Dumb Vinyl Question

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Doug Bernhardt
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Dumb Vinyl Question

Post by Doug Bernhardt » Fri Nov 03, 2006 9:02 pm

Okay I shouldn't actually post this here but what the heck, Today I was hand cutting some mask (I don't have a plotter) which I do occassionally and I had the backing paper stuck, in places all over the back of the mask. Sort of shreds of paper usually starting at the inside of an "O" or whatever...what is actually going on there? Have I cut too deep (I don't think so) or not deep enuf... or is the mask too old?. It's called, I believe, Gerber mask although I thought it should be called a major pain.

Kelly Thorson
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Post by Kelly Thorson » Sun Nov 05, 2006 3:23 pm

OK Doug ;)

There are no dumb questions - just dumb vinyl I guess. ;)

It always bugs me when posts are left unanswered, brings out the wallflower feeling in me, so here goes my take....

Anything that comprimises the release liner can cause problems. Cutting into the liner will in some places push the adhesive behind that waxy finish and allow it to catch some of the backing paper fibres. If it is the centers of letters or along edges of cuts that the separating of the liner always appears, then I'd make that call. If the liner is separating due to sticking to the vinyl in areas that are not cut then I would suspect the vinyl is too old. Being exposed to heat or moisture can also cause the adhesive to harden or penetrate the release surface of the backer and cause problems. I had a whole new roll of sandblast mask that must have got wet or something. There were large patches where the release paper was stuck hard. Of course this happened in the middle of a sandblasted glass project that a fellow head had made an 8 hr trip in order to get it done. We scrounged and patched a lot of bits of sandblast resist that day.
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Post by Mike Jackson » Sun Nov 05, 2006 4:49 pm

Hi Doug,
I believe part of the reason you are not getting any replies is it hard to understand your question. I reread it several times and still am not sure.

With a plotter, we adjust the tension or weight so the blade cuts just past the vinyl, scoring the liner paper but not really cutting it. If the weight is too heavy, the blade cuts half way through the liner paper. When the application tape is applied and the letters pulled off the liner with the tape, it will often take half the liner paper with it. I don't know if this is what is happening with your process, but I suspect so. Try pressing a bit softer when cutting your mask.

Mike Jackson
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Doug Bernhardt
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Post by Doug Bernhardt » Mon Nov 06, 2006 4:54 pm

Thanx...2 good answers and am gonna take a closer look. I have no idea of the correct terms for some of these things but the post was born more from a little frustration. A roll could last me a couple of years and I suspect this might also be the case.

Kelly Thorson
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sponge trick

Post by Kelly Thorson » Tue Nov 07, 2006 10:37 am

I have a little trick that I use when that happens to me Doug. I soak a sponge and put it on a tray near my work and by wiping my finger off well to clean off any oils or dirt and then wetting it on the sponge I can sometimes roll the offending vinyl from the tapered edge and peel it back. The water keeps my finger from sticking or disturbing the adhesive on the vinyl. For some reason it works well on some vinyls and not so well on others. If you have a lot of backing sticking you may find this helpful.
I believe there is no shame in failure. Rather, the shame lies in the loss of all the things that might have been, but for the fear of failure.

cam bortz
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Post by cam bortz » Thu Nov 16, 2006 4:40 pm

It's not always old vynull or the wrong weight. I had this very problem earlier today on a truck lettering job, while using brand-new 3M black vynull. When this starts to happen I keep an exacto at hand; usually I can pick the edge of the torn liner away from the vynull before it tears too far. It's tough to keep steady, even pressure while hand cutting, but I think the problem is a fault of the liner paper, in that it may not be entirely consistent throughout the roll.

No matter what the cause, it sux when that happens.

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