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Building Signs ... Making & Applying To Buildings
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 Posted: Fri Aug 16th, 2013 11:46 pm
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Herb,
If any sign I ever do turns out half that good I'll be one happy Model Railroader...



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 Posted: Sat Aug 17th, 2013 09:51 am
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Herb Kephart
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Thank you Mark

Keep at it--believe me- the first time I tried the process it was a complete disaster, followed by liberal !!

Herb



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 Posted: Sun Aug 18th, 2013 11:17 pm
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Tim Rose
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Herb,

What kind of paper did you print it on and what grit sandpaper did you use?



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 Posted: Mon Aug 19th, 2013 11:10 am
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Herb Kephart
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Tim--

As I recall--and it has been a while back--

I know that it was printed on really good quality paper with an inkjet printer. The paper does make a difference, I found.

The best way to sand is to spread a very thin coat of rubber cement on a flat surface--glass, or  plexiglass  --and let it dry. This keeps the paper from sliding. I used 400 grit "wet/dry" auto body finishing paper---used dry---to start, then finished up with 600 most likely. By using glass or plex you can look through from the back side and see where you are getting thin. If you make a small hole, don't worry--it sort of "improves" the effect.

The below paragraph came from the original post about the store

The Coke sign came off the 'net, and I printed it on high quality paper. Hesitated to use it, because of the siding texture- was it only going to touch the high spots? Covered the back of the sign with some double sided Scotch tape, number 465, that only deposits a film of adhesive once the cover strips are peeled from both sides, and laid it on the side of the store. It stuck, but only to the high points of the siding, and looked phony- so I took a small worn screwdriver and lightly pressed it into the grooves---didn't tear, and came out much better than I had hoped! I have no idea how or why it stretched enough to go down and fill the grooves, but it did, and I ain't complaining!

Had to edit what I wrote here a short time ago, as it was in error --bad memory!  :doh:

Herb



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 Posted: Sun Sep 1st, 2013 01:09 pm
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Hey guys...
I'm back with a few more questions, always plenty of questions, but I sure appreciate your time.

I'm still working on getting the decals down, with very limited success so far but still trying. So far, I'm having the best luck with printing on regular paper, sanding the back and gluing to the surface. I say limited success but not so successful I want to post a photo yet...my images don't want to conform to the siding and when I use anything to try & help that, they tear easily. I must not have that light touch!

On the decal part, I know I have not done the right thing just yet but I will. I looked everywhere locally, could not find decal paper. Closest thing I found was Ink Jet label paper. My twisted way of thinking it seemed it should be the same stuff, but obviously not with my results. With that in mind I am going to order regular decal paper online later today.

Here are my questions today...partly for curiosity but partly because I know I will learn something from your answers...

Does anyone know what the difference is between decal paper and label paper?

I also see inkjet waterslide paper being advertised you can use with a clear acrylic spray, is this true? Same results? Any advantages to using regular decal paper vs "waterslide decal paper".....or is waterslide paper specifically for a different type of image application?

I also tried a sheet of paper my son brought home from school, he said it was "decal paper" but I don't know what kind or manufacturer. I printed my decals, and applied to a scrap piece of wood & then applied Testors "decal set". The ink on the decal washed away immediately. Also, after applying decal set, the decal curled up instead of laying flat. Certain it was not correct paper, still not sure what it was though. Or possibly the decal set was wrong? I have some Micro-scale decal set coming so perhaps that is different?

The regular paper/sanding & gluing method sort of works for me, although my images sure aren't turning out near as good as Herb's Coca Cola sign! I know you guys said to print on heavy quality paper...and then sand. Foolish question, but when you are taking a heavy sheet of paper and sanding which is easy to do, but why not start with a much thinner sheet of paper? I know you have a reason, just haven't figured out what it is...

Lastly, I am fairly certain you will tell me use regular decal paper. Is one type better than any others? How do you tell the difference between regular decal paper and quality decal paper?

Thank you for any help you can give me here...sure looking forward to figuring this out....



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 Posted: Sun Sep 1st, 2013 11:25 pm
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Dallas_M
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Hi Mark --

Here's a sign that I made recently for an O scale structure ... using an inkjet printer, Testor's decal paper, Krylon Matte Finish spray to seal the ink to the decal paper (before wetting or setting!) and Vallejo decal-setting solutions.

More details, including specific product descriptions were posted over on "some other" forum here:

http://www.railroad-line.com/forum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=39547&whichpage=10

PS -- Some folks use the term "decal" for any sort of decorative stick-on thing ... whether it's a water-slide decal (which is what we're after here) or just some stick-on thing like a printed label (like the label sheets from the office supply store) ... again, the link above will give you some specific information.  I used the Testor's decal paper described there.  I've also tried another version from Micro-Mark and found the Testor's preferable (IMO).  Good luck, keep trying ... you'll get there!



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 Posted: Mon Sep 2nd, 2013 09:38 am
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Thanks everyone! I have received a couple emails from others telling me their methods, (Thanks Paul!) and thank you too Dallas...what a great step by step tutorial and what a fantastic sign you came up with...the one I'm trying to do is also a General Store sign...

I didn't make the connection before about the water slide decals. In fact I was thinking the opposite, I figured if it was something I was running through my printer, I couldn't have it anywhere near water. The top coat of Krylon though I can see makes all the difference...

It's back to the drawing board for me, with instructions like this I can't go wrong...I'll keep you posted with results in the future...



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 Posted: Mon Sep 2nd, 2013 10:04 am
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Herb Kephart
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Mark--

One other thing-- I used HIGH QUALITY paper--not HEAVY paper.

What you want is the best copier paper that you can get at your local office supply store.

What you're looking for will say "Archival quality" (which means acid free-not particularly important to us, but a sign of high quality) and may have something like "rag content 85%". This is what you are looking for--paper made from rags--not wood pulp.

Of course, this will be the most expensive stuff that they sell, and you will be forced to buy what might amount to 34 lifetimes supply--a pack of 500 sheets. Might be worth asking anyone that you know that works in the museum field--or possibly for a lawyer-- for a couple dozen sheets to try.

Herb



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 Posted: Mon Sep 2nd, 2013 05:27 pm
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Herb,
This is why I ask so many questions, when I hear or see answers my brain translates them a whole different way than it should! I'm not sure why, but when I think "quality" I automatically think heavy. If I pick up paper at Staples usually the heaviest is 20#, at Sam's Club it's 24# and seems twice as thick....I guess that's why I missed that.

I'll check that out and pick up some of the good stuff though, makes perfect sense. I think I'll avoid the Lawyers office though, don't want to spread any rumors around town :-)

With a little luck I'll figure out both of these ways of making decals, and you know what, that's two ways I never understood before! Hope to at least get good enough that I can pass on what you're teaching me...pay it forward if you will. Thanks again guys...



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 Posted: Sat Oct 5th, 2013 12:49 pm
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Hi everyone...
just a followup to all those questions I have been asking. I have figured out the decals up to a point I am happy with...but still learning. I am enjoying a little success with both the sanding paper method and the clear decal paper method. What I am curious about is in regards to the two photo's I will post. Using the exact same methods each time, once in awhile you'll get a decal that ends up with somewhat of an opaque background, basically, the background that is meant to be clear shows up alot darker than it should. What exactly do you think causes this?
The following two decals were both done in the same way, using the same sheet of Testors clear decal paper, printed/dried/coated with 3-5 coats of Krylon, used plenty of setting solutions below and above decals, yet as you can see total different results. Your thoughts?...
[img][/img]
[img][/img]



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