Thanks Martin Ian and Neil…
Ian, you can mark the panels with a crayon beforehand if you want but believe me, there’s little need…after applying a few stripes you’ll know just what looks right. Remember, the less you worry about it – the better it’ll be!
I would normally anchor one end and then, as you rightly said, just take the slack out of the pinstripe (without stretching it). Choose a point where the line will run too, fix that with your eyes, and with one gentle movement, lower the loose end of the pinstripe onto that spot. Look down it to check it hasn’t “banana’d” (that’s a technical term by the way!) and then apply the squeegee. When squeegeeing pinstripes, remember to run along the pinstripe as if your squeegee’s on rails – don’t deviate from your position on the line or vary the angle. Apply a gentle pressure and work out from the middle point to minimise stress in the line…
If you leave the wheel arches and other irregular shapes til last – you should have got your ‘eye-in’ by then and be able to scoot around them. Hold the pinline horizontal between both hands at arms stretch. Approach the wheel arch and, keeping the pinline level, anchor one end at the top of the arch using your thumb. With the index finger of the same hand, press down the line onto the panel whilst slowly lowering the other hand (which holds the free end of the line) as you proceed.
In this way one hand slowly drops as the other hand moves along the pinline, pressing it into place. Latering the speed of either movement will change the arc of the line so the idea is to do it in a steady and regular fashion – it’s a bit like the ‘patting you head whilst rubbing your tummy’ thing, but it’s easy to master. After one or two attempts you’ll be flyin’… 😉 If it goes wobbly or astray – then just back up a way, pulling the line back off and then continue. This type of thing is often easier done ‘by-eye’ than trying desperately to follow pre-made marks.
Neil, good tips mate – and I can tell these come from experience -they don’t tell you such things in college or in the manuals! 😉 Spacing the lines exactly their own width apart is a great way of getting ‘twice’ the number of lines. I did try creating a continuous line once that went back and forth across the vinyl like the shuttle in a loom…but it took so long to create the shape that I gave up on it! 😛