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Clear Application Tape whats the good/bad points?

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Bob @ Prestige

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Post Thu Dec 09, 2004 10:27 am

Clear Application Tape whats the good/bad points?

Can some of you guy's and sign chicks offer some advice regarding clear application tape.

I have only ever used some that I got as a sample from vinyl logistics but found it difficult to work with.

Any advice, good stuff or dont touch, would be appreciated.

Cheers

Bob
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Henry Barker

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Post Thu Dec 09, 2004 10:34 am

I only use clear tape, for me multi layered jobs and larger vehicle jobs go really fast with clear tape....never use the hinge method or water with it.

I have tried all I can find on the market, liked R-Tape AT60 but use Politape today and find that to be the best.

I guess we're all different....but I haven't bought paper tape for years, many years :)
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Brian Little

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Post Thu Dec 09, 2004 10:45 am

ye Bob
i agree with henry its all down to personal choice i cant see past clear, ok its slightly more expensive but its worth it especially when lining up shading. The only disadvantage is that you have to cut it rather than tear

Regards brian
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Graeme Speirs

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Post Thu Dec 09, 2004 10:56 am

I use the europoint clear app tape and have found it invaluable since I started using it, as someone else mentioned though do not let water near it!!! The one drawback as the previous poster said is that you need to manually knife the stuff, whereas with notmal app tape you can rip it off/slash with a squeedgee etc.

I find it comes off the roll really easy from my tape roller machine meaning I can mask a 20ft sign no problem without it getting stuck together etc.

For around £30 a 50m roll its worth a try if nothing else. It might not be right for everyone but it certainly suits me.
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Alan Cooper

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Post Thu Dec 09, 2004 11:01 am

Hi Bob
We use paper tape for most of our work but we do use clear tape from Hexis for multi layer work.
We find it quite difficult to lay the clear vinyl down if its say 500mm wide as it creates a lot of static and tends to 'suck up' the vinyl/backing from the workbench. Also, if you're. laying graphics onto a porous surface such as varnished wood we find the clear tape too sticky and it tends to lift the graphics back up
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Bob @ Prestige

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Post Thu Dec 09, 2004 11:13 am

Thanks for the prompt replies

I think the best thing to do is just get some and try it, as I said at first I did have some but found it difficult to work with, maybe get some from europoint

Thanks again

Bob :o
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Post Thu Dec 09, 2004 3:24 pm

I use both clear and paper tape, be carefull of mixing the two I.E. paper on main lettering and then clear on the shadows as the clear is very sensative to temperature, I get problems with the shadow not being the same length as the lettering because it's shrunk.
Prob not a problem is you cut, layup, and fit in the same room but I don't have the room to do that.

Steve
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Bill.

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Post Thu Dec 09, 2004 4:26 pm

I think its all down to personal preference Bob. The clear tape I have in stock is from Europoint, but I just can't get used to using it. It just won't rip when I want it to, and I've had some adhesion problems that I don't get with the paper.

Best bet is grab a 305 roll or something along those lines and have a play with it. If you like it and can work with it, it will save you oodles of time. If not, stick with the paper and use a variety of registration techniques to make sure you're accurate :D

Cheers, Dewi
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Post Thu Dec 09, 2004 5:17 pm

I personally steer CLEAR of it.
It is hard to work with, hard to tear, and you can't use wet app with it.
Love....Jill
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juddr

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Post Fri Dec 10, 2004 3:51 am

C.A.T.

I wondered the same thing about 2 months ago, and brought a roll of the clear stuff to see as I do quite a bit of multicoloured work in dark colours, im not sure if it’s just the brand I got but I hate the stuff.

its very thick and stiff to work with, if it sticks to itself you cant pull it apart as it takes the glue with it, water turns the glue milky and seems to make the contact between the tape and vinyl stronger, if you stuff up applying it to vinyl you cant carefully pull it off and start again like you can with the paper stuff, ive had troubles with it sticking to the liner paper and coming off when trying to roll up graphics for posting etc, and its very easy to get wrinkles in when applying to vinyl, which are impossible to get out. (and not to mention static problems)

Only thing that’s really nice is when trying to register dark colours like chrome and black or purple, its perfect for this sort of thing.. I have put the roll i brought on the shelf and sworn never to touch the stuff again unless i really really need to.
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Henry Barker

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Post Fri Dec 10, 2004 8:36 am

I think its interesting to read people thoughts good and bad!! :)

Like I mentioned before I have tried many many types of clear, and had some of the problems people mention, but kept looking. We had a thick thick clear that worked on calendered vinyl but left a "pattern" in cast as it had a slight structure in it.

Politape is easy to tear and you can trim in with a scalpel when going over contours etc, have used Politape with water only on larger negative acrylic faces to keep static down and for ease of application, and not had a problem with glue going milky although with other makes this has happened years ago.

Normal signwork and vehicles we apply 100% dry and you can always snap it back fast for repositioning. Misalignment on multilayered graphics, can be due to application tape but I think that can be a plotter or vary depending on colours of vinyl and howmuch/little is left on the roll.

I can try and take a picture of the structure on some of the types we have here and post.


Image


The one to the left I never liked its got a structure, hard to apply and never liked it, the next was a great tape abit thick but doing artic trailers you could apply long lengths of vinyl one man without water, this was rigid and worked well, its only drawback was the structure that left small bubbles in cast vinyl. The next was similar but much finer structure very clear, made by or sold by Mactac and far too expensive. The next is R-tapes AT 60 which works well but some rolls are rooled too tight making it hard to pull out from the tape application machine, I called someone in the staes and Belgium and they are trying to fix that. The last is very similar in structure and feel looks alittle green in colour on the roll, and works a treat, this is what I use all the time, had bought it from Spandex here in 50m rolls, thought it might have been a Hexis product they bought in??? But they charged alot for it then found the same product in 100m rolls from Politape, and its great fast and easy to work with....funny thing is today I'm unsure if I get paper tape to work with :)
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autosign

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Post Fri Dec 10, 2004 11:05 am

I've only used the Hexis one - but stuffed up a few orders with it on the bench where the static has made it stick to the lettering before squeege-ing.
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Rodney Gold

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Post Fri Dec 10, 2004 11:58 am

I use clear tape a lot , we get a re-usable one , but the BIG advantage of it is that it has a printed grid so you can line that up with the vinyl letters and better still , line it up when you do the application Its made by a co called dorotape in germany. (www.dorotape.com) Tho I dont see the grid stuff on their site.

We use it extensively when we supply small digitally printed decals on polymeric vinyl as these are almost impossible to apply unless you supply em with app tape (they are thin )
Seems to work for wet and dry , and with large area graphic , it is reusable if you roll it up carefully , doesnt pull inks off vinyl etc.
I also use a ton of paper based app tape , but for a different reason. We apply it to stuff we laser and it makes a fantastic mask for paint filling the lasered areas , the tape vaporises where lasered and there is almost no clean up involved. Apart from that it makes a great resist if applied to glass and you then blast the glass.
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Martin Pearson

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Post Fri Dec 10, 2004 5:56 pm

I use both clear and paper tapes, people keep saying you cant use clear tape wet. Well I must be doing something wrong because I use clear tape both wet and dry depending on the application, and have never had any problems.
I use the europoint tape which I must admit did take a little getting use to, like people have already said it doesn't tear like paper.

Steve if you are having problems with useing a combination of clear and paper tapes its probably because the paper has stretched when you applied the graphics rather than the clear having shrunk.
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Robert Lambie

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Post Fri Dec 10, 2004 8:46 pm

i agree, its a self preference thing. both tapes do the same job, the advantage of clear is it helps allot with multilayer work. i do agree there...
my preference is paper, not because its any good for layered work, its not. its difficult to line up, but because we use it all the time we create & tape our graphics to suit, which in turn makes it very easy.
i honestly cannot work with clear. like has been said it doesnt tear well... im so used to working with large images dry and just popping a bit with my squeegee and ripping it down.. cant be done with clear.
when im using my nylon squeegee i hate the feel of it gliding over the clear stuff.. clear does come away easier when taping up but i also find it tends to curl back where its not ontop of vinyl.
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Post Sat Dec 11, 2004 2:56 pm

"Clear tape" is almost a dangerous generalisation! Different brands work differently. We use both paper & plastic stuff, and like Henry, have used a fair bit of Politape.

The price surprised me a lot, (more expensive than others)but it has lots of little bumps or bubbles to make applying free of airbubbles a breeze. On the other hand it's very reusable, and slightly higher tack than low or medium tack paper stuff, and there is a LOT on the roll. It doesn't tend to jump back onto itself & stay stuck when you don't want it to either!

Most other clears I've used haven't impressed me, though.
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Vic Adair

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Post Sat Dec 18, 2004 9:07 pm

clear tape

Hi Bob,

Nice to have a fellow Bankie on the board.

A wee tip when using clear tape. because of static and vinyl jumping up when your trying to position the tape. I apply the tape onto the bench to take away the static then reapply it onto the vinyl most of the time that works. I only use the tape for multi colours though!

Vic :) :) :)
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Shane Drew

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Post Sat Dec 18, 2004 11:46 pm

I use clear tape alot, as well as paper of course.

The clear as stated here, is sensative to heat, and I try and lay the multi layup as soon as I can because shrinkage can also be an issue as also stated here.

If you are using 3M with the palstic backing, spray water on the table then lay the 3m material on it. This prevents it from moving, and discharges the static. Then you can lay the clear app with fewer problems.

Some manufactures offer an anti static clear too, but unless you ask for it, some suppliers don't seem to see it as an important option.

I use R tape or MAC tape clear, but if you don't watch yourself, you can get some serious friction burns when you squeegee. :(
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Robert Scullion

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Post Sun Dec 19, 2004 1:41 pm

Again thanks for the replies, as usual a mixed bag but good to get everyones thoughts.

I got some from europoint and have plyed about with it. See what you all mean regarding static etc.

Vic, you say you apply to bench to remove static, by this do you mean you apply to bench, remove, and then re apply to the vinyl?

Shane, spray water on bench, lay tape on it to discharge static, similar to Vics method ?

PS, Vic, if your local give ma a call, my coffee can't be as bad as Dewis

Bob :yikes:
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Vic Adair

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Post Sun Dec 19, 2004 7:57 pm

"Vic, you say you apply to bench to remove static, by this do you mean you apply to bench, remove, and then re apply to the vinyl?"

Hi Bob,

yes, re apply to vinyl make sure the bench is clean first.

we use those self healing mats on our bench, don't know if that makes a difference. probably wouldn't work on a wooden bench though.

Vic

PS stick the kettle on and I'll pop in and say hello!

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