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Questions about Phototex, non-typical use

Discussion in 'Materials' started by Malkin, Jun 12, 2012.

  1. Malkin

    Malkin Very Active Member

    Feb 11, 2009
    Augusta, ME
    I want to make some lettering for a large crane that is a rental unit. The main letters are around 12 - 15" tall, White with a heavy black outline. We usually use 180c/8518 for them, but since this is a rental, they want to be able to remove the vinyl rather easily when the project is complete...

    I have not had much success with "removeable" vinyls like oracal 3621, they seem to end up leaving adhesive if not removed within a week or 2.

    I know that printing full bleed with phototex is not recommended, so I'm wondering, can I lay a hi-perf black outline right on top of the phototex? Would then just hand cut around the outside edge.

    Also, can I cut & weed some 4 or 5 inch Helvetica Medium copy from this material, or does it cut/weed very poorly since it wasn't really intended for this.

    What do you all think?
  2. J Hill Designs

    J Hill Designs Major Contributor

    Sep 24, 2004
    couldnt answer that question, but did you consider mag's hand cut? most cranes are steel...wont be too much more work than laying perf on ptex and hand cutting
  3. Malkin

    Malkin Very Active Member

    Feb 11, 2009
    Augusta, ME
    These particular ones (Manitowoc 16000 and 999) have fiberglass side panels... =/
    Otherwise that would have been my first choice as well.
  4. CanuckSigns

    CanuckSigns Very Active Member

    Nov 11, 2008
    my experience with photo tex is that it cuts horribly, especially in corners. I think I remember reading on here about someone that uses vaseline or something similar on the surface before applying the lettering to make it removable, i would test this first.
  5. MikePro

    MikePro Major Contributor

    Feb 3, 2010
    Racine, WI
    +1 phototex cuts horrible.
    also, most cranes are completely saturated in oil/hydraulic fluid.
    +1 to mag striping most likely being your best bet.
  6. cajun312

    cajun312 Active Member

    Jun 26, 2005
    I contour cut numbers and letters for race cars out of phototex and have no problem with the cuts, it does require a sharp blade and a lot of pressure though.

    It would probably work on the crane, depending on your printer you may want to use a liquid laminate.
  7. Cale Frederick

    Cale Frederick Member

    May 19, 2012
    We use a sharp 60 degree blade and slow the speed way down so it doesn't try to ride up on top of the material. Heavy pressure too. Sometimes we have to find a balance between it cutting through material and part of the way through the backer. I always try to leave unprinted around the edges but when not an option we have not had any trouble. We print, cut, outgas, roll on clear star liquid laminate, let that dry and weed afterward. Haven't ever had to do individual die cut letters from phototex though.
  8. Malkin

    Malkin Very Active Member

    Feb 11, 2009
    Augusta, ME
    Thanks for the responses, still not sure which route, but we'll figure something out!
  9. Bill Modzel

    Bill Modzel Active Member

    General Formulations Metro Mark vinyl is made for easy removal. Light tack adhesive and prints well. I've been using it for all of my bumper sticker jobs lately and am totally pleased with it's performance.
  10. jfiscus

    jfiscus Map Wraster

    Apr 2, 2009
    Cincinnati, OH
    I did some removal and install on buses a few months back & we used a material I've never worked with in the past called "Metromark Transit Vinyl" IIRC. It was a great product for short term signage like this. It stuck well without much issue & removing the whole full wraps from two buses that the material had been on for over a year took all of 1.5 hours & left NO adhesive!
  11. Jackpine

    Jackpine Major Contributor

    To get around the cutting issue, print PhotoTex, laminate with a clear spray and trim with a straight. You could radius the corners with a cheap corner cutter from WallMart.
  12. Billct2

    Billct2 Major Contributor

    Mar 12, 2005
    New England
    Don't know if it would work with the size and your printers but Gerber had a product called Insta Change that we do these jobs with
  13. Vinylman

    Vinylman Very Active Member

    Aug 15, 2005
    Berlin Center, Ohio


    Why don't you contact Lance/ or Walter Jr. @ Phototex directly.

    He can probably give you the answers you need. He is a great guy, and usually knows what will work and not work with all things Phototex.