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Tape Mount Acrylic Lettering

Discussion in 'General Chit-Chat' started by James Burke, Jul 27, 2020.

  1. James Burke

    James Burke Being a grandpa is more fun than working

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    Hey -

    We've done a gazillion stud mount bronze plaques and dimensional letters, but never any tape mounted acrylic lettering.

    My question is, how does the pattern work? I'm familiar with the patterns for drilling studs, but I'm a bit baffled how the tape-mount pattern works.

    I strongly suspect that I'll align to the pattern, hinge from the top, remove the pattern and then apply.

    Thanks,

    JB
     
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  2. unclebun

    unclebun Very Active Member

    The pattern is only the bottom shape of the letters, goes up just a couple inches.
     
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  3. Billct2

    Billct2 Major Contributor

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    Yep, we usually just do the bottom inch of the pattern, or if the design requires more precision, the top and bottom inch. Just keep the tape out of this area and the thickness of the tape should allow the pattern to slide out
     
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  4. James Burke

    James Burke Being a grandpa is more fun than working

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    Thanks much!

    JB
     
  5. DPD

    DPD Member

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    Hi JB,

    I know you said thanks so you've gotten all your replies but I figured I'd add mine which is a little different than the other replies. One of the things I would do is to create a reverse weed vinyl template and then apply the vinyl to the wall, set the letters in place and remove the vinyl. Two things though: you need to know the vinyl will stick and that it will not remove paint from a sheetrock wall. Good luck with the job.

    - denis
     
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  6. James Burke

    James Burke Being a grandpa is more fun than working

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    I'm sure it could be done with low-tack paint mask.

    Thanks,

    JB
     
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  7. Gino

    Gino Premium Subscriber

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    We've done a ton of these. I've always made pounce patterns. No fear of any letters ever being slightly tilting or outta whack. None whatsoever. We have a sprocket fed 30" plotter, which I believe you do and it takes only a few minutes to make the pattern. Easy-peasy cleanup, too. We also use it for PVC, acrylic and foam jobs.
     
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  8. James Burke

    James Burke Being a grandpa is more fun than working

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    I'm assuming you would you use a talc powder instead of charcoal on an interior painted wall?

    JB
     
  9. Gino

    Gino Premium Subscriber

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    Nope, regular black pounce. Rarely do we do dark walls, but I have black, white, light blue and reddish brown. Last time I got it was from Dick Blick in a 10lb bag. I think glantz sells it, but I'm not particularly fond of their type, but that's where we get the pounce boxes from.
     
  10. bERT bRYAN

    bERT bRYAN New Member

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    I use a full printed pattern on paper, cut the corners out of the letters on the pattern, tape it up, mark the cut-out corners with a pencil, remove pattern, and apply letters. I inset the corners a little when I cut them out so the letters will cover the pencil marks on the wall. Works pretty well for me.
     
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  11. signbrad

    signbrad Member

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    This is a good method, but not easy to visualize if you've never done it. Someone should post a picture.

    And, of course, pounce patterns work. But it's messy. Clean up is possible with a heavy-duty commercial grade feather duster. A background of gloss latex that is not fully cured may try to hang onto the pounce powder, however.

    Brad in Kansas City
     
  12. Gino

    Gino Premium Subscriber

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    Nope, not messy at all..... and we've done some only days after the paint was on the walls. It was more of an issue for the tape to not pull the paint off the wall than getting the pounce off. Always used paper towels and sometimes hadda dampen them.

    The funny part is, the pattern is so faint when you remove the pattern, no one can see it from the floor. It looks like magic going up and everyone is always saying, how do you guys know where to put every letter ?? man..... you guys are go-od. :glasses:
     
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  13. MikePro

    MikePro Major Contributor

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    +1 pounce-pattern & chalk is ideal.

    i've also "made it work" with full paper patterns by slicing-off the majority of the pattern & leaving only the bottoms of the letters, but it then takes a keen-eye for "I", "O", etc. letters to be mounted square but i just make sure to have a letter on either-side of it mounted to assist with squaring-up.

    another "make it work" strategy, if pounce pattern isn't available, was to use a knife or a sharp pencil-tip to "stab" the pattern just enough to make a dent in the wall/paint beneath the paper, as to mark a couple key corners/sides of the letter before your tear away a portion of the pattern to lay the letter. obnoxious, but it works in a pinch and you never have to worry about making sure your pattern doesn't stick to the adhesive in the slice&place strategy.
     
  14. Moze

    Moze Precision Sign Services

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    A stencil cut pattern out of a semi-rigid material (cardboard, Coroplast, etc.) is by far the fastest and most accurate way to install. However, that hasn't fully caught on (and in some cases it can just be a flimsy mess if there's not enough spacing to maintain rigidity), so pretty much every company that makes dimensional letters, sends tape-mounted letters with a paper pattern with outlined letters.

    With paper patterns, I typically cut the entire horizontal center out leaving only the tops and bottoms of the letters. I cut pretty close to the line so there's just enough to know where the edge of the letter is but not so much that it's going to get stuck under the tape on the back of the letter. This ensures the letters are perfectly level rather than having to eyeball it. Other than a stencil pattern, it's the cleanest, fastest and most accurate method.

    You can cut the corners of the letters out of the pattern and make marks on the wall, as mentioned, but depending on the tape used, you may have to make those marks up to 1/8" in, in order for them to not be visible once the letters are installed. And if you have to make the marks 1/8" in, there goes some of your accuracy. It's also time consuming cutting all of the corners.

    I believe pouncing originated and carried over with sign painters. I don't know any letter manufacturers that sends (or even offers) pounce patterns with letters anymore. A paper pattern with outlined characters or a stencil pattern is faster and cleaner. But hey, if you have the capability in your shop and it works for you, good deal.

    I used to carry a small block of wood with a tiny, very sharp brad nail sticking through and would mark the points of the letters using that. But even those tiny impressions in drywall were too noticeable for my liking.

    Vinyl stencil patterns are asking for trouble on painted drywall. One spot where there's an adhesion issue with the paint and off it comes with the vinyl. Not worth the risk to me.
     
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  15. ikarasu

    ikarasu Very Active Member

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    Are we the only ones who print on screen film? We do lots of screen printing so we have rolls of the stuff in various sizes.

    Tape it up at the top like a hinge... Then it's clear so you can just position the letters underneath and slap them on. You could even use some light tape and pre tape the whole design into the vellum, align it to the wall... Remove all the double sided from the acyrlic letters and place every letter down at once like a hinge.

    We've only done that once when it was at a hospital and we had 20ish to do. Less interruption for the hospital... Quicker in and out.
     
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  16. Gino

    Gino Premium Subscriber

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    I'd like to really see some samples of these methods. Doesn't sound like we're talking about the same kinda installation.
     
  17. Texas_Signmaker

    Texas_Signmaker Very Active Signmaker

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    Gemini has started doing the stencils out of cardboard and it is a DREAM to install. I like your idea of cutting the middle out of a pattern.
     
  18. fixtureman

    fixtureman Member

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    When I use the pounce pattern After I install I use a makeup brush to clean the powder off.
     
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  19. Moze

    Moze Precision Sign Services

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    Talking about tape-mounted dimensional letters, no....?


    These are using the small wood block with the brad nail:





    This is cutting the center out of the pattern, leaving the tops and bottoms of the letters:



    This was installed using stencil-cut patterns:

     
  20. Moze

    Moze Precision Sign Services

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    I've emailed them numerous times over the past few years asking them to provide them as an option. They finally did (not necessarily because of me, obviously) but a lot of folks still just aren't aware they're an option.
     
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