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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I use to paint signs decades ago and always loved signage... Have been a photographer for 35 years and successful, but tired.

Semi retired and want to do something new and fun. Bought a heat press and vinyl cutter. Due to being spoiled (big profit in portrait business) I don't expect tshirts to be profitable for me in a non tourist area. But still fun.

Signs can be profitable, but so much to learn. I have the Roland 24" and playing. I purchased several vinyls and from eBay some cheap ones.

Yesterday I used the cheap eBay roll. Trying to cut a small 6 inch design with small very small text. I couldn't weed it. It was well cut... But almost seemed like the small text was pulling from the backing. The backing was quite glossy. Ad seemed as if the sticky back of the material being weeded... Wed? Hehe. Was pulling off the small letters due to the adhesive on the edge of the weeded material? My question. Is this due to cheap or poor vinyl? Or is there a size limit that's just to small?

I'll try it again with different material today.
 

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If you cut too far into the backing it can make it hard to weed. Check your cuts and see if there's more than just a light scratch on it, if so reduce your blade depth/pressure. However, cheap vinyl is often hard to weed. Also, it's very unprofessional to use it. You will have people screaming at your door in six months if the quality is bad. Good vinyl like Oracal 651 and higher is important. For long term, permanent things, you'll want a cast vinyl like 751, though I personally use 651 on most everything that isn't contoured or over rivets, but I do decals and stickers, not vehicle fleet graphics or long term store signs. You will want the higher quality vinyl for those jobs!

Use the cheap stuff for big lettering jobs for temporary applications like coroplast signs for garage sales, upcoming events, and whatnot, and for proofing, and maybe for that one customer who refuses to spend more than $1/hour for your time. But even then, they can go out and tell everyone that your work is complete crap and falls apart in weeks.
 

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I currently use Eco-Film and have been happy with the product. I have recently recieved samples from speciality materials and like the sample package they sent. Everyone is different and has there preference, I started off with black and white vinyl and now have over 20 colors in a matter of 2 months.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks - I might my next order will be Oracal due to the huge offernig of colors.

I ordered a lot from specialtygraphics.com and it's been very good. But I'm new and wanted some cheap for practice and fun stuff. So picked up some cheap rolls on ebay. (learned)
wasn't all that cheap with shipping.

It cuts, but when weeding the backing is so slippery that the wanted decale parts come off as well.

Ecofilm? (who sells that?) like I said - I've been disapointed in color offerings frmo specialtygraphics.com (though I love their service and I get ordered items next day). But I'd rather stay with one source and brand. The Oracal brand has LOTS of colors so I don't see any reason to stray. However they have in WA state and ship time is more like 5+ days. = (

Any other oracal dealers more in the Michigan area?
 

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Eco-Film is a heat transfer vinyl that is sold by imprintables warehouse. They have alot of colors and there shipping time is about 2 days for me which isnt bad. I have not had any shirts returned for the vinyl falling off or any fading and have tested the shirts myself in the washer/dryer and stretch test.
 
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