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how do i apply vinyl in the cold?

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Post Wed Dec 31, 2003 10:21 am

how do i apply vinyl in the cold?

hello all.
over the last few days i have been applying vinyl to some vehecles.
i now apply 95% dry.. but even doing that doesnt seem to get the vinyl on properly.
it does not stick good & i am having bother with "sort of" bubbles. even though i can put it down fine normaly.

is this the cold?
am i doing it wrong, applying in this weather?
what would you do?

thank you in advance
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Post Wed Dec 31, 2003 12:05 pm

The simple answer Sally is don`t even try to put vinyl on to chilled metal vehicle bodywork in this weather, especially outside.

You really need access to a workshop or something that can at least take that chill out of the metalwork before applying vinyl.

If it`s a van, put a fan heater "inside" the back of the van and leave it on for 15mins. It should take the chill out of the panels from the inside and will help greatly but this really needs done indoors.

Rod
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Post Wed Dec 31, 2003 2:09 pm

Sally, Rob is right, the weather lately has been far from Ideal for applying vinyl, having said that I apply vinyl in cold weather to. I'm not joking I sometimes think it is warmer outside that it is in my unit and I cant afford to heat the unit.
Like Rob has said anything u can do to take the chill out of the panels will help, like heating the inside of the van or taking a heat gun to the panel just before you apply the vinyl.
When you say you are getting sort of bubbles what do you mean?
Are you sure its not the paintwork, if the vans have had a respray at all it might be the paint and not you at all.
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Post Wed Dec 31, 2003 2:39 pm

Sally,

As Rod and Martin have said, cold weather application is not ideal, but like many of us you perhaps don't have the luxury of being able to get vehicles indoors. I recommend using an infrared heater to make life easier (and more comfortable too!) like the sort you can get from tool suppliers eg http://www.machinemart.co.uk/product.as ... 2138&g=118 for about £100. These are good outdoors because they heat objects and not the air itself.
Normally in cold weather getting bubbles is less likely because you can "chase" them out as you squeegie the vinyl down since the adhesive has a much lower "grab". If you are finding air bubbles and the paintwork is clean and smooth you may need to look at your "squeegie technique", although if as you say you don't normally have a problem I can't think why you would experience difficulties in colder weather.
At least you are not resorting to wet application (Rob will be proud of you!) because that really would be tedious outdoors in the cold :-?

As Martin said, what do you mean when you say "sort of" bubbles ?

Hope this is of some help :)

Nigel
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Post Wed Dec 31, 2003 2:52 pm

Thilly Thally! Put on a thweater!
Theriouthy, tho...
What the fellas said is true. I stink at applying vinyl every day,
not just on cold ones! So I am not qualified to give advice!
I just had to tease you!
Love- JILL
PS :P
Rob would have been proud of me Monday, I thtuck window
thtickerth outhide and did it dry with no tholution wathoever!
It wath nithe and thunny...and i only got a couple "thort of" bubbleth!
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Post Wed Dec 31, 2003 3:40 pm

Hhmm I think someone has just asked me something I discovered at the start of this week..
Sally, when you say sort of bubbles. Do you mean it looks kind of like ripples “very slight though” of air under the vinyl in different areas?
Next, what type of vinyl application tool do you use? Im guessing it’s a felt one or nylon with felt to one side?

Is so, it’s your squeegee and the pressure you are applying that is the problem in this cold weather. I was fitting my stuff inside large truck bays and still it was cold.. Even with blow heaters near by. Like rod says, it’s the metal that’s holding the cold. Not so much the room.. But a warm room does help bucket loads…
Over the last year or so I have turned to almost 100% felt squeegee application, or felt wrapped nylon ones.. I kept getting these ripples/bubbles recently & I was raging.. I Couldn’t work it out.. (This was panels of vinyl not text) I seriously thought I had lost my knack. Like the others have said. In the cold it actually makes life easier regarding bubbles but makes the vinyl very brittle. Anyway, bubbles/ripples here and there, I got..
I changed from the felt squeegee to the felt wrapped nylon one. It was much better but still didn’t give that nice tight looking grip to the surface of the vehicle.
Out comes the 3M gold squeegee, 45inch by 2foot panel on perfecto-mondo! Tried again and again it worked spot on..
The reason I think is if we actually revert back to why nylon squeegees came about & vinyl. Vinyl is referred to as “pressure sensitive vinyl” the pressure, coupled by the friction heat of the nylon squeegee helps activate the adhesive much faster than that of a felt one were really all you are doing is expelling the air & laying the vinyl flat.
Because of the extreme cold metal it just doesn’t allow the tack to take. And leaves patchy, almost floating areas of vinyl.
e.g. to give you an idea of the heat when apply.. have you ever burned your knuckle on app tape when squeegeeing.. hurts and is hot.. hence the nylon friction heat.

Another thing to try along with the other suggestion is to heat the area you are about to apply to with a heat gun. Heat it warm.. It will very quickly cool.. Then apply. Works wonders..

Hope im right here.. Oh well if im not I hope it helps someone…
:roll:

(oh and new years resolution to you all.. "i will start to apply vinyl dry" i will start to apply vinyl dry!" :lol: :lol: :lol: :wink:
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Post Wed Dec 31, 2003 4:43 pm

Sally there must be something wrong with the way I talk, I though you would be able to understand heat the panel with a heat gun before you apply the vinyl, but Robert obviously didnt think you would understand so he has explained it again.

Sorry Robert I just couldn't resist getting a dig in there !!
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Post Wed Dec 31, 2003 5:37 pm

Funny thing the cold weather :)

I did 21 shop windows last night standing on the roof of the land-rover, with lamps heatguns, and lots of winterclothing it was about -8, we told the shop owner that this was not a good idea, but up here we're never sure when it will be plus again, we covered the windows in blue Avery 700, using Avery felt squegees, and then white text on top, it works OK, but if you had to lift the vinyl to reposition after doing part of it the vinyl "shattered" apart from that it went well, no bubbles or ripples.....cold feet standing on frozen snow on he roofrack for several hours!
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Post Wed Dec 31, 2003 7:56 pm

Sorry Robert I just couldn't resist getting a dig in there !!


:oops: sorry mate.. when i start to rammble.. i rammble on..
please excuse my ignorance mate :wink: :lol: you got be used to me by now mate :D

hi henry. i honestly dont know how you manage in that weather... i hate applying in that kinda cold. the shattering of the vinyl is also a problem i agree 100% did some reflective chevrons this week, guess what :o arrgh..

not sure the whole rippling thing.. but from using a felt squeegee for everything this year then simply moving for the odd job on vehicles in the cold, it certainly helped me.. im baffled to why though.. what i have said is all i could come to, why..
you must have skin like a seals, for that weather mate :o :o

all the best when it comes henry.

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