Wednesday, October 20, 2010

More vectors and FREE DECALS

So, I haven't sold any decals yet, and that's not surprising, they've only been on here a few days. But, in the interest of gauging...well, interest, I've added a poll to determine if my pricing is too high, no one understands how these decals work, or simply, no one gives a shit and doesn't want to buy any shitty decals.

Thanks for any responses! In the hopes of getting some better response, I'm GIVING AWAY 5 DECALS FREE.

That's right, any of the graphics I have posted so far, approximately 6"x6" in white vinyl only FREE, shipping included.

Here's how it works: The first 5 comments that end in a zero will get a decal. This means 5:20, 10:00, 9:50, you get the idea. If you are one of the comments, I'll comment on your latest post on your blog with an email address that you can send your details (which decal, address, etc). You'll get your decal in about 3 days. One win per blog.

A few things: I do reserve the right to not send you a decal for any reason, but the only reason I can think of is that you live in Madagascar and they've shut down the ports or you live somewhere else that is ridiculously expensive to ship to, unless you want to pay for me to come on vacation, i'll bring all the decals you want. I have shipped decals as far as New Zealand from the US though, so unless you live on a remote island, we should be good. Shipping will be ground, no insurance, etc.

So, on to the graphics/decals:

A skull/gun thing..

And a ghetto blaster..

I'm working on a video to explain these decals better to those who don't quite understand how they work.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Some older punk designs

These are some older punk designs I found several years ago on some stencil site. I love this type of stuff and will be posting more.

Which one?

Buy some decals!

So, you might notice that I added Paypal buttons to my posts below.. $6 (with Free Shipping!) gets you a 6"x6" decal of any one of the graphics that I post in one of many different colors (white, black, maroon, red, bright green, dark green, blue, orange, yellow, etc, etc,). Be sure to specify the color when ordering in Paypal

Buy some decals! I'll always try to throw something extra in with them, especially if you mention your blog when ordering.

These decals are easy to install and will look freaking awesome on your PS3, 360, Wii, car, your mom's car, your little brothers helmet, etc.

So, yeah, buy some decals.

Here's a lame-ass vid (not mine) on how to install these decals:

Saturday, October 16, 2010

One for the Android fans..

..and another just because.

Which one?

On a side note, I'm thinking about making some vinyl decals or possibly make some for followers to advertise their blogs. Any interest in this?

Friday, October 15, 2010

A couple graphics to start it off..

Here are a couple graphics that I traced from some stencils posted on the web. Let me know if the file host sucks or if you guys know of a better one.

Which one?

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Save Money on Application Tape and Save Time for Drinking Beer!

A company called Speedpress sells a pretty nice looking tool for applying vinyl to banners or coro yard signs, etc. It essentially reuses a single piece of apptape over and over, while also allowing you to look down through the tape to accurately align multi-colors or center your vinyl on your coros.
Again, pretty sweet. But, it's also $250+, depending on the size. Forget that. I know the good people at Speedpress are trying to make a living, but so am I. Someday I'll buy one, I promise.

Anyway, here's the Speedpress:

And here's how to make my $5 version of it, copied from a forum post I made a while back:

This is my $5.02 version of the SpeedPress. I have a 20 18x24 double sided coro order coming up tomorrow and I was looking at my roll of Rtape AT-42 (only tape i use) and not looking forward to throwing a good portion of it in the garbage can doing the signs. I have seen the SpeedPress before and it's a pretty good idea, but I like building shit and not buying it.

So I sketched up a quick design and went to Lowes. $5.02 later (minus tax) I have below.

(1) 10' length of 3/4" Schedule 40 PVC - $1.78
(4) 3/4" PVC elbows - $0.96
(1) 5/8" x 48" dowel rod - $1.98 (I splurged and bought the poplar because they were straighter, lol)
(6) 1/4-20 x 1-1/2" carriage bolts

Other stuff I had that you might need to buy, depending on what you have lying around:

4 screws (black drywall screws in photo below, but just about any screw 1-1/4" or so will work)
4 eyescrews (I had some hooks that I bent closed)

Drill and bits
Hacksaw or PVC pipe cutter (much, much nicer. If you do any work at all with PVC, buy one now)
Tape measure
Sharpie, etc.

Optional, but recommended:
Bud Light

Note: This is for a 18x24 version. I cut some longer pieces for use with a 24x36 sign, more on that later.

First: Cut two pieces of PVC 27.5" long. (24" for apptape width + 2" for extra width + 1.5" for allowance of elbows). Then, cut two pieces 21.5" long. Assemble these with the elbows. DO NOT GLUE THE JOINTS. It will probably be a little out of whack, just put it under your feet and tweak it until it sits flat on your table.
Next: Cut the dowel in half, drill small holes in all 4 resulting ends and screw the eyehooks in so they are oriented the same way.

At this point, it should look like this:

Next: Drill holes in the corners on the elbows. These should be slightly smaller than the carriage bolts, so they thread in, rather than fall in. If you dont have the right sized drill, you can glue them, but make sure the square part under the head of the bolt doesn't go in the hole. You need the head and the square to set the gap from the table.

Next: Turn the unit over and center your dowel on the long pieces of PVC and mark below the eyebolts on the PVC OPPOSITE THE CARRIAGE SCREWS. Drill a small hole to allow your screw in. Screw the dowel to the PVC through the eyebolts LOOSELY. The dowel needs to be able to move up and down about 1/8".

Loading it with apptape
Turn the unit over so the carriage bolts (bottom) is up. Cut a piece of apptape sticky side up, leaving about 6" on each side of the legs:

Turn the dowel side to face you and thread the app tape between the dowel and the PVC. You can pull the dowel down to allow the tape to slide easier:

Leave yourself enough tape hanging down to wrap it around the dowel and back onto the sticky bottom of the tape (ignore the lousy job I did, try to do better, but it isn't terribly critical, unless you really wrinkle it up):

Next, turn the unit around and do the same thing on the other side. It's easier to get this side tight and straight. Try to pull the tape fairly taught, you don't want it to sag in the middle.

Now check your gap underneath between the table and the clear tape. It should be a consistent 1/4" or so all the way. I'll skip ahead to the tensioning screws at this point, because if it's sagging, you need to tighten it up.

Drill two holes on the ends of the PVC where it meets the elbow and thread in some bolts. See the picture for a better explanation, but you can hold the elbows and twist upwards on the bolts to wrap up some of the tape and tighten the sag up: This is why we didn't glue the joints.

Now place your vinyl on the table (it needs to be laying flat, not curled up) and place the unit over the top of it. Get it centered and squeegee the apptape down from the center out, lifting the vinyl up:

Flip it over and peel the backer off:

This is with the backer peeled off and flipped back over, you can see the gap to the table that will allow you to position the coro:

Depending on your tape, it is AWESOME lining up coro below using this tool. Before, I would cut the backer paper/apptape close to the vinyl to get a good measurement from the edges of the substrate to the lettering. Using this method, you can almost eyeball it all the way. My job this week is on the house-shaped signs, so it will be a cakewalk lining up the stroked border with the edges.

Do the same thing as before: Start in the middle and squeegee outwards to apply the vinyl to the coro (or whatever).

Flip the unit over:

Now comes the tricky part: Peel the sign away from the tape without pulling it too loose. A combination of quick snaps and slow pulling seemed to work best. Remember, you can retighten the tape if it sags.

Lastly, you can make the cross pieces any size you want. I cut some pieces 39.5" long to make a frame for a 24x36 sign, all you have to do is swap the non-dowel pieces out:

You will most likely need to put some carriage bolts in the center of the longer pieces to keep it from sagging, I haven't tried it yet though.

Hope this helps somebody, and if nothing else, I hope it saves some apptape!


Put a piece of backer paper on the tape to keep it clean between uses. I estimate that you can do easily 15-20 double-sided signs before you have to remove and replace the tape.
I also have found that this works best with a low-tack apptape.
It doesn't work all that well with expanded PVC substrates, from my experience.

What is a vinyl cutter?

A vinyl cutter is a device similar to a printer or plotter that is used to create designs on rolls of self-adhesive vinyl (more about that later).

Vinyl cutters use either servo or stepper motors to drive a roller to feed the vinyl in and out and the cutter head left and right, creating two axes for plotting graphic output from a computer. Typically these files are .eps, .ai, .svg or similar files, as long as they are vector files. I may make a post later about the difference between vector and bitmap files, but there are tons of good resources on Google regarding this.

Vinyl cutters are very similar to old-school pen-type plotters, except instead of colored markers for the "head", they have a small sharp blade that rotates. The downward pressure and amount of blade protruding are set precisely to cut through the vinyl, but not through the backing paper.
After the design outline is cutout, the undesired vinyl is removed (known as weeding) and you are left with your RTA (Ready to Apply) vinyl graphic/decal.

There are lots of different brands and sizes of vinyl cutters, from Cricuts that only cut 12" wide to 54" wide models. There are different qualities of vinyl cutters as well, from cheap Chinese cutters (mine) to good quality Rolands and Graphtecs.

Enough about this for now. I don't want this blog to turn into a stale, boring primer on vinyl graphics..

First Post!

This blog is dedicated to all vector .eps stencils and graphics. Some of these have been created from stencils posted at other sites, but they are all .eps and ready for cutting with a vinyl cutter, CNC torch or similar machine. NONE ARE COPYRIGHTED, most have been created by me or are open source.

I'll also be posting some tips and tricks I have collected along the way related to vinyl cutting machines, vinyl installation, signage creation, etc.

Good comments might earn some free decals for your pc's, gaming systems, etc!