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 Post subject: Re: Home Made White Letter Decals - the Results
PostPosted: May Wed 03, 2006 8:25 am 
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Location: Omak,wa,usa
hello Dennis Wess,
well what great job I would not even know that was paint ya I love working with my corel draw program I use it alot and I use my adobe photoshop to one question where did get that white powder and it that clear sheet esay to get to I can't wait to see the rest of your radio when it is finished .
sincerely Radio Rich
P.S. Dennis you deserve a pat on the back for job well dun :D
and well as I was writting this I answer my question where bought the stuff to do this


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: May Wed 03, 2006 7:06 pm 
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Dennis gave the link in his excellent description.

http://www.paper-paper.com/white-letter.html

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: May Thu 04, 2006 12:10 am 
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What about using brass bare-metal-foil burnished down over the steel ring instead of plating? The decals look great!

Wayne


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: May Fri 05, 2006 2:43 am 
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Location: Sterling Heights, Michigan 48314, USA
Wayne,
I've purchased some "Gold Leaf" from my local Michael's store. I plan to mess around withit and see if it might have some uses in our hobby...perhaps on bright brass trim items that are no longer bright. I think that they have it in other finishes as well.......silver for one....not sure about brass though.....but maybe the gold would suffice.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: May Fri 05, 2006 7:38 am 
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Location: Vieques, PR, USA
Hi Dennis...those decals look really good in the pix. Did you use any setting solution or anything like that? I'm wondering how the embossing powder might stand up to that.

Thanks to grampibear's tip I did some searching and read up on "embossing powder" and ordered some from an ebay vendor...quite inexpensive since I have sprays and paper already. Am very interested to see how it works and if it works as well as yours turned out.

-Bill


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: May Fri 05, 2006 5:26 pm 
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Location: Sterling Heights, Michigan 48314, USA
Bill -
I believe that the powder you mentioned WILL work. Here is quote taken from the instruction sheet that came with the "kit" I bought..........
Quote:
Sprinkle with White Embossing Powder, shake off excess powder. Use Bright Images Embossing Powder or any "Rubber Stamp" Embossing Powder. Note: to create Gold, Silver or colored images, use colored Embossing Powder"


Years ago I ran a letterpress printing shop out of my basement and I remember using a powder to sprinkle on the wet ink of "Raised Letter" business cards...then running the cards through a small "oven" to fuse the powder. Bottom line is-----I think any embossing powder would work ok.

Concerning a setting solution.........

The company I bought my kit from sells a spray called "Last Step Decal Coating" This is to be sprayed on the normal flat wetslide decals BEFORE you cut them out and apply them. This is not used on the embossed type decals made with the powder. They do however state that you can spray the finished job with a "clear urethane" to provide more durability for the embossed type of decals. This is what I did with my Zenith dial ring. I would say that after the dial ring was completely dry the decals are as durable as painted on or silk-screened graphics would be.

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.....Dennis.....
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 Post subject:
PostPosted: May Mon 08, 2006 9:45 pm 
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My powder arrived today and I've been messing around with it. Pretty neat technique and seems to work easily enough.
The problem I'm encountering is excess powder that doesn't shake off. I can go around with a little brush and get the majority of it but not all. Its almost like static cling...even on my blank sheet of 'catcher' paper on the workbench.
Any thoughts?

-Bill


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: May Mon 08, 2006 11:06 pm 
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Turn on the air-conditioning?

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: May Tue 09, 2006 5:05 am 
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Location: Québec!
exray wrote:
My powder arrived today and I've been messing around with it. Pretty neat technique and seems to work easily enough.
The problem I'm encountering is excess powder that doesn't shake off. I can go around with a little brush and get the majority of it but not all. Its almost like static cling...even on my blank sheet of 'catcher' paper on the workbench.
Any thoughts?

-Bill


WAG: Too much humidity in the air, or the printer leaves miniscule ink streaks/droplets ?

Syl


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: May Tue 09, 2006 10:32 am 
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Location: Vieques, PR, USA
Could be the humidity but I even tried heat drying my decal paper and the catcher paper with no discernable difference. Powder was from a freshly opened sealed jar. It really acts more like static cling.
Maybe it needs to get used to the surroundings :)

-Bill


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: May Tue 09, 2006 1:42 pm 
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Location: Sterling Heights, Michigan 48314, USA
Bill,
I can't say that I had a problem such as yours with the kit I purchased from Micro-Format Inc.(at least not to any serious degree). I know that it doesn't take much powder for the decal to turn out well. Perhaps tapping the decal paper lightly from the backside or tapping the edge of the decal paper downwards onto your catch-paper will loosen any small specks. I guess I may have had a few very small specks on the decal paper but all in all I was satisfied with the lettering after heating/fusing. If you have some unwanted specks after heating.......can you pop them off of the decal paper with the point of an X-acto blade or small knife ? Before applying the decals to my dial ring I trimmed the decal paper as close to the letters as possible so any specks that were outside of that immediate area were inconsequential.

Keep trying.

P.S. - I received a note from another forum member wherein he said that he could not find any info on the Micro-Format Inc website about GOLD or SILVER embossing powder.

As for gold and silver, I knew that I read about it somewhere in their literature.....so I looked through all of the paperwork that came with my decal kit and found it in STEP 3 of their instruction sheet for making white letter decals. It reads ...........
Sprinkle with WHITE Embossing Powder (included). Shake off excess powder. Use "Bright Images" Embossing Powder or any Rubber Stamp" Embossing Powder. Note: To create Gold, Silver or colored images, use colored Embossing Powder.

HOWEVER--------I could not find colored embossing powder anywhere in their product list (on their website) so I can only assume that it must be purchased elsewhere. I know that printing shops use it in a myriad of colors for "raised lettering" business cards etc.

I am going to do an internet search to try and find where these colored powders can be purchased and I will post my findings here.

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.....Dennis.....
Live Long and Prosper


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: May Tue 09, 2006 1:45 pm 
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Location: Québec!
exray wrote:
Could be the humidity but I even tried heat drying my decal paper and the catcher paper with no discernable difference. Powder was from a freshly opened sealed jar. It really acts more like static cling.
Maybe it needs to get used to the surroundings :)

-Bill


Mmm....Static develops under dry environment. High humidity will prevent static buildup, at least on paper and plastic. You could try running a small _grounded_ steel wire, or similar material, across the paper _entry_ to the printer and touching the sheet of paper to discharge it.

Just a thought.

Syl


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: May Tue 09, 2006 1:52 pm 
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Location: Sterling Heights, Michigan 48314, USA
I found a company called CREATIVE IMAGES that sells just about any color of embossing powder imaginable.
http://www.cistamps.com/embossin.htm

Their prices seem to be quite reasonable.

By the way Bill--------they also sell this product:

Quote:
Static Bag

A static bag is a must for keeping stray bits of embossing powder from sticking to your cardstock. You simply wipe the cardstock with one of these bags and this cleans your cardstock and removes and static. These static bags are $2.50 each.


Static Bag $2.50


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.....Dennis.....
Live Long and Prosper


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: May Wed 17, 2006 5:18 am 
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Location: Sterling Heights, Michigan 48314, USA
End of Story............everything is back together and complete. Radio is sounding good and the dial ring with white letter decals is very readable. Time to grab another radio off of the "to do" shelf.
Image


Edited 3/21/15 to restore lost image

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.....Dennis.....
Live Long and Prosper


Last edited by Dennis Wess on Mar Sat 21, 2015 6:38 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: May Wed 17, 2006 5:45 am 
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Location: Vieques, PR, USA
That really looks nice, Dennis. And thanks for the tip about the anti-static bag. I did some Googling and find it said that laundry sheets can work as well as 'talcum powder in a baby sock' :) Will give it another try.

-Bill


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: May Wed 17, 2006 3:31 pm 
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There's a caveat about using an ink jet printer to produce decals with its standard inks. The embossing method produces opaque decals with no background showing through. Since colors with an inkjet printer are produced using a dithered process, the resulting decal is translucent rather than opaque. When applied to a dark background (walnut), the background shows through the decal.

Using gold embossing powders is a possible solution, but how does one then produce the black border? The only way I see is using a two pass process. The problem here is the ability of the printer to register the paper for the second pass such that the black border correctly overlays the gold lettering. I would be interested in the results of any such test.

At present, an Alps printer is the answer for those of us who need to produce a lot of decals or the occasional dial scale. Unfortunately, it is no longer made and even used ones are very expensive. Alps does not sell replacement parts, but requires a printer exchange which is very expensive and time consuming as the printer must be shipped to Japan. Also, I recently saw a note at the Alps website that they will stop supporting the printer entirely in 2007. This may mean ink cartridges will no longer be produced after that date. If this happens, then finding an alternative method for making decals becomes a higher priority for some of us.

Has anyone tried making decals using a color laser printer? I would think one would run into the same problem as using an inkjet printer, but have not seen anything written up about it. This is the case even with an Alps printer requiring printing a white background before overlaying with standard colors. This is not required when printing using the gold cartridge as it is printed solid. It may be that the powdered toners used in a laser printer produce a more opaque result when fused than liquid inks. The paper I use with my Alps printer is specified for use with laser printers. There is a different paper specied for use with inkjet printers. Both the Alps and laser printers use solid inks/toners and a heat process to transfer/set the ink/toner. The difference is that there are white, gold, and silver ink cartridges available for the Alps printer. I see no reason, however, why a laser printer could not have the same capability if a manufacturer chose do design one that way. I guess its a matter of not enough demand for one to justify the cost of development.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: May Wed 17, 2006 4:43 pm 
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Lyndell, we seem to be comparing apples and oranges here. The embossing powder will give the "embossed" look...a very thick appearing painted look....which wouldn't be suitable for say black/gold cabinet decals. For applications like the one Dennis had it looks quite good and might also be ok in other applications for dials or escutcheons. I think it looks perfect - maybe better than original - on this brass ring dial.

There are other 'dry' process printers on the market. I know Kodak makes such a line.. One of the online model decal sellers uses the Kodak, purchased after his ALPS gave up the ghost. Unfortunately I think the machine is in the $1000+ price class. I recall the model number to be 1400 (or something like that) and it has basically the same capabilities and limitations of the ALPS.

Given that situation I have no problem paying one of the custom decal printing guys $20-30 for a 8 x 11 sheet of decals rather than incurring the expense and maintenance of my own machine. I can cram a LOT of decals on a sheet but lose the spontaneity that is often desirable to get a project finished.

Some of the guys have expressed getting good results even with color laser copiers. I've not tried this personally.

I don't think we are dead in the water yet. The ALPS sure has been a handy unit that does a very good job in spite of its shortcomings. The market for people making mug transfers and all sorts of other short-run decal type projects seems to be growing so I expect we will see more available capability as time moves ahead.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: May Wed 17, 2006 5:09 pm 
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Location: Sterling Heights, Michigan 48314, USA
I am interested in Lyndell's discussion of gold decals with a black periphery. Just for the fun of it I am going to try and make some that I hope will be passable to be used in our hobby. I made up a test TEXT to use in the experiment (photo below). Now.....this is strictly a "can it be done" thing here....I did not take the time to come up with a high quality super sharp text.......that can come later if the color and opacity are acceptable when printed on decal paper. I made the test text 4 shades of yellow with a black edge. My Microsoft Digital Image Suite software can create such text....any color with any color/width of edging.

I'll print the test on decal paper and apply the decals on a basket case radio cabinet to see how they work out.

I'll post the results in a new thread when I'm finished
Image

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.....Dennis.....
Live Long and Prosper


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: May Wed 17, 2006 8:32 pm 
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Wow - impressive... :shock: :shock:

Great job!

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: May Thu 18, 2006 5:23 am 
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Exray, thanks for pointing out how embossed letters and numbers differ from decals. My primary interest has been decals since I have to reproduce them for almost every radio cabinet I restore. Many are available from Rocksea, but not all. I usually make my own since I have the capability...at least for now.

I searched the web for information about the Kodak 1400 printer. It can be purchased in the $400 range, but unless I missed something, I did not see where it has the capability to print with white or gold ink. Assuming this is the case, I don't consider it a suitable replacement for the Alps. Is it possible you were thinking of another model made by Kodak?

One difference between decals for vintage radios and those for models is that most radio decals were gold with a black border. I have run across a few that were pure gold with no border.

Dennis, I hope your experiment works well. My experience of printing decals with an inkjet printer has been less than successful.

Above edited for grammar, not content.


Last edited by Lyndell Scott on May Thu 18, 2006 2:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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