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Throw away laminator

Discussion in 'Laminators' started by Boyblue, Sep 10, 2017.

  1. jsalda

    jsalda Member

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    Aug 26, 2010
    Bethany, OK
    This. I used a big squeegee for a couple of years until I had the workload to justify a laminator. Used it to laminate to substrate and apply laminate to prints. As long as you have a fairly flat surface, it works great. Still use it from time to time for small stuff.
     
  2. Gino

    Gino Premium Subscriber

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    Yes.

    I didn't say he should go out and buy one, but he (the OP) has every excuse not to do it cost effectively.

    First of all, he's not a sign shop, so he wants to hack his way through. You can't tell me.... no one on that island has a flatbed. What really does the cost of things have to do with anything, if he wants to buy one, then throw it away ?? Nothing more than big talk and dumb thinking.

    I hope he gets it done, but what normal sign shops is he cutting outta the picture ?? Ya wanna help an outsider hack his way through, but not try to sell a job for a real sign shop down there.


    :banghead:
     
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2017
  3. fresh

    fresh Active Member

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    May 16, 2011
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    you should look into the big squeegee. you can use the lawn sign tool for all of those sizes, and honestly, you should be able to mount at least a hundred a day. Its really quick and easy.
     
  4. Boyblue

    Boyblue Member

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    Aug 29, 2017
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    Outdoor pieces will be mounted to 040 polystyrene and it will come laminated. Inside will be mounted to 030 Polystyrene and it's undecided if it will be laminated but if lamination will help to avoid stretching during mounting, we will have them all laminated. The only reason we were not going to laminate the indoor signs is that I understood that it wasn't necessary but it will extend the life expectancy.

    Printed vinyl mounted to a substrate is how 95% of the signs are done locally. The premier Sign Maker in The Bahamas does not have a flatbed. From what I hear they're considering it. I see some construction at their facility, so it's probably in the works. Currently flatbed is not an option locally.
     
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2017
  5. Boyblue

    Boyblue Member

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    I'm giving the local guys a huge head start. The inquiry here is about exploring options. For us to take this on, the savings will have to be massive, otherwise we'll outsource the job. If we do take it on, we're still going to use one of the printers on this forum. All we will be doing is mounting.

    I did follow up the throw away post with an explanation. It was hyperbolic, but all I meant was the full cost of the laminator has to be factored into the decision. So rather than go with a $2,800.00 GFP we'll probably go with a $400.00 Ebay laminator. I've gotten a lot of help here even from you because now I'm going into this with the understanding that it's not as easy as it looks, so I appreciate that.
     
  6. ikarasu

    ikarasu Member

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    Jun 10, 2016
    Port Coquitlam, bc
    Do you know the material of the vinyl though? 180, IJ35, etc?

    Different vinyls have different uses... I'm presuming if you purchased it from someone on here, you told them you're use and they're setting you up with the right vinyl. But Some vinyl is easier to apply than others... For instance I wouldn't want to apply so many non-laminated 180's with a laminator. IJ35 doesn't stretch and is thicker... Much easier to apply. Of course if you just ordered the cheapest vinyl, it might fail pretty quick too.... while you'd make money, you're customer might be pissed.


    I don't think you can do it cheaper than any sign shop that can do it in house... Which usually means you're using the cheapest material, to give a quote lower than what a sign shop would give. That's why people are hesitant to help on here... A lot of people see $$ and open a shop with no knowledge, undercut and use inferior products that will last 1-2 years instead of 10... It cuts into real shops business because they cant beat your price on material that shouldn't be used, but costs 1/4 what the proper material should cost. Then in a year or two they go out of business, or worst yet just change business names and start the practice all over again. It hurts the customer, and local sign shops...

    That said, for all we know this is a previous customer of yours who's asking you to do a favor. So long as you use the right material and do the job right, at least for myself, I don't mind helping out. Everyone starts somewhere... And who knows, maybe you'll see this as a way to increase business, and decide to do it full time.

    Either way...Just make sure the jobs done right, which you seem to be doing for the most part, and everything should go fine!
     
  7. Boyblue

    Boyblue Member

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    Gino's right I am not a sign maker. I don't want to let on that I am. I could have come here acting like I'm a nubie with a contract in hand but I played it straight so that those that are willing to help "an outsider" can do so if they choose. We will work with a local sign company to produce our large signs but for the smaller "give away" signs we are exploring options.

    Think of us as you would a really small cigar brand (with a limited budget) that uses signage as a promotional tool for stores that carry their product. We could print on paper but we're trying to do something more lasting.
     
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2017
  8. Gino

    Gino Premium Subscriber

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    You're correct...... think of you as something you are not, but are still taking work away from your local area sign shops. No need to white wash, but if the foo sh!ts, wear it.

    For me, and I'm only speaking for myself, I have no interest in helping someone who is not in this industry, regardless of how they slant the facts. Sure, everyone starts somewhere, but not usually coming in the back door. I'd rather help someone who pushes a broom in a shop and help them further themselves in this industry. Perhaps, if I was to help you, and it wouldn't work, then what ?? Best to get your information, by laying ALL your cards out on the table and hoping for the best.

    Lastly, what in the world kind of signs are you making which put vinyl on on .030 or .040 styrene for outside installations ?? How are these signs being used ??

    Good luck.​
     
  9. T_K

    T_K Member

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    May 23, 2016
    Georgetown, TX
    From my experience, I stretch prints less laying them down by hand, although an increased chance of scratching it when using an old squeegee. On a 48x96 coro, for example, I'd get around a 3 inch stretch using our laminator whereas I'd be around maybe a 1/2" with a hand squeegee. It's definitely a slower process, but I personally get better results.
     
  10. Boyblue

    Boyblue Member

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    Aug 29, 2017
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    We're using 040 outside and the signs will be wall mounted. In most cases the wall will be latex paint on masonry finish and in some cases it will be ceramic tile.
     
  11. Boyblue

    Boyblue Member

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    With that much stretch it seems imperative that we laminate or use a thicker vinyl, I'll ask for pricing on both options. Thanks
     
  12. brycesteiner

    brycesteiner Member

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    Nov 5, 2014
    Ohio
    Too much tension will get that kind of stretch but .5" is about right on a laminator.
     
  13. Gino

    Gino Premium Subscriber

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    Unless we're doing something wrong, when we laminate vinyl to a solid substrate, regardless of ACM, duraply, PVC or any other rigid substrate, we barely have 1/8" left over at the other end. With or without protective laminate already on it. Cast or calendared.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  14. T_K

    T_K Member

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    May 23, 2016
    Georgetown, TX
    I don't believe it's the tension. My practice has been to place the blank substrate under the rollers and lower them until it just grabs the substrate enough to roll through. I got better application, but still saw lots of stretch over the 8 feet. My guess is it could be the cheap vinyl we printed on combined with not enough outgas time. We used Oracal 3640M and usually applied the morning after printing (or occasionally same day b/c my boss liked to sell rush jobs at a discount).

    That's really good. I've never been able to get so little stretch on laminating a 4x8 sheet. Out of curiosity, what equipment do you use?
     
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