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Layering vinyl- wet or dry?

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Post Sun Oct 11, 2009 11:15 am

Layering vinyl- wet or dry?

Hi,

We've been layering/trying to layer vinyl decals and have encountered a few problems of them sticking in not quite the right position. Frustrating after spending ages weeding out tiny details lol It's only for practice purposes so not delaying any jobs or anything. Printing isn't an option for us at the moment, but I'm keen to master layering complex stuff anyway. We've tried reg marks but on such work I'm wondering if wet applicaton would allow better placement as it could be manipulated into place?

Opinions and advice appreciated :)

Emma
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Post Sun Oct 11, 2009 11:30 am

we are doing a lot of layered work for a new client, much easier to do the main logos wet, gives you peace of mind, however it does slow down the process as it helps to leave the wet applied stuff with time to bond. Another option for registration might be to use the clear/plasticky app tape?

all the best
graeme
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Post Sun Oct 11, 2009 11:52 am

DRY.... always DRY.... :D

I hate the stuff, but it does have its benifits for the likes of layered work. "clear application tape". most vinyl suppliers have it.

this video should give you a good help. CLICK HERE
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Post Sun Oct 11, 2009 11:54 am

Hi Graeme,

Thanks for the advice :D What we are doing is stuff to be prepared in house before being fitted- as in getting it all layered up in advance. Would be able to leave for 24 hours or so to dry out if that would be enough? But as you say, could be done direct at application point as well, which we'll need in the future!

Emma
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Post Sun Oct 11, 2009 3:33 pm

I find it easier layering up dry. I've tried the reg mark method but still had wandering over 1m, this could have been down to the way i was doing it though. I now find it alot easier if i completely pull the graphic off the release paper and stick it back down on to the paper with a offset of 5mm ish uncovered edge, i then slide the graphic over the layer i need it to go on and move and align it, when I'm completely happy with the position i press down on the uncovered edge of the top layer and use that as a hinge to squeegee the rest down. Near perfect results every time without bubbles.
Hope this makes sense,

Al.
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Post Sun Oct 11, 2009 5:41 pm

Emma, if you are building up layers of vinyl to be taken to a job and then fitted be very careful. It is very easy to get all sorts of problems with bubbles if fitting a layered vinyl graphic. It is far better to take all the bits with you to site and build the job up as you go.
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Post Sun Oct 11, 2009 6:11 pm

Martin wrote:It is very easy to get all sorts of problems with bubbles if fitting a layered vinyl graphic. It is far better to take all the bits with you to site and build the job up as you go.

:yes1:
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Post Sun Oct 11, 2009 8:20 pm

I always pre assemble layers, and dry, I never have problems with bubbles. far less time on site, and better registration if done on the bench, than the side of a vehicle. we have always done it this way.
Each to his own though
Peter
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Post Sun Oct 11, 2009 11:18 pm

Peter, I was told when I first started that building the layers up on the bench would cause problems when it came to application on the job so I have never done it. If you say it doesn't then I can't argue with you because I have no experience of applying it the way you do.
I would also agree that you would spend less time on site but that doesn't mean that the job takes any less time overall and I am not sure why you think that registration is any better when done on the bench.
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Post Mon Oct 12, 2009 12:46 pm

I pre-layered a job ONCE and got more bubbles than a tar road on a hot day.
I also hate using clear app tape (sorry Rob)
I cut registration marks, usually stars, in the same place on each layer.
I do put down the first part dry. Remove app/transfer tape.
Then I spray with Rapid Tac (Rapid Tac 2 if it's cold out or on glass)
Spray the adhesive side of the layer, too, then line up using the stars.
The transfer tape is somewhat see-thru after wetting the back so it helps.
Then squeegee, re-spray with RT, and carefully remove transfer tape.
Squeegee again.
Love....Jill
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Post Wed Nov 04, 2009 8:48 am

Hi everyone,

I had a go trying Alex's method of offsetting from backing paper...Thought this was a genius idea! Probably just me but I struggled like hell! I offset (was for a strip of text about 15x100cm, and it just kept pulling up from the bit i'd hinged down :oops: I found it possibly to big to manage to peel the backing away once it was stuck down. Suggestions?

My cutter doesn't have an optical eye therefore the software wont let me include reg marks. We've tried putting in our own but again found it very it and miss trying to line up as once it sticks... Ha ha Practice!!??

So, this leaves me with the wet application method, perfectly described there Jill thanks. Going to give this a blast now too.

Some of our stuff will need pre-layering as it is to be sent out to clients for self application- so we need it pre-assembled to make it easier for them if that makes sense.

Thanks for taking the time everyone! I'd somehow unclicked notify of reply and hadn't spotted you'd all been in touch! :o

Emma
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Post Wed Nov 04, 2009 11:37 am

Try cutting a weeding border in the shape you are putting it onto, then you have the whole shape to line it to. Just cut the outside shape of the first colour with the over colour. Hope that makes sense....I know what I mean !
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Post Wed Nov 04, 2009 12:32 pm

You should be able to draw your own reg marks in design software im sure there is a demo bty rob somewhere?
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Post Wed Nov 04, 2009 2:09 pm

Emma,
Sorry it might have been easier said than done just like this quick video

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LgwKh5NrAa4

plus lots more on there if you search for "layering vinyl"

I find the easiest way is that of the video but the biggest I've layered is up to 500mm square with 3-4 colours (safety signs etc). If i was layering the text and size as you suggested then i would probably hinge and cut up between the text making smaller manageable sections to separate the text width of 100cm.
At least when the top layer is offset off the backing sheet and a little is exposed its alot easier to move around and line up before you commit to sticking the whole thing down.
I found a little practice will do wonders.
Alex.
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Post Wed Nov 04, 2009 2:32 pm

Hi,

We've had the weeding border on but again, once it grabs makes it very difficult lol The reg marks we've made our own up yeah, but it's just the point of having one shot to line them up and if it's off slightly its buggered. As I say, alot must be practice!

Alex, that video is pretty impressive :) I've watched Robs too which is great, but I'd like to master the offset method.

Watching made me realise two things at least... Our application tape certainly doesn't grab the vinyl that strongly! And then, our backing paper does not come away easily from the vinyl- it just pulls away from the application tape as its more adhesive. So it was a battle between keeping the hinge bit stuck down ( a light breeze would have blown it away lol) and no way could it be folded back on itself, it just unhinged, that was before trying to peel the backing away, which it did, half the time with the lettering still attached ha ha ha Is this a material issue???

Hmmmmm I do like the look of clear tape, but it seems people in general don't like it, anyone explain why that is? I know alot's down to personal preference but it still doesn't appear to have loads of fans.

Emma
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Post Wed Nov 04, 2009 3:20 pm

Depends what tack application paper you are using, high tack is normally used for small lettering and graphics, medium for general work and low tack for large text and graphics.

If the lettering is trying to lift with the backing then this could be down to you not squeegeeing it hard enough when you applied the application tape or you have the blade/force set incorrectly so the blade cuts a little into the backing paper.

Clear tape won't really help you if you are using registration marks but it works very well for applying by eye because you can see through it. Ask your supplier for a sample so you can see what its like, basically it's a sort of plastic type film which doesn't tear by hand which is one reason some don't like it, it is also a bit more ridged than paper tape.

Sorry I can't be of more help, as I said earlier I don't layer up graphics prior to application, do everything by building it up on the job.
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Post Wed Nov 04, 2009 3:38 pm

Hi Martin,

Not sure what tack it is as it was supplied as part of a starter pack when we bought graphtec. Thinking maybe it's low tack as it hardly grips the vinyl when creating a hinge as in method described. Certainly squeegeed the life out of it, (to the point of thinking it could be over doing it ha ha) and checked that the blades not cutting into backing paper.

Think will ask for a sample of clear tape, may be better for sending out to people too, though will have to be careful in terms of rolling up.

Emma

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