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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
These may be stupid questions but I thought I'd ask. I've been doing vinyl (usually Oracal 651) over the past couple of years on windows, coroplast and banners. But I was wondering if you could share experience on the following with banners...:

1. When you apply your graphics to a banner, do you usually let it sit for any period of time before rolling it up?

2. Do you use app fluid (like RapidTacII)? (BTW, I tried rapidTac I on a banner once and it didn't work because I was using 651 and high tac tape... bad deal).

3. If you apply it dry, do you have a special technique or tools you use to minimize bubbles? (I have a big squeegee that I use but sometimes still get some bubbles when applying dry).

4. Does it make any difference if you roll up the banner with the graphic on the inside or outside?

I feel stupid asking those. Thanks in advance for your help!
 

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These may be stupid questions but I thought I'd ask. I've been doing vinyl (usually Oracal 651) over the past couple of years on windows, coroplast and banners. But I was wondering if you could share experience on the following with banners...:

1. When you apply your graphics to a banner, do you usually let it sit for any period of time before rolling it up?

2. Do you use app fluid (like RapidTacII)? (BTW, I tried rapidTac I on a banner once and it didn't work because I was using 651 and high tac tape... bad deal).

3. If you apply it dry, do you have a special technique or tools you use to minimize bubbles? (I have a big squeegee that I use but sometimes still get some bubbles when applying dry).

4. Does it make any difference if you roll up the banner with the graphic on the inside or outside?

I feel stupid asking those. Thanks in advance for your help!

1. I have a solvent printer, so I can either print the banner, or print on vinyl and apply to a banner stock (the latter mainly being for banners bigger than my printer which is only a 30" printer) . If printing I always keep my banners flat for the first day or two, mainly because the inks aren't totally cured. When applying vinyl to them, I do not worry too much about rolling them up. Keep in mind the banner has a tendency to form to whatever shape it's in, so rolling on a tube is the best way to keep them from warping, if you just fold it over, it may be awhile before that fold gets out.

2. I apply my vinyl dry. I will clamp the banner down to my work table, then hinge apply my graphics to it. Generally I go with a top hinge method, and after placement will disect the letters/whatever into multiple sections, but not cut the vinyl. IE if I have the word "WELCOME", I would top hinge the whole thing, then cut between the L and C so I have two separate pieces of vinyl to apply that are still lined up perfectly due to the top hinge (I usually use my foot long squeegee for this).

3. I never really have any issues with bubbles if I do the method I stated in #2. I have applied bigger graphics with my big squeegee and gotten bubbles, most likely due to improper pressure. Generally I only use the big squeegee on banners when I'm doing a full size/full color graphic on like a 4'x8' with no real cutting.

4. Graphic facing towards the core will prevent any kind of scuffing/etc to the outermost layer letters while in transit. Sometimes cores will have a residue on them though, in which case I'd roll it graphic facing out and just let my customer know to be careful with it.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for the info. I really appreciate it. I actually did a 4'x16' today (not printed just cut). It was a 2 color but had a one color logo in the top left corner and then one line of text (about 10" tall) running the full length. It went fairly smooth although those big banners are a challenge to handle. Applied it dry using the 'Big Squeegee' but got a few little bubbles that made me crazy. Really thinking about trying some rapidtac II (just got a bottle in for installing 651 on glass the other day and it worked great).

BTW, I just ran acros this youtube video of a guy doing a banner (this guy's quick). I liked the way he applied the transfer tape with the 2nd roll. I tried it and it worked OK although I got a few bubbles in the tape when I tried to squeegee it out. The Big Squeeg seemed to work a bit better in that area. I'm jealous of his work tables... :)

[media]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t5o8Yvxv2mY[/media]

I let it set for about an hour before rolling it up with the graphic on the inside around the roll. The only reason I asked about rolling them is that I seem to remember doing one once and rolled it up quick after completing and it seemed that it puckered up the vinyl a bit. I know the adhesives tend to grab better after it sits for a while.

Again, thanks for the information. I really appreciate it!!!
 

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1. When you apply your graphics to a banner, do you usually let it sit for any period of time before rolling it up?
no, you can roll it up anytime. The adhesive is pressure sensitive, so if you have burnished it down well enough then you will be fine.

2. Do you use app fluid (like RapidTacII)? (BTW, I tried rapidTac I on a banner once and it didn't work because I was using 651 and high tac tape... bad deal).
I only do dry applications. Only use wet once in a while, last time was on a storefront using glass etch vinyl.

3. If you apply it dry, do you have a special technique or tools you use to minimize bubbles? (I have a big squeegee that I use but sometimes still get some bubbles when applying dry).
Yes, technique is key. Top hinge, or center hinge depending on shape. Do not allow the vinyl to touch the substrate except where you squeegee. You tape/hinge the top edge. Remove the backing paper. Hold the bottom edge up to keep everything off the substrate then squeegee to down with your other hand. There are lots of you tube videos of this process. I also have a "speed press" that I use for small jobs. Essentially the trick is to keep the vinyl off the substrate until you squeegee it down. There is no way to trap the air unless you do it wrong.

4. Does it make any difference if you roll up the banner with the graphic on the inside or outside?
Yes... we roll printed banners with the finished side IN. Cut vinyl banners with the lettering side OUT. If you roll a cut vinyl banner inside then the vinyl will tunnel because you are scrunching the lettering to a tighter diameter than the substrate.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks for that info. I had just rolled that big banner up with cut vinyl rolled up on the inside. Ran in and re-rolled it to the outside. That's exactly what I was wondering about.
 

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BTW, I just ran acros this youtube video of a guy doing a banner (this guy's quick). I liked the way he applied the transfer tape with the 2nd roll. I tried it and it worked OK although I got a few bubbles in the tape when I tried to squeegee it out. The Big Squeeg seemed to work a bit better in that area. I'm jealous of his work tables... :)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t5o8Yvxv2mY
The gentleman in the video shows the proper application using the center hinge method, only thing I do different is use a little bigger squeegee, this method works on everything from coroplas signs, to applying vehicle lettering, banners, just about any type of signage using cut/printed vinyl can be applied in this manner...it just becomes a issue of how long your arms are as to how big of a section you can do at a time. LOL!

I had a old sign guy tell me that only amateurs use the wet method to apply vinyl, and that it causes more problems then it solved, I've never used any even doing vehicle wraps, every time I think about using any I hear his voice in my head....:)

Hope this helps.
 
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