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Vinyl Application Techniques

Discussion in 'Classroom Assignments' started by Fred Weiss, Nov 8, 2003.

  1. Fred Weiss

    Fred Weiss Merchant Member

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    Class, your assignment is to post descriptions of your favorite ways to apply vinyl in different situations. Photographs and graphics are encouraged and will be awarded extra credit.

    Please remain on topic and no talking among yourselves during this assignment.

    Your responses and content become the property of Signs 101 and may be used in constructing tutorials or included in a knowledge base topic.

    :signs101:
     
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  2. ChiknNutz

    ChiknNutz Major Contributor

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    Does it count if I already did this? Howz about some extra extra credit for more? Tee Hee!
     
  3. Fred Weiss

    Fred Weiss Merchant Member

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    If you did it here then point me at it to dig it out.
     
  4. ChiknNutz

    ChiknNutz Major Contributor

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    The Basic Layering tutorial that is linked from the main page.
     
  5. Fred Weiss

    Fred Weiss Merchant Member

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    I was aware of that article Chris and it will, of course, be included in the knowledge base. I'm just looking to cover the topic from the most basic methods to more advanced techniques along with related tips and tricks.

    :signs101:
     
  6. THATgirl

    THATgirl Very Active Member

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    Good Morning Mister Weiss.

    I do most all my applications dry except the very large. And even sometimes do those dry. I put a middle hinge (vertical) with masking tape. For very long graphics I use the horizontal hinge method.

    The reason I started doing most everything dry was because in the winter it took forever to dry using any kind of wet method. (I am impatient)

    I make sure my squeegie runs along to press down the letters at a slant, and never allow the vinyl to touch the surface before the squeegie is pressing.

    The only wet application I do is when there are layers.

    But my alltime favorite way to apply vinyl is out in the sunshine in August and many people passing by asking for my business card.

    Now do I get a cookie?:wink:
     
  7. ChiknNutz

    ChiknNutz Major Contributor

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    I've not done any large automotive graphics to speak of, so what about side body graphics? My Dad wants something on his truck, and even though it will be good practice, I also don't want to do a hack job. What's a good and not so good way of doing these on vehicles? Would you still use a horizontal hinge (I assume you mean a long horizontal hinge along the top of the graphic - parallel to the long axis of the vehicle)? Would a vertical center hinge work here too? For a given method, how do you handle body contours? I have the Rob Ivers tapes, but he doesn't really go into this as much as I think he should. For the horizontal hinge on really long graphics, seems like it would be kinda hard to remove the backing w/o letting some part of the graphic touch (unless I'm missing something). Any hints & tips would be appreciated.
     
  8. Small Lettering

    Small Lettering SmallLettering.com

    Got a 4' (or so) wide graphic or lettering that you can't split up- like connected script? Here's a handy tip for applying it without help. Apply your horizontal tape hinge along the bottom edge. Remove the backing & flip back- leaving the lettering exposed, upside-down, with the adhesive facing you. Now take a 4' yardstick (OK- I know 4' isn't really a YARDstick) & place it horizontally along the hanging bottom edge (which would be the top of your lettering). Center it, & firmly stick it to the edge of the application tape (not to the lettering). Squeegee it to make sure it's well adhered. Now, using the yardstick as a handle, lift so your lettering is in position- just up off the substrate. Now squeegee, beginning at the bottom hinge, back & forth, working your way up to the yardstick. Remove & finish your squeegeeing.

    Tom
     
  9. Fred Weiss

    Fred Weiss Merchant Member

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    Good Morning Marlo

    You & I have different approaches. I primarily use a horizontal hinge and cut between letters vertically to work in smaller sections dry. I would only use a vertical centered hinge if I was dealing with a long continuous shape like a connected script, a reversed box or an underscore etc. I would still likely resort to a wet application on something like described rather than a vertical hinge. I've always had a tendency to lose my level position with a vertical hinge.

    I can understand you avoiding wet applications in a place like Seattle where it rains all the time except in August.:biggrin: In Florida we're more likely to be applying to a vehicle that is hot enough to fry eggs on ..... and a wet application is usually ready to have the tape removed as soon as you complete your squeegee pass.

    You're already cookied so I'm awarding you a green star and a grade of C+ on your paper.

    :signs101:
     
  10. Fred Weiss

    Fred Weiss Merchant Member

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    Chris, you would benefit from looking into some of the specialty films for vehicles. 3M ControlTac of course and any of the newer films coming to market with grooves in the adhesive like Avery EZ and Convex from Graphic Marking Systems or a similar product now available through Gerber distributors.

    Also recommended is to go to the next sign expo near you. There are normally ongoing demonstrations on real vehicles of stuff most of us would never attempt.

    Finally, practice, practice, practice.

    :signs101:
     
  11. Fred Weiss

    Fred Weiss Merchant Member

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    Good post Tom.

    I remember years ago an old elbow bender/sign painter showed me that except he liked the yardstick at the bottom.

    I often do a variation on this using a horizontal top hinge and only pulling the release liner halfway off. That serves to raise the graphic about an inch above the substrate at the roll point and gives me enough of a rigid handle to gentle pull the graphic taut for squeegeeing down.

    :signs101:
     
  12. Fred Weiss

    Fred Weiss Merchant Member

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    A couple of basic points:

    Premium quality transfer paper will result in the best quality transfers. Less tendency to stretch or wrinkle and you get done quicker.

    Squeegees need to be free of nicks and wear. Many people periodically dress the edges of their squeegees to keep them even. Others just pitch them periodically. Normal use will cause the center of the edge to wear before the outer edges. Hold your squeegee's edge against a table top and look to see if there's light visible. If there is, consider dressing the edge or replacing it.

    :signs101:
     
  13. THATgirl

    THATgirl Very Active Member

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    Teach, when using the vertical hinge method I make marks on each side so I do not lose position.


    I don't like my C+. But if that is what it is......that is what it is. In my charcoal drawing class I got an B+. And in lunch period I got an A.




    so there.:wink:
     
  14. ChiknNutz

    ChiknNutz Major Contributor

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    The graphic I was thinking about doing would be about 12" high by about 10'-12' long. Seems like a horizontal hinge wouldn't work all that well in this case, but maybe I'm wrong. Although I am trying to do all of my installs dry, I was thinking about doing this wet to make it easier. I already have the vinyl that I would be using, so get some of the easy-apply stuff is out at this point. I also use the method of only removing half of the backing paper and folding, but I'm just a bit gun-shy with something this long and slender. There is also a slight body contour to take into account on this one. It's kinda like a joggle in the sheet metal that comes out abut 1/2 inch or so.

    Something else I do to keep alignment is to use a Stabilo pencil to make several marks half on the graphic and half on the substrate (usually at about a 45 degree angle). Then if you start going south with your install, you can see before it's too late.
     
  15. Small Lettering

    Small Lettering SmallLettering.com

    Chris, you could always break this up into 3 or 4 vertical panels with say a ¼" overlap between each. It would make it a lot easier- especially if you're doing it all yourself.

    Tom
     
  16. Fred Weiss

    Fred Weiss Merchant Member

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    I'll increase you to a B if you can tell me the quickest way to get to the Home page of this site (other than a bookmark).
     
  17. geb

    geb Very Active Member

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    I try to do all my applications dry. Usually they are small, in the 4' wide area, varying heights of 4 to 12 inches, or smaller. I have the Rob Ivers videos, and have tried the hinge methods, but with the applications above, I have had good luck making marks on the substrate, window or vehicle, and having taken off the backing paper and cutting the transfer tape a little longer on the right because I'm right handed, I apply the right hand side of the application tape on my mark, holding the graphic or lettering slightly off the substrate without touching and on my mark on the left(without touching) with my left hand, and start the squeegee process to the left, releasing all the air so there are no bubbles. If I have to do a different color overlay, I use the clear transfer tape, sometimes breaking up words to apply individually. The clear tape allows me to align the overlay color perfectly. I realize my techniques may not be the norm, but they have worked well for me in saving time and no bubbles. If I have to do larger work, I would probably use the center hinge method.
    I'm ready to receive whatever grade given, hopefully it'll be better than the what the football gods are doing to me.

    George
     
  18. THATgirl

    THATgirl Very Active Member

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    Why Mister Weiss......you just click on 'HOME" up above.:biggrin: :cool1:
     
  19. Fred Weiss

    Fred Weiss Merchant Member

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    Sorry Ms. Thomas but that is completely wrong. Go and sit in the back of the class until you figure it out. (Hint: Eli couldn't figure out how to add a button for the hyperlink.)

    :signs101:
     
  20. Fred Weiss

    Fred Weiss Merchant Member

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    Off Topic ..... George .... The Mrs. did win the football pool last week and is kicking herself for not using the same technique this week of simply taking all home teams. She is, at this writing, only at 6 and 6 when she could have been at 10 and 2.

    Your lowly host did not prognosticate any better. It was a horrible weekend for football.

    :signs101:
     
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