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  • Applying application tape onto 4 metres of cut vinyl graphics, advice?

     Robert Lambie updated 3 weeks, 3 days ago 12 Members · 33 Posts
  • Richard Wills

    Member
    October 26, 2021 at 7:34 pm

    Most of the cut vinyl graphics that we produce is no more than 4-foot x 24 inches, and I’ll use our cold laminator to apply application tape, with the vinyl being fed from the floor.
    My laminator and my 24-inch wide Graphtec vinyl cutter are not roll-to-roll.

    So I’m wondering if anyone has a clever idea to hold quite a few 4-metre rolls of vinyl, while I feed them through the laminator with the application tape coming from the top feed shaft?

    I can have a couple of 8×4 foot tables on the out-feed side of the laminator, but I am just wondering if there is a simple solution for the in-feed material?
    Our skeletal crew is looking decidedly thin, so I’m likely to try to do this single-handed, otherwise, I’d almost be tempted to put the laminator between the tables and grow extra-long arms.

  • David Hammond

    Member
    October 26, 2021 at 8:52 pm

    If I’m taping up 1220mm through my laminator. I leave a 200mm tail/header when cross-cutting from the cutter.
    I then tuck the head of the next piece under the tail of the piece that’s gone through, does that make sense?

  • Richard Wills

    Member
    October 26, 2021 at 9:40 pm

    Yes makes sense, though the muppet who laid out the vinyl only left 50mm head and tail. Fortunately it’s only 61cm wide. Plan C is I stand in front of the laminator legs akimbo, with the cut vinyl on the floor between my feet.

    Plan B is to make a dibond tray to hold the lightly rolled vinyl in, so it’s not coming off the floor.

    That’ll do. I guess phrasing the question was enough to work out an answer.

    Thanks for the reply David, was the nudge I needed to think clearly.

  • Robert Lambie

    Administrator
    October 26, 2021 at 10:04 pm

    This may sound daft, but you can do it by hand, flat on a table as long as you get the alignment of the first 15-20 inches with the edge of the vinyl. There is a couple of ways to do it this way. hard to explain in text. We did it this way and a few other ways for many years, before switching to a tape roller dispenser, then a laminator and then to a rolls-roller.

    • Martyn Heath

      Member
      October 27, 2021 at 5:16 am

      Im with rob, i do everything by hand. Have never used the laminator as i dont want to break it down. ive got 3.5m table, with a longer 4/5m piece of vinyl run it through under the tape dispenser so excess is on the floor, lay the flat piece on the table then pull it through and finish the rest.

  • Richard Wills

    Member
    October 27, 2021 at 7:09 am

    I rather think I was over thinking things.

    Used the laminator, went down flawlessly. What really helped was tucking 25mm of the following sheet under the tail of the preceding one. Allowed simple squaring up of the vinyl to the rollers.

    Thanks guys, appreciate the help.

  • Karen White

    Member
    October 27, 2021 at 12:27 pm

    i have one of those roller dispenser things that sits at the end of the bench. i am fine using that but i have used the laminator on occasion if there are lots. but i tend to find it quicker and less hassle setting up, so just use the dispenser.

    • Hugh Potter

      Member
      October 27, 2021 at 12:33 pm

      I’m with you on this, Karen. 610 always done by hand with dispenser on the bench. much quicker than setting the laminator up.

      On rare occasions I’ve taped up with 1220 app tape, but I find it stretches / is tensioned and is more prone to rucking up. By hand it’s a simple case of pull it out [ more than required], then gently lay it down from the centre to the end and apply,

      • Darren Beddow

        Member
        October 29, 2021 at 6:07 pm

        That’s exactly how I do it, I wondered if it was how everyone else did it.. I tried the laminator I find it creases easier

  • Richard Wills

    Member
    October 27, 2021 at 2:31 pm

    Couple more 2 metre pieces came through, so tried it using the laminator as a dispenser. Worked well. Nice to have an alternative method. Didn’t have the courage to try Hugh’s from the centre approach!

  • Hugh Potter

    Member
    October 29, 2021 at 12:24 am

    I thought I’d explain better…

    My 610 dispenser sits raised on the end on an 800 wide glass topped bench – partly because I can’t screw it to glass! the bench is approx. 4m long. I can lay a cut vinyl on the bench, or extra long can run off the bench and under the dispenser.

    I roughly line the graphics up on the bench, with the dispenser. Pull out the app paper and keeping it in the air, allow it to sag and relax a moment, reducing tension, then lift slightly and lower the mid to rear section so it lays down on the print, keep it taught, just lay it along the length and onto your table… I then apply from the glass toward the dispenser. Don’t use to much tension or force it down to finish applying, try and lay it on.

    When I build me new 5.5 x 1.8m bench, I’ll be making a much larger version of this!

  • Richard Wills

    Member
    October 31, 2021 at 2:26 pm

    Thanks Hugh,

    Really appreciate your taking the time to explain this.

    • Hugh Potter

      Member
      October 31, 2021 at 7:59 pm

      You’re welcome, I find the extra height works well for me, it gives you a bit more leeway when aligning paper to vinyls, it also lets you drop excess material out over the end of the bench, once you do the first bit, pull it through and gently let it drop on to the vinyl before applying further. I’ve done around 10m in one stretch before now.

      https://youtu.be/b1X8_C1N98c

  • Robert Lambie

    Administrator
    October 31, 2021 at 4:50 pm

    I second that, thanks for taking the time with the illustrations Hugh.
    This is very similar to how we did it when we used to use the tape dispenser. the only difference really was ours was mounted flat to the bench. I fitted a bar that clipped on that brought the tape down lower again. I will see if I have any photos, I am sure I do.

  • Mark Johnston

    Member
    October 31, 2021 at 11:45 pm

    We do it by hand or the tape sat on those roller things. if it is something wider and long then we use the laminator.

  • Robert Lambie

    Administrator
    November 2, 2021 at 3:47 am

    @Hugh-Potter

    That is a great video, Hugh. Thank you for taking the time to do that mate.
    Less than one minute of footage and clearly shows how to use the application tape dispenser method, as you have described.

    great stuff! 👍

    • Richard Wills

      Member
      November 2, 2021 at 7:45 am

      No kidding, that is priceless.

      And now I know what the bar at the back of the laminator is for… And how to get past that tricky last section at the end, rather than struggling to draw the app tape from the roll.

      Thanks Hugh.👍

      • Hugh Potter

        Member
        November 2, 2021 at 9:31 am

        You mean the take up roll on the back of the Easymount laminator? I feel another video coming on!! In fact, I think I have one on the phone somewhere that I did for someone!

        • Richard Wills

          Member
          November 2, 2021 at 10:20 am

          Afraid I don’t have a take up roll (little 44″ Drytac machine), just the splitter bar.

          But looking at roll to roll for next printer, so probably time to upgrade the laminator as well.

  • David Hammond

    Member
    November 2, 2021 at 6:47 am

    Cheers Hugh, we have ours on the end of the bench, but can see how elevating the dispenser helps with longer runs. 👍

  • Gordon Smithard

    Member
    November 2, 2021 at 9:49 pm

    I always roll it on with a hand held roller, but I find some app tapes are a bit more ‘grabby’ than others, even though I only use medium tack. Metamarks M2000 is my ideal tape, I can lay a big sheet on and slide it into position before rolling, but other tapes I’ve tried will grab as soon as it touches and then it’s game over and start again.

  • Karen White

    Member
    November 3, 2021 at 9:52 am

    love the video Hugh. i am going to try to elevate my dispenser and see if it improves how i use it. thank you! 😊

  • Kev Mayger

    Member
    November 5, 2021 at 2:42 pm

    Another way to apply app tape is to use two rolls. One to lay down the app tape and the other to push the other across the vinyl. Works a treat.

  • Mark A Brown

    Member
    November 6, 2021 at 5:04 pm

    I’ve never used a laminator to apply application paper. It’s quicker and easier just to use a dispenser at the end of a bench and do it by hand. I can do a good 5m with no problem even with only a 2.5m bench. I feed my graphics through my dispenser apply the first half and pull the rest through and finish that part off.

  • Robert Lambie

    Administrator
    November 8, 2021 at 4:01 am

    @kev-mayger

    Kev, I remember a couple of UKSB members posting this method years back and like you, they swore by it!
    I have tried all sorts of methods so I need to give this one a go, now you have reminded me! 👍

    I remember a lot of Americans that used to visit the site in the past, swore by using the BIG squeegee for lamination and vinyl application. Personally, I think ill stick with my little 100mm squeegee.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jfKd_SlnI20

  • Kevin Mahoney

    Member
    November 8, 2021 at 8:58 am

    Do you not use your Rolls Roller for this Rob? I seem to recall seeing videos of someone applying app tape with it, looked like a real timesaver. We do it manually but seeing Hugh’s video, I think I’m going to buy one like his this week. for vinyl application, I only ever use a normal squeegee but had a lorry wrap a while ago & used a 12″ felt wrapped board, went on really fast & no dead arm at the end.

  • Robert Lambie

    Administrator
    November 8, 2021 at 10:16 am

    Your right Kev, we have the rolls-roller for applying application tape but for anything up to 24 inches wide we just do it by hand. we have the application tape dispenser too and will use it occasionally but the lads just tend to do it as quick by hand.

    Wanting to try Kevs way is just more “out of curiosity”. I think it’s the sign geek coming out in me, mate. 🤣

  • Kevin Mahoney

    Member
    November 8, 2021 at 10:27 am

    I hear you mate, another technique for the karma sutra book of signmaking, I still baffle people how I can fold an irish navvies hand up & fit it inside a roll of app tape

    • Robert Lambie

      Administrator
      November 8, 2021 at 10:42 am

      🤣🤣🤣 that’s it Kev, another one to add to my Hong-Kong Book of Kong-Fu!

      I bought our dispenser years ago from MDP. just had a look and they still do them in a few sizes. I have the largest one at 1350mm wide and only costs £85

      https://www.mdpsupplies.co.uk

  • Kevin Mahoney

    Member
    November 8, 2021 at 10:44 am

    Cheers Rob, will get one on the way

    • David Hammond

      Member
      November 8, 2021 at 10:49 am

      You’ll not be disappointed, for about 9 years I dismissed them as a needless gimmick, but use ours daily.

      • Kevin Mahoney

        Member
        November 8, 2021 at 11:14 am

        On their site now, like a kid with his Mother’s catalogue in November. Banks gonna take a kicking today

        • Robert Lambie

          Administrator
          November 8, 2021 at 11:30 am

          🤣🤣

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