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Everything posted by Wildgoose

  1. Some people just keep on...

    Ha, Be careful what you start! I am similar as a side thing and my wife helps out. We do most of it in the evening and weekends. Started out about 7 years ago and did a few hundred bucks here and there. last year we grossed over 80K. It's no longer part time even though we try to tell ourselves it is. I basically work 2 full time jobs. This last season was over the top so I am raising my prices substantially to cut down on some of the volume. At least that's the theory, we'll see if it cuts down any at all or not. If I wouldn't have taken the family on a trip last fall I think I would have paid all my equipment off and could comfortably just stop altogether if I wanted. I will have to stay at it for this season as well but am considering pulling in the reigns a bit because it's getting less fun that it used to be. I still make too much on my day job to justify opening a brick and mortar and going all out on the graphics side and had intended it to be something to retire INTO in around 10 years. There is definitely money to be made in several niche directions.
  2. Some people just keep on...

    I think you dodged a bullet on that customer.
  3. Casemate

    Mr Wiggles just making sure you understand this is a users forum and not actual tech support. I don't have one of these engravers to offer any kind of assistance but someone may happen along who does. If you have not already gotten in contact with the actual tech support I recommend doing so.
  4. I found that by accident the other day and was grateful. Is this going to be an ongoing thing or short term? Way cool and several thumbs up! I spent close to 5K in HTV last season so it WILL affect my bottom line in a great way.
  5. Some people just keep on...

    Thats a good policy to have Slice. It keeps the buyer from wasting your time with endless tweaks and revisions. Been there.
  6. Some people just keep on...

    On the graphics rant I am in the middle. If I have someone who I do regular business with I do all sorts of free mock ups ahead of the order. I'm pretty fast so the time spent is less than maybe the average but still a consideration. I provide that to people as a perk but the regulars I KNOW it's going to result in a sale. The new clients I generally send them something "similar" to what they want, even sometimes have them send me something "similar" to what they want from a google search and I give them a quote based on the IDEA of what they want and then move forward after positive affirmation that it's going to end up in a sale. If it's just prices ahead of a not for sure thing I don't waste my time designing anything. I have never had anyone get uptight (that I know of) from me telling them I don't want to sink an hour or two into something that is just a quote.
  7. Some people just keep on...

    Well I think if I were in your shoes I would consider a couple things and make a decision based on the answers. #1 is she a future client long term. Answer doesn't sound like it or at least not one you want because anyone so tight they will pinch the pennies to go to custom ink for a partial and want you to do the part that custom ink is too expensive for is not a good long term prospect anyway. #2 will turning her away hurt other business prospects through word of mouth? This would probably be my ONLY concern in your shoes. Some of these people are connected to everyone and can get you a bad rap even though totally undeserved in this case. If you are trying to grow and get your name out then maybe finish the job for her but make her sign something about the potential damages. If she baulks at signing a release then patiently explain the scenario of a mistake and how low you are already trying to do it for and the potential of all your efforts ending up being spent on shirts you didn't provide and a front logo that isn't yours etc... You have absolutely no room to cover any kind of mistake. I explain that often when embroidering a $6 logo on a $90 Nike jacket someone drops off. She may not get it even then but you can at least shrug and tell her you can't take the risk for that amount of money and it will cost her the original price plus the cost of two replacement shirts whatever she values them at. Come up with a real value that she is agreeing to and she will drop the whole thing and either go away or sign the waiver. (remember that you can't go back to Custom Ink for one or two shirts without it costing copious amounts of cash or she would have had all the numbers put on there too.) so how do you even rebuild a mistake. You are going to be in the drivers seat at this point because she made a tactical error and already spent her money on the shirts and will be in a time crunch to get them finished. I bet no one else will touch them so what's she going to do when you give her a strong "meh... not interested". Ha ha. The other interesting thing that may happen should you go through with the job is she will totally experience the difference between htv and a screen or DTG job. I have seen some of the Custom Ink shirts and they are pretty weak IMO. I don't think they are going to hold up all that well to a sports team environment. That's a lesson that will be good for HER to learn the hard way. You get what you pay for both directions.
  8. Some people just keep on...

    I agree with Dakota. Plastisol transfers from F&M on the front would cost you about a buck each with zero build time other than pressing. Should be at least $10 per ea on those assuming they are supplying the shirts. If you are just doing the backs not (assuming you even continue in the relationship) I would charge them at least $6 or $8 per shirt for single color. What size of numbers are they wanting on back? Hopefully 6 inch so they will fit nice on a roll of HTV. Look at it this way. What's going to happen if one of the shirts gets messed up? They nought the shirt and the graphic on front. you KNOW they are going to freak and make you rebuild the whole thing. I try not to press on customer supplied shirts without at least either a written indemnification or an added expense to cover my behind if I get one crooked or upside down. It happens.
  9. Are you within the 90 day warranty period? If so you can get fixed up to continue with what you have. They will either send a replacement part if it's something that can be fixed like that or exchange or replace your unit. FYI, Any press you buy for $300 is going to be built about the same. Most are probably all built in the same factory over in China and just painted a different color.
  10. Sounds like it to me too. You should be able to run the pressure up so it has a nice lock down over center and a little hard to open. My budget press had some wear on the pressure adjuster after a while and I had to get at it and grease it lightly with lithium grease. I don't know how the mechanism works on the clam shell units. The budget models are made with pretty cheap metal but that's the nature of the budget beasts.
  11. Answered in your other post. When you consider that a high quality press can easily break the $2000 mark you should be able to figure out that you get what you pay for. USCutter sells the whole gamut from the rock bottom of the barrel clear up to the high end. You will not find another budget seller that supports their stuff as good and that I can promise. We see them come here often trying to get some help when the "other guys" won't even talk to them. This is still a user based help forum. For my story I started out just wanting to dabble and get my toes wet trying things out and bought lower end products the first time around. I DID do a lot of research and chose a cutter and press than were a few steps up from the door buster priced machines and was glad of it later. I used those budget machines for a couple years and they financed the upgrades to high end products. I skipped the middle of the road prices and went to the top when I upgraded but that was a personal choice. I got so much help from the folks on here that we became online friends and I have stuck around ever since to pass it forward to the next guy. You won't find a more supportive (and patient) online community and a company that also in like form backs it products from the cheapest to the most expensive. I can't even tell you how many thousands of dollars I have spent through USCutter and have never once been mistreated. Several times had a shipping issue or some such but they have always dealt fairly with me.
  12. Dakota posted twice while I was typing. Fast fingers! Bob. I do a lot of HTV work. This is my busy season but I have cut around 150 yards in the last couple weeks. When I started I bought this machine and ran it for a couple years pretty hard without any real issues. The temp was so far of it didn't even make sense so I taped a piece of paper to it to remember where I needed to be for the different temps I use. I still have it out in the garage although the joints are getting loose which is why I upgraded. http://www.uscutter.com/15-x-15-Digital-Swing-arm-Heat-Press
  13. HTV work is dependent on several parameters. Heat, Time and Pressure all play a role in a successful job. The time is pretty easy to be right on with so here are some tips on the other two. #1 - I recommend getting your hands on an infrared temp gun to double check the temp on the platen. You may have cold spots etc. That's an easy think to double check and most of the budget presses are off one way or the other. There is a safe range that will still work but with Easyweed I have never had a failure due to over heat so if you find a cool spot raise the temp up until it's at least 300 in the coldest area. #2 - Be very sure your press is clamping down hard on the shirt. Your model is one of the very lowest priced available and this comes at the expense of some key design points. A better press will have a center point pressure that allows the upper platen to tilt as needed to apply more even pressure on the garment. Your model will begin to press more on the back especially when pressing thicker material and may not even be advisable to use for hoodies. You can somewhat correct this with a heat press pillow that you insert into or under the shirt and it will allow more even pressure BUT and I stress BUT your press may not be able to handle the extra thickness. I personally don't like working with clam presses due to the heat being right above your hands (and head). Swing style machines cost a little more but aside from the convenience of getting the platen out of your way they generally are designed with springs or something that allow true vertical pressure and adjust for thickness. With regular easy weed if you get all the factors correct you can usually see the thread pattern of the shirt showing up through the vinyl. I have even had silver look like it was reflective on a heavy woven jacket one time. Stretch does not show through this way but the regular stuff does and it's a good way to judge if you are getting a good grip. You can also fight problems with thick neck collars or heavy sewn seams in the area you are pressing. The press pillow mentioned earlier is the cure for that too.
  14. HTV on Leather Coats ect.

    Siser easyweed and easy weed stretch will go on leather. I have never done it. I seem tp think they recommend applying at a lower temp for leather but you'll want to read through the application Instructions.
  15. Cutting paper and card stock

    I have a Cricut cutting matt and experienced similar concerns as you about too sticky. I basically dirtied mine up until it wasn't so bad. A little lint and dust did the trick.
  16. help with pcut cs630

    9600 sounds correct.
  17. help with pcut cs630

    Are you absolutely certain the 38400 is the correct baud rate? I have not had my P-Cut for several years but that seems off.
  18. Pricing for installing

    I charge based on a learned estimate of what I think it will take. In other words I estimate based on an hourly rate and give the client a hard price. He doesn't usually know what I want to make per hour just the final price and if it goes good I make more per hour. Most basic installs I figure a couple hours. Those job boxes will be time consuming possibly. Also be careful what you get yourself into because all the John Deere stuff is copyright protected without a release from an authorized dealer. If they ARE an authorized dealer make sure you get something in writing saying they are authorized to commission your work on the cut vinyl so you don't some day get your rear in a ringer.
  19. I gotcha, makes sense and if you do a lot of stencil work I can see where automation would be nice and a serious time saver.
  20. hat press- CL score

    Here is the link to the lower platen options. You can see that the low profile is 2-3/4" x 6" that's the best one. I don't think you would need to cut down quite that far but I rarely if ever have had to go up to the regular sized one that came with it. http://www.uscutter.com/Hotronix-Cap-Heat-Press-Platens
  21. hat press- CL score

    Hats can be finicky. That lower platen look massive. I have a Stahls and it comes with lots of optional lower platen sizes. I find that even the standard size is is just too big for almost any hat. I have one platen that is about 2.5" width (talking from the bill toward the crown and it works on just about every hat I have ever done. Some have more height and can take the larger one but I mostly still use the little one. I think it says it's for kids caps. I have heard of people cutting down their lower platen to make it more suitable but I'd hate to tell you to destroy yours. When I press I typically put a little pre-heat to it for a second or two and then apply some good hard hand work to get the face to conform to the curve before placing my vinyl on there. Some hats are better than others but most seem to fit my platen without too much fuss. Your results may vary. I started out with an ancient stahls cap press I bought from CL for about $100 (still have it somewhere) and then last year was looking for a tax write off so I picked up the luxury liner with the auto open and it's freakin awesome. All the stahls have a little spring device on the back that hold constant pressure on the hat once you stick it in there. I bought it through USCutter but it shipped direct from the factory. I think they had a free shipping thing going on at the time but I can't remember. You can make some good money with a competent hat press and the right clients.
  22. Tired of Folding your T-Shirts?

    Ha ha! For the guy who has everything.
  23. You should be fine to do what you are talking with the Pro version. The biggest add ons when going up to Expert are more into the printing side of things I believe. Just need to learn to use the tools. Bridges for stencils will take a couple extra steps. Follow closely along the previous posts in this thread and you should be able to figure it out. In a nutshell you will build the bridge in each letter or object prior to punching it out of a larger background.
  24. I'm within a two day shipping area from the Seattle warehouse. I like to buy a couple rolls at a time at a minimum and that helps the 9.99 split between several yards at a time. I always order a little extra on each job and accumulate as I go so I didn't have as much inventory expense right off the bat. I use more white than anything else and quite a bit of black.
  25. 3268 sticker

    The 3268 is supposed to be low tack and movable where the 631 is Removable, the 3268 is also 6 mill thick so twice as heavy as the 631. Have never tried the 3268. It's also a digital media (made for printing) so its just white matt finish not colors other than what you print onto it with appropriate printers.