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Please help with this laminating problem..

Discussion in 'General Signmaking Topics' started by graphix28, May 10, 2010.

  1. graphix28

    graphix28 Member

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    Jan 15, 2008
    Hi everyone, I am somewhat still new at vehicle lettering and I'm having a problem laminating controlTac with a 2mil cast lam. We mostly do atv/mx graphics and use the thicker material. So I just measure my print, and cut off a piece of laminate the same size and run it through the cold laminator. But with this material it is too thin.. and when I try the same method I end up with a lot of tiny bubbles under the lam. I appreciate any input on what is the best way to laminate.

    Thank you!!
     
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  2. Rooster

    Rooster Very Active Member

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    Feb 22, 2008
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    Try to ensure there's a very slight amount of even tension on the laminate as it's going over the last roller before it get's applied to the media. It really helps when sheet laminating. Roll fed lamination has the tension built into the system. You need to add a little yourself when the feed rollers for the laminate aren't being used.

    Some tiny bubbles may simply be what's called silvering. That will go away fairly quickly if just left alone. Usually overnight is enough time. A little warmth helps the process.
     
  3. graphix28

    graphix28 Member

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    Thanks Rooster! I appreciate your help. I've never actually had to use the feed rollers,, I'm not sure how to get it started.. I think that's the whole problem. I can't get the laminate down straight, it's too thin.
     
  4. Rooster

    Rooster Very Active Member

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    Edmonton
    Get your lead edge stuck down nice and straight. This is probably the most important step. If this isn't 100% then it'll bunch up for sure. When sheet laminating, especially if it's using media from the tail end of a roll that has a lot of curl in it, it's best to let the media and laminate sit for awhile so they both lay flat. Stick a piece of coro over top or something to help flatten it out.

    Then get your lead edge just started in the rollers. Now fold the laminate over the last roller before the media and let it drape over the back (exit side) of the laminator. I thread my laminate between a couple of rods on my laminator so when I pull slightly on the laminate it applies the tension directly on the last roller and not some other miscellaneous rod. Your laminator may be different than mine so I'm not sure what you're up against.

    Now you should be able stand on the exit side of the laminator where you can apply a little tension to the sheet of laminate as it's fed through and you're pulling away the backing paper. It doesn't take much though, be careful not to pull hard enough to stretch it out and cause bunching.

    Wider prints can be very difficult to sheet laminate with cast. A little extra media at the lead edge before you hit the printed surface will help prevent some mistakes. I find the thin cast lams can bunch up slightly in the first few inches and then sort them themselves out for the rest of the feed. 4-6" is usually enough. You'll see what I mean after doing it a few times.
     
  5. graphix28

    graphix28 Member

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    Jan 15, 2008
    Thanks a lot!! going to try this now
     
  6. graphix28

    graphix28 Member

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    Jan 15, 2008
    I ran a piece of painter's tape the whole way across the top of the laminate and vinyl.. it seems to work really well. Thanks again for all your help
     
  7. All Star Graphics

    All Star Graphics Member

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    Could cut an inch off the backing too! Saves on painters tape which ads up!
     
  8. klemgraphics

    klemgraphics Active Member

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    Jan 13, 2008
    Midwest
    This is what I do, rarely have a problem with it.
     
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