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When to wet

Discussion in 'Newbie Forum' started by 206, Mar 22, 2007.

  1. Geary

    Geary Very Active Member

    Wow...that's the oddest thing Rep.....when I click on your link here it gets me to the page....but askes me to login. Wha the hay....??
  2. Roger Bailey

    Roger Bailey Member

    Jun 20, 2004
    Thanks very much Geary, glad they help you with your work !!

  3. Zapp

    Zapp New Member

    Feb 5, 2007
    Wet or Dry ?

    Greetings all,
    As all here know, wet has a place and dry has just a little bigger place I feel, What is not being said here on the bubble subject, although it came close, is how clean is the substrate? What processes are used to remove the cleaning fluids and in which order? Some products just move the mess around. Just as important is how well do we apply our transfer tape? Do we remove the pockets from the transfer tape prior to the application step. That's is a step that most over look in the initial learning curve. What about the use of a roller? It gives a great smooth connection between the transfer tape and the vinyl as well as the substrate during application. If I had to focus on and area it would be the transfer tape and the roller. Glass is your tester. Although I'm still trying for the no bubble look. I thank the sun for its efforts to smooth the final product in its on time. Like a fine wine.

  4. iSign

    iSign Major Contributor

    Nov 29, 2003
    Kahului, Maui
    generalizations are ALWAYS wrong!!

    did I say Always already! ... ok most of the time then!
  5. 206

    206 Member

    Feb 25, 2007
    Thanks All!!

    I didn't realize this was going to be a touchy subject, I value everyones opinion and am going to experiment.

    I viewed the video's and thanks!

    If i do it dry whats the best "cleaner" to use before applying vinyl
    and where in Canada is the rapidtac supplier?
  6. Grasshopper

    Grasshopper Member

    Mar 20, 2007
    Wet Applications?

    Ive only been workin vinyl, on and off, for a few years now. Ive never done a wet application. The first time I saw a wet application I wasn't sure what to think of it. I was an installer on call for a company, I got paired up with this guy who told me that he ONLY did wet application. He sure did...we were installing a bunch of 12"x6" decals to windows in an office complex. I watched him install the first one...wet of course. Me being a young guy, I think he assumed I had never worked vinyl and handed me a squirt bottle of soapy water and few decals. I politely turned down the squirt bottle and asked for a few more decals. I hammered em out (no bubbles or wrinkles) and returned for something more to do. He asked "are you already finished?" I had applied three for every of his one. Im not tootin my horn....Im slow and still very unsure when wrapping compound angles, spherical shapes, and the like. But I dont really understand wet application. I guess I just have not applied anything big enough to need it. I would be afraid to leave the job until it sets up and Im sure it wont slide around. How long does a wet application take to set? Will it set faster with heat applied like a hair dyer?

    Tryin to figure it all out.
  7. Checkers

    Checkers Very Active Member

    Jul 24, 2003
    I use the original Rapid Tac or Rapid Prep to clean a surface before installing. But, just about any cleaner that doesn't contain amonia or parafins will be ok too. Call or email Roger or Jeff at Rapid Tac for some free samples and a distributor near you.

    If you'r egood at dry, don't change a thing. However, if you do a wet application, the setting time will depend on the liquid us use. From my experiece, home brews take too long to set. Rapid Tac will set in several minutes, depending on your technique and the media. And with Rapid Tac II, you may have a 1-2 minute window of opportunity to get it positioned before it starts setting.
    Heat can speed up the process with some fluids, but it probably cause more headaches than it's worth.

  8. Steve C.

    Steve C. Very Active Member

    May 22, 2003
    Don't forget the importance of using a good squeegee. For years I used the
    cheep white ones, then decided to try the Golden squeegees. Big
    improvement. Dry most of the time. If you use a cheap or worn squeegee
    you will get bubbles, air bubbles or water bubbles.
  9. barrettgraphics

    barrettgraphics Member

    Jun 17, 2003
    another way to not get bubbles is to make sure the mask is put on bubble free, I have found it to transfer the bubbles right to the substrait.

    btw roger bailey, can you install reflective wet?
  10. Vinny's Sign Shack

    Vinny's Sign Shack Member

    Dec 28, 2005
    I have moved away from wet more and more, I would suggest if it is a sign that needs to leave your shop quickly don't wet app., use reg. marks, hinge, and dry app. you will get to the point that bubbles are very minumial.
  11. Fred Weiss

    Fred Weiss Merchant Member

    Sep 11, 2003
    Olympia, WA
    My Worst Wet Application

    About 20 years ago when a large school of a particularly sought after fish came into our coastal waters, commercial fishing of them was opened up for one day. One of the requirements was that any boat engaged in commercial fishing of them had to have 10" numbers on both sides of their hull as well as on the deck.

    We applied them for a customer in a hurry to get going using a wet application. All seemed fine when he left with his boat on his trailer. He told us later that by the time he got out to where the fish were, the numbers on his hull were gone. Although they appeared well bonded when he left our shop, the water rushing against the hull refloated them and they came off.

    Since they let him fish anyway, the customer wasn't upset.
  12. Gino

    Gino Premium Subscriber

    Jun 7, 2006
    You know Fred, if you put them on after 2:40pm on any given Thursday between the months of July and June, but not during a ‘Leap Year’ while the solar eclipse is in the southern sky while talking to either a male or female of the opposite sex [??] and they are drinking decaf latte while talking about the Florida election system… there is a 50% chance that your letters will come off due to using the ‘Wet Method’. Or you’re a ‘Redneck’ !?! One or the other.

    However, on every second Tuesday of the month and every other Friday …………

    No, you’re real problem was you can’t use a ‘Wet Method’ application if the unit is going to be submerged in the same conditions within the same year.

    Maybe, the water that those boats were in is where Rog gets his secret formula. ‘Fish ****’… Yeah, that’s the ticket.
  13. Fred Weiss

    Fred Weiss Merchant Member

    Sep 11, 2003
    Olympia, WA
    You may be correct because the much sought after fish was a large school of hanging chad.

    [​IMG] :beer
  14. Geary

    Geary Very Active Member


    Do you REALLY think that 3M is going to recommend in writing something THEY haven't developed? The answer is no. And of course, even the IDEA of installing something WET just sounds so anti-adhesion....about 100% of the time to folks in that business. You see, they have about the most scientifically advance team of product manufacturers on the planet concerning all things adhesive. And my guess is, they are actually working on their own version of "surfactant" solution. (Wonder what it will smell like?) Hmmmmmm.....? Probably a combination of Pina Colada and Tolulene. And it will cost $40 per QUART! :tongue:

    Remeber: Ten thousand installers can't be wrong. :thumb:


    Oh...and just to be clear, when I actually spoke to the 3M guys, and they said they "didn't have a problem" with my application of that monster job.....in no way were they going to "money back guarantee it". It was more like two shop guys talking about a very big and important job with very little tolerance for error on the table. Capeesh?
  15. SignosaurusRex

    SignosaurusRex Major Contributor

    Mar 7, 2007
    Washington State
    Experience IS the best teacher and ultimately the final word.:wink:
  16. Geary

    Geary Very Active Member

    Exactamundo my brother! :thumb:
  17. Replicator

    Replicator Major Contributor

    Nov 19, 2006
    Sun City, AZ
    Hope I get some of that . . . . Experience stuff that is !
  18. n20capri

    n20capri Member

    Jul 18, 2006
    I was thinking the same thing about the transfer tape! Good point!

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