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Decal film & commercial printing

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Decal film & commercial printing

Postby Steve Sawyer » Sun Jun 25, 2017 10:23 am

Has anyone had a drawing printed on decal film at a commercial printing facility (e.g. FedEx Kinko's or Staples)?

I have a local hobby shop that carries it, but no longer have an inkjet printer. I'm finishing my first build this week, and that headstock (a Tele) looks kinda bare without something on it...
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Re: Decal film & commercial printing

Postby Bob Francis » Sun Jun 25, 2017 1:44 pm

I have had window signs done that way the media is just thicker.
Good luck with those.
I would ask for a sample and slide it onto a stick with similar finish to make sure there was no negative3 reaction though.
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Re: Decal film & commercial printing

Postby Steve Sawyer » Sun Jun 25, 2017 5:04 pm

Okay - thanks, Bob. I'll give it a shot...
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Re: Decal film & commercial printing

Postby Chad Schmidt » Mon Jun 26, 2017 6:11 pm

I've used waterslide decals printed by Bedlam Creations. Haven't had any problems with them under a nitro finish...
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Re: Decal film & commercial printing

Postby Gordon Bellerose » Mon Jun 26, 2017 6:18 pm

I use decals under water-base lacquer a lot.
I had my company name done in a special font. One of the commercial printing companies made me a few sheets of decals.
They are a two layer thing. One layer peels off, leaving the glue side of the decal exposed.
I simply place it on the headstock, and remove the backing layer, leaving the decal on the headstock.
It is a bit finicky but not terrible.
I need your help. I can't possibly make all the mistakes myself!
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Re: Decal film & commercial printing

Postby Steve Sawyer » Tue Jun 27, 2017 1:13 pm

I discovered when I picked up the film from the hobby shop that they have two types - one for laser printers, another for inkjet. Uncertain as to what technology my local FedEx/Kinko's had available, I got both (about $3 a sheet), but it turned out they are 100% laser.

The printing turned out perfect. I drew this with Inkscape, and ran several colors as I wasn't sure which one would render the best. I have a couple of coats of Behlen vinyl sealer on the neck/headstock now, and after sanding will apply the one I like best using MicroSet decal setting solution, then will proceed with the nitro clear-coat.

The colors came out remarkably close to what I saw on-screen, so I think I'm going with the third one on the sheet as that one has more of a "gold" look to it.

Total cost (not including the inkjet sheet that I'll be returning) was about $4 and I could have placed about 20 of these on the sheet. Didn't really want to do more on this run as I'm not sure what kind of headstock I'll have on the next two or three builds, but I can modify this as appropriate to whatever those happen to be.

Oh - one other thing for those who haven't done this before, this is a continuous 8 1/2 x 11 inch sheet of decal. It's necessary to carefully cut out the decal close to the design for each logo so as to minimize the amount of clear film extending beyond the edge of the design.

Logo_Sheet.jpg
Logo_Sheet.jpg (30.64 KiB) Viewed 700 times
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Re: Decal film & commercial printing

Postby Barry Daniels » Tue Jun 27, 2017 4:49 pm

Is it a water slide decal or adhesive type?
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Re: Decal film & commercial printing

Postby Steve Sawyer » Tue Jun 27, 2017 7:09 pm

Barry Daniels wrote:Is it a water slide decal or adhesive type?

Water slide. Many years ago I built static aircraft models, and used these all the time, so I'm probably more comfortable using these than the adhesive type.
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Re: Decal film & commercial printing

Postby Barry Daniels » Tue Jun 27, 2017 8:15 pm

They are probably more secure under a finish too.
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Re: Decal film & commercial printing

Postby Bob Francis » Thu Jul 27, 2017 3:35 pm

I like the gold hue myself.
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Re: Decal film & commercial printing

Postby Steve Sawyer » Thu Jul 27, 2017 8:47 pm

Bob Francis wrote:I like the gold hue myself.


Yup. I'm dodging the humid weather to get the the solid color on the body done, then I'll start with the clear-coats (and still dodging the humid weather) and get it applied under the first coat on the headstock.

First part of the summer was amazingly dry for SE Michigan, but we've hit a spell of humidity in the past couple of weeks.
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Re: Decal film & commercial printing

Postby Dan Smith » Sun Jul 30, 2017 8:39 pm

Did Kinkos print those?
I'm afraid risking the stuff thru my laser printer.
Can you let me know the brand name of the material?
Great logo!
Dan
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Them kids was fast as light-nin.
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Re: Decal film & commercial printing

Postby Steve Sawyer » Mon Jul 31, 2017 1:57 am

Yes, Dan. I use Kinko's for all kinds of printing my b&w laser can't handle, including full-scale guitar plans!. If you try them and they're new to decal film, just tell them to treat it as a transparency.
The film i used was Experts-Choice by the Bare-Metal Foil Co. (http://www.bare-metal.com
And thanks for the compliment, though I really just picked a couple of cool-looking typefaces and played with them until it looked acceptable. I'd something more artsy-fartsy in mind, but that's not my strong suit! :) I think the typefaces got installed with InkScape.
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