Building a work table is easy enough for anyone to construct. What’s more, it takes very little time to build. And if you build it right, it could last you the rest of your life. Best yet, the cost is minimal, especially when you consider that you will use your work tables more than any other piece of furniture, machinery or tool that you own. If you haven’t built a work table before, here are a couple of suggestions, that I received from several sign makers. Read more
Applying graphics to a flat, smooth, painted wall is easy. Still problems can and do occur. Rarely are these graphics failures the result of application technique. Instead improper surface preparation and poor material choices account for most problems. If you follow the few simple rules in this article, your applications should be trouble-free. Read more
Some printer manufacturers, such as Mutoh, Summa and Mimaki, have systems that utilize a separate plotter to contour cut the printed graphics. To ensure accurate cutting of the printed graphic, the plotters utilize an Optical Positioning System called OPOS. The electric eye or photo sensor of OPOS scans the black register marks printed along the outside edge of the print, so the cutter can plot the knife cut. Read more
The plethora of terms used for the application tapes sold in the sign and screen print markets could confuse anyone. In the sign market, many people just use the terms “application tape” or “application paper”. Frequently this tape is also incorrectly referred to as “transfer tape”.
If you are a purist and want to pick a few nits, the terms application tape and transfer tape refer to completely different products. Transfer tape refers to a transfer adhesive, which is an adhesive coated onto a release liner.
Application tape manufacturers package their products in plastic sleeves, then box them in corrugated containers to protect the tape from light, dirt and humidity. If you’re not going to use the tape immediately, keep it in its box. Tape not stored in boxes is exposed to light, which can cause yellowing. Even shop lighting can yellow application tape. Read more
To avoid problems with vinyl or any other pressure-sensitive material, carefully read the vinyl manufacturer’s technical data sheet. Product bulletins will usually contain all of the information you need, including application temperature range. The application temperature range for most vinyl films is usually between 50⁰ and 90⁰F (10⁰ to 32⁰ C). For some films, the minimum application temperature range is higher.
Spraying RTape Matte Silver VinylEfx® film with a clear coat will change its appearance from a matte finish to a satiny finish. The reason for the change is that this VinylEfx® pattern is textured on the first or outside surface of the film. Other VinylEfx® patterns are embossed on the second surface. When you spray the clear coat on the matte silver, it fills in valleys of the texture. The film will not become as glossy as a Smooth Silver or chrome pattern. But it will look different. Read more
Vinyl films with air egress release liners have almost eliminated bubbles and wrinkles from applied graphics. Here’s how the product works. These release liners are comprised of multiple layers of paper, a polyethylene coating and a siliconization layer. The polyethylene coating of the release liner is embossed with a textured pattern. The textured structure of the release liner imparts tiny air channels in the adhesive of the vinyl film. Think of these as escape routes for air. As the installer squeegees the facestock, the air between the film and the substrate is directed through the air channels to the edge of the graphic.
Staining and varnishing is a great way to finish an interior sign, if the wood used has a beautiful natural grain, such as mahogany. Stains contain pigments that tint and accentuate the grain of the wood. Read more
One unique characteristic of our VinylEfx® product is the deep embossing, which creates the 3D illusion in patterns, such as MultiLens® and Diamond Plate™. Deeply embossed patterns, however, can cause problems, when printing with thermal transfer systems, such as the Gerber Edge®. Printing on films, which are not perfectly smooth, can result in flaking, in which there are voids in the printed image. "East Coast Artie" Schilling, spokesperson for Gerber Scientific, offers the following suggestions to surmount these printing challenges.
As self-help guru Anthony Robbins says “if you want better answers, ask better questions”. In troubleshooting a graphics problem, you need to ask better questions, so you can provide the film manufacturer the information they need to discover what caused the failure. Use the troubleshooting guide that follows to record the information from the end user.
There’s nothing wrong with using chalk to write on chalkboard films. We designed our ChalkTalk™ film with chalk in mind. Nevertheless, I believe that the new liquid chalk markers, such as the Chalk Ink® brand of markers, are much better suited for writing on our chalkboard film. Read more
Many years ago, some of the tankers and trailers had unpainted aluminum skins. Direct application of pressure-sensitive vinyl graphics to these surfaces often resulted in adhesion failures. Read more
Eye-catching RTape VinylEfx® metalized vinyl media give your designs a distinctive look, which attracts attention and creates favorable visual impressions. Your graphics are noticed, read and remembered. That’s your competitive edge! The rich look of these metallic vinyl films is perfect for signage, POP, exhibits and store interiors.
Whether you laminate application tape by hand or with a laminator, avoid trapping air bubbles between the vinyl graphics and the application tape. Bubbles and wrinkles in the application paper often result in bubbles and wrinkles in the applied graphic, regardless of the skill and effort of the installer. If you inspect the adhesive side of a graphic, after removing the release liner, you often can see the formation of wrinkles and bubbles in the adhesive. In the application process, you will just transfer these wrinkles and bubbles to the substrate.