certain jobs. Above all TRY, TRY and keep trying! Once you stop trying - we do.

    Do you have a better understanding?
     
  12. Cadmn

    Cadmn Very Active Member

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    Mep read the newbie forum as there is a thread in there by newsome newbie?that answers the most common questions on this board. when a person comes on & states he thinks his signman is too expensive & it can't be that hard . that person looses all respect of the board & will get bashed our prices are for professional signage created to add value to your business & as long as you don't degrsde the abilities then there is help here
     
  13. iSign

    iSign Major Contributor

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    well lucky you, the first post you read was not showing signs101 at it very best... or even an average representative sample... so instead of looking further, you felt you first impression had value. Maybe you formulated any impression way to fast to have been worth forming in your own mind, let alone feeling a need to use your first post to share it with us... but it's to late for that now... but at this point, weather or not you accept it, your first impression was inaccurate, & posting about that inaccurate impression was inflammatory... so now you could learn from that mistake & move on into the fun here... or you can dig your heels in, cling to your incorrect impressions & defend your error in judgement.


    While this is your first visit & post on this board, we are to respect & be influenced by your perception of "every other board"?
    has it not occurred that this is not some planet where we all live, while YOU are the one freely traveling around the net & bringing us news from other galaxies? Once again your "impressions" of every other board are also inaccurate & incorrect.

    Your appearance & judgement is like landing in a foriegn country & seeing one tumultuous discussion at the airport. You rush right into that one, among hundreds, of discussions taking place all around you... & seeing that the tumultuous discussion includes some behavior you consider to be uncalled for in this new country you are about to visit... you postpone further exploration to stop & tell everyone in that country that they are rude, unfriendly, or unprofessional.

    BAD IDEA! just admit it & join the fun now.

    Welcome to signs101
     
  14. Just Another Sign Guy

    Just Another Sign Guy Very Active Member

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    i dont know what it is that brought this image to into my mind, but MANY years ago, back in the day when we had a pressure washing system that sprayed laquer thinner for cleaning large screenprinting screens (we called that room the FUME TOMB) and it wasn't illegal at that time lol, when I was sweeping up my grandfathers sign shop or doing whatever task i had to do to pay my dues, it never failed we'd have some "newbie" employee come in and i swear i heard everyone one of them say at one time or another, "that's not how we did it at XYZ Sign Co." and the FNG's as we really called them, most of them didnt think that it was fair that they had to do not necessarily the worst jobs but definitely the most inconvenient, jobs in the air,installs afterhours, whatever, while the ppl who had been around for awhile and had paid their dues could pass those jobs onto the new guys...i've never understood that attitude of new people who think that they deserve anything,this sense of entitlement.

    after the FNG's bucked up and didnt complain about having to do the jobs that all of us have to do at times and just got the job done without discussion, the guys who did not exagerate their skills and knowledge, and who kept their word earned the respect of their coworkers as well as everyone else in our industry in the local area and eventually they were no longer called FNG's as their respect had been earned....

    just as some similar situations that have happened in the past on this forum, once you violate trust by exagerating, playing games, disrespecting those who have paid their dues, or in "someone" elses case flat out lying you lose the respect that has been granted to you....

    even though this is the internet and in many cases we immediately show respect for those in our industry as a new person it works much more to your benefit and to have us willing to share our knowledge by not underestimating the skills involved to do what we do, the time it takes to be proficient at what we do, and to assume that this is a simple craft to take up.

    it is insulting to come here thinking you can buy a plotter and compete with us and the reality is that many people are doing just that and it has changed our industry dramatically, from a time when we were respected for what we could do with our hands and tools to a time when we have to prove that we are capable of doing the work we say we can do, that our price is fair for the quality of work we are providing because to many newbies have assumed that they simply buy a machine type in what they want and the machine spits it out and they simply stick it up and WOW collect the big bucks...now the customers are afraid because they have received substandard work, that does not last as long as promised, only to find out the company that did the work is no longer in business as they quickly learned the realities of this industry the hardway.

    as a result in many areas sign makers are viewed as flakey and unskilled and our product is now viewed as a commodity. This may give you an insight into why many of us feel about people who want to JUMP into the industry.

    if someone wants to get into this business, they should go and work for a sign company, learn the skills, tools, and tricks of the trade, educate yourself in design,and after a few years you will have the basics. but to just go out and buy a plotter and call yourself a sign professional is comical at best but to those of us in the industry it is insulting.

    for those of us here that have worked in the sign industry for a few years and especially those of us that have been in the industry BC you know we rib each other, we call out those that don't have a clue wtf they are doing (or show them the door) the professionals in this industry are proud people and proud of their craft, many have no patience for stupidity as this is a industry where the most succesful tradesman are the ones who can think for themselves look at a problem and troubleshoot it as problems always arise and what separates the men from the boys is being able to improvise and solve those problems on site during a installation versus going back to the shop and having to make a second trip to a job site.

    this industry is not for many people in fact it is not for most, it is better to figure that out before you invest your hard earned money in half assed equipment that professionals would not buy as you will have a hard time selling it when you figure out the realities of what we have to do to make a buck. it is not glamorous, it is not hit a button and print out money, it is work. often times it is hard work under tight deadlines, and at times it can be dirty and even stinky. if you do not treat some of the products that we work with, with the respect that they deserve they will kill you.unfortunately it will not be fast it will be very slow in the form of cancer. those are some of the realities of this industry.

    so if you want our help, if you want access to the lessons that we have learned the hardway, through many hours of hardwork, through trial and error and often times great expense. Treat us with respect, do not assume that what we do does not require skill, education, and experience.

    You are the one that needs the information that we have already acquired, do not come in assuming you are going to buy a machine and do what we do overnight and to buy a plotter or printer because you dont want to pay for your signage is just goofy.

    as a new wannabee signmaker ask yourself what is our benefit to share with you all that we have learned through a great investment in this craft. which by doing so will produce even more unqualified competition in a already saturated industry, who will produce work that is substandard because you do not have the experience or knowledge to produce a top notch professional product, who will not charge appropriately for the products and services that we provide which undervalues the work that we all do, which all adds up to more potential customers who have encountered a unprofessional signmaker that we have to overcome all of their fears from being burned before we can proceed to repair the work that you could not do properly? we the knowledge here we can tell you how to make any kind of sign, how to troubleshoot almost any problem, but even though you have the information that does not mean that you have the skills to physically execute those actions, it takes time. you can not learn this trade by reading a book you must learn by doing.

    as someone just buying a printer or plotter to make your own signs what is our benefit in sharing with you as all you are doing is taking money out of our pockets by making "stickers" for yourself, your friends, and again devaluing what we all do for a living. but in the longrun you will find with the material that you waste going through the learning curve to produce the most basic of signs, the time you could have spent earning money in your profession that you spent pulling your hair out because you didnt have the experience, when all is said and done you will have respect for what we do and how easy we make it look and you will realize that it would have been MUCH cheaper to pay your sign professional whatever they were asking and to top it all off you most likely would have ended up with a product that was better designed and of higher quality...some people just have to learn things the hard way.

    just food for thought
     
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2006
  15. andy

    andy Active Member

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    Meg- if you are not expecting anything from anyone why get so upset when you get nothing from anyone?

    The reason this site is so valuable is simple- buying cheap equipment is easy- knowing how to use it is much, much harder. On this site you will find experts in many nooks and crannies of the sign industry. For my part I found information on HDU kindly offered by other members very helpful. On a question about automated equipment MabSigns went over and above to offer me help and assistance. In return I will happily post anything that I think might be helpful to the professional people who have given their time to help me.

    This is different from the question asked by the thread starter- I appreciate the time and effort that has gone into the knowledge that other people have been kind enough to give me. As such I am not going to use this information to A) start a price war or B) use the information to undercut the people who gave me it in the first place. Professional courtesy plays a big part on this site.

    In answer to which cutter to buy- it's pretty simple to figure out. As with everything else in life buy the best quality you can afford. Price is almost always the guide to quality- a more expensive cutter will be better quality.
     
  16. Ian Stewart-Koster

    Ian Stewart-Koster Active Member

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    Good post, Dan!

    Another thing, frequently overlooked, is that a lot of more experienced signies can't be bothered relpying with useful information to some of the most basic questions...they may have done so years ago...then copped disrespect etc...then they just decide not to bother. If newbies did a search for various significant words, they'd find a lot of answers without having to await a fresh "today or tomorrow" response to an old story. Instead, some just rub others the wrong way, either accidentally, or for other reasons, and the response is sometimes quite understandable.

    There seem to be few replies of appreciation- basic gratitude- at times...
    Poor spelling (eg wot r u doin ) in the original questions also elicits poor responses. Signwriting is all about communication...and you'll reap as you sow!
     
  17. Chino

    Chino New Member

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    sorry the people is very protetective, remember this is what we love to do i am also new around here, but not in the sign business, havent use this type of machine before ,sorry but try to learn the way most of the people here has, sit in front of the machine read the internal menu of the plotter and remember what they said about the vector, also remeber to look a for manual before buying something.

    Sorry I cant be of more help, and if any one else knows exactly the steps to do it tell him, if he is trying to take out his local sign bussiness remember what goes aroud comes aorund.
     
  18. Pro Signs & Graphix

    Pro Signs & Graphix Very Active Member

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    Apr 18, 2006
    Chino - In defense of KPS, that is not what he is trying to do. He did, though, jump in feet first and is now trying his damnedest to learn how to swim :Big Laugh . KPC also knows that this will not happen overnight.
     
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