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I'm using an old but reliable black toner Laserjet 4 Plus and Yolo Techni Print HS (hard Surfaces) paper.

I'm printing on wood and trying to get the image to stick completely. Sometimes, however, flakes of toner peel off when I remove the paper. I've tried different pressures, temperatures and times.

I'm trying to understand how the process works in order to correct the right variables.

My observations so far:

The paper has a thin film of plastic on it. This plastic can withstand the 183 - 200 degrees C fusing temperature within the printer.

When I press the image onto the wood at the recommended 165 C the image sticks (and sticks very well). The longer I press it the better it sticks. However, this is BELOW the fusing temperatue required in the printer.

How come? Is it the pressure of the heat press that's lowering the toner's fusing temperature and making it stick to the wood?
 

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Using a laser printer that feeds the paper in a straight line without bending and curling the transfer paper through the innards of the machine is the best type to use for laser heat transfers. The less movement and wrapping around rollers the transfer paper does, the less likely it is to cause a problem inside your printer. This is something to consider if you are purchasing a laser printer for producing laser heat transfers.
It is also important to make sure the laser transfer paper is compatible with the toner in your laser printer. Some laser printers use toners with fuser oils that are not designed to work with certain laser heat transfer papers. Make sure to check with the manufacturer of your laser transfer paper to ensure that it is compatible with your laser printer's toner.
 

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It requires hot fuser to fuse the toner on thick media. If you are not having issue printing on the transfer paper the settings is just right. If the toner flakes off or sticky or powdery or smudged the printer speed needs to slow down to fuse the toner properly. To slow the speed select heavy or ultra heavy or label or transparency media type or weight.

When pressing the transfer on the media the polymer from the transfer is what matters. It binds the toner on to the substrate. The toner has already done its part during the printing process.

Is the wood surface smooth. If it has rough wood grain the polymer may not be penetrating the crevices. Try using silicone baking mat on top of the transfer when you press the transfer. Press with very heavy pressure. Longer duration helps melt the polymer better. Not too long or it may burn the wood.
 
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