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Posts posted by Wildgoose

  1. I have to correct my previous statement on the heat tape. I have been busting out several hundred hats and have found I can get anywhere up to about 4 dozen re-uses on the tape. depending on how much lint comes off the hats. Pretty impressive. I was worried when I bought the roll that I would use it up too quick but thats not going to be a problem.


    As for the original topic on this post I have tried with and without the cardboard quite extensively. I have an older model Stahls cap press that I scored off ebay for $100 and it doesn't seem to make much difference either way. The hat face gets pressed very slightly smoother without the backing but it also has a tendancy to create a crease along the top of the foam. When I leave the backing in it still gets a reasonable flat press and doesn't show the crease so much. Saves a TON of time leaving them in so thats what I have settled in on. These hats are a low profile 6 panel hat. I did a test press on a mid profile 5 panel hat that worked better but eveyone seems to prefer the low profile look or they go to the extreme the other direction with the flat bill gangster style flex fit.  


    I have heard of folks shaving off the sharp edge of the press pad to help reduce the crease, I may do that one of these days.

  2. My 0.02 is that if it's your own rig then its a great oportunity to advance your skills. At least if you mess something up you can decide if its bad enough to tear off and start over or live with it. I agree with Maddog, I would remove the old stuff (after taking some pics) and then do you best to match the flow of the old graphics but in the end you may or may not match them exactly but who is ever going to know or be able to tell. I too use the picture with an object measured for scale. On something this big I would recomend drawing the graphic at a more normal size, like 48 inches or something and then scaling up so you aren't trying to draw such a big design. If this was something like the door of a pickup it would be different and you could probably just build it right to scale from the get-go but you are going to have 12 foot long graphics or more to be playing around with. Hopefully  your cutting software lets you cut as you go and will cut a few feet at a time before moving on or you may run into tracking issues. My cheap cutter didn't like anything longer than a few feet. I have SignCut Pro that came with my P-Cut and it has an option to cut long graphics in increments that you can dial in. Hopefully Flexi sign (which I think you said you use) does also.  

  3. Ya I agree, small designs even with my p-cut were no problem with siser. This is more about the 0.008 thin lines that are consistent all the way down the sheet. I widened them up after this test run to 0.08 which was what I thought I had plugged in the first time but this test batch took over 25 minutes to cut even with the new machine and those tiny hair width lines are absolutely straight and consistent all the way down the sheet. Inside each of those weeding boxes is a whole graphic that is about 5in wide by 2.3in tall that I am pressing on some hats that are taking about 1 minute each running slow at about 8in/sec. I ran a few faster but it was stretching the carrier and causing a little distortion so I had to slow it down. My old machine would have been crossing over the lines for sure. It wouldn't matter much because there is still the weeding frame around the graphic but I did some similar runs on the p-cut with 0.08 gaps and never saw this kind of consistency. Its going to spoil me. That and the fact that I was able to just load a roll up and hit the send button and walk away without worry. I am making 500 hats with 3 graphics each, so 1500 cuts to be made. I like to leave a little space between the weeds and pre-cut them and have my kids help weed the vinyl. Can't beat free help.   

  4. Latest craziness was this rediculous mess. I layered 5 wide x 5 long on some small siser white vinyl and the settings had 0.008 between each object. I didn't consider the distance between the layout until I pulled it off the cutter and was able to weed 0.008 lines between the graphics all the way down the sheet. I wouldn't have believed you could get that accurate (especially on heat press vinyl) if I hadn't seen it myself. Not sure if you can see the near angel hair in the pick but it was crazy!


  5. Yes it is a SummaCut D75 30" cutter. I really looked hard at the FC8000 30" machine but I just couldn't justify the expense. This machine is designed to compete with the CE class cutters but is about 1K more than they are. I felt it was a nice fit right in the middle of the two Graphtec models in both price and ability and the reviews on Summa are all good. Not knocking the other brands, in fact I tried real hard to convince myself to pick one on the site because these guys at USC have been so good to work with.

  6. Got my new cutter and was amazed at the ability to do the small stuff. Attached is a pic of my first try at fine print. Cut made on 651 Oracal with the standard 36 deg blade that came on the thing and basically no fine tuning. The smaller text is just a tad over 1/8in and the whole thing weeded in one fell swoop. I had a harder time getting the insides from the letters because I can't see that good for some reason. I just stabbed them with an exacto knife and they popped right out. I am happy that I can actually show something to my wife that helps explain why I dropped coin on a new cutter when my P-Cut is still working fine. Ha ha!


    • Like 1

  7. So how did the cleaner work? Which one would you get next time if you were only getting one? I set my press down without pressure on a piece of vinyl that I was trying to get to lay flat with the intention to just leave it a few minutes as the press was warming up. Well...ya I forgot about it. Fortunately it was just regular vinyl and mostly came off but I was looking at the platen the other day and can see a little build up here and there that I would like to clean off.

  8. I have the swing away 15"x15" heat press and mine fluctuates a little above then a little below during use. Just keep an eye on it, as long as it doesn't just keep going up without stopping you should be ok. I would ABSOLUTELY recommend getting an infrared temp gun to check your temperature because my digital readout is not even close to either C or F temperatures. I have played around with the thermal temp gun so I knw where it should be for various materials but I still check it regularly to be sure. I was having problems getting things to go right until I got the temp gun now life is good! :rolleyes:

  9. Like was mentioned above, there are a lot of options out there and many of them are free. Any way you go you are going to need a cutting utility to send any designs you come up with to the cutter. SCALP does this just fine. It also lets you do some basic design work to create your own ideas. There are other programs out there that do this a little easier perhaps but SCALP is a great place to start and like you mentioned comes with most of the US Cutter machines. When I started I actually called the guys at US Cutter and talked over what I planned to do and they helped me pick a machine that met my needs. I would suggest taking a lot of time to research and you can get a pretty good idea what way to go. I use a P-Cut and there are a lot of MH users on here. I started out with SignCut Pro that came with the cutters before they started going to SCALP. I grabbed a copy of SCALP when it first came out and have watched it go through a lot of upgrades. It is a pretty good utility now, especially for someone who needs to do some design work too. A lot of us design elsewhere like with Inkscape (free vector program) or Illustrator or and then import into SCALP to cut.

  10. I have looked at SignBlazer once but I don't have a computer that will run it without finding an old hunk. I pretty much do everything on an iMac and a very little bit on a windows 7 laptop. The laptop mostly quickbooks and cutting.


    I talked to the Summa rep about my coming purchase and he acknowledged that the cutting tools that come with the machine are basically just a bridge between Illustrator and the cutter without much fanfare. Sound like I can upgrade (for a fairly hefty price). I will play around a bit with it when it gets here and see how it functions. He says the mac version only recognizes black lines and red lines. Black are regular cut and red are what they call flexi-cut which perforate clear through the carrier leaving small tabs so you can pop out your design, I belive that would mostly be useful if I was contour cutting. I just cut as of right now. Maybe one of these days I'll pick up a printer but its won't be soon.


    I think I may get in touch with the SCALP team about drivers for the Summa. If they will finish some of the other tools like tiling I think it would be fine as a cutting tool. I like the fact that I can bring in native AI files without having to save them in older formats like I had to do with SignCut Pro. I may even re-visit SignCut if I'm going to have to spend more money, I actually liked just about everything SignCut Pro did except the subscription and legacy formats for AI files. I don't have my mac hooked up to my PCut, it kept giving me fits so I loaded SignCut and later SCALP up on a windows 7 laptop and cut off it just transfering the files on a thumb drive. Not a bad way to go since I still have to share the mac with my kids homework. :-\ WOW listen to me ramble on....


    BTW we have a few Beeffalo out here in Idaho too. The fences they have around them are made with railroad ties and I guess they still plow through them every once in a while when they take a notion to.

  11. I use Jiffy a lot and also some Sanmar although I don't order enough to get a real great price with Sanmar. I hooked up with Staton online and they have been great to work with so I usually compare prices between the two (Staton/Jiffy). Some things Jiffy beats them on like super cheap white t's and Jiffy is....well Jiffy, they hit my door just a couple days after I order.

  12. You know I checked on the SignCut website and if you go ahead and spring for the dongle it says that it is a purchase rather than a license. I thought that was interesting. My new cutter is shipping right now and it comes with some cutting plug-ins for Illustrator but reading up on the ones they send, they sound pretty basic. I will have to try them out but i fear I may still be needing some decent cutting tools.

  13. Ted I have the WF 30 and just do t-shirts from time to time not sublimation but I too have had to occasionally do a lot of cleaning cycles. I think thats whats up. Until that test page is perfect your not going to get a clean print. I am a little surprised that your unit came without the syringe because mine had it in the bag. In fact mine said that since I was west of the rockies it would ship dry and I would have to load and prime and when it got here they shipped it ready to go which surprised me in a good way. I don't do enough production on mine with the pigment based inks an have to clean the heads fairly often because I don't think they like to set. I love the CISS system because of how cheap it is to run, I spent less on a refil kit for the WF 30 than one set of cartriges for my daughters HP that she has at college and I ran for about a year on the first tanks. The problem with the WF 30 is it doesn't have a waste tank so mine just dumps onto a sponge down in there and I think there is a limited amount of space. Your unit should handle tons of cleaning with nothing but a little loss of ink. BTW I watched a video on the JPSS paper and they claimed that the papaer works with just about any kind of ink so if/when you convert to sublimation you may still be able to do transfers at least with JPSS.

    • Like 1

  14. The only complaint I have about the clear is that it has a little stretch and it tunnels a lot worse if you roll it up then roll it back out. Also can't wet install or wet the app tape to help removal. I actually like the med tack for small graphics but on bigger stuff you have to be more careful not to let anything touch during install because you have less chance of being able to pop it back up than with high tack. Sometimes the med tack won't lift off the backing paper clean either. I mostly have issues with GS clear. The stuff I have is high tack and if its cold that stuff will tear on you when you try to remove it. I sell it to the self installers and giggle as they head off to DIY at their house. It makes them think twice about self install the next time. BWAAAAHAAAHHAA! I have about half a roll of 24" that I have been whittleing away at since I bought it two years ago.

  15. Huh, that kind of sucks. So if I sell my P-Cut I can't give the disc to the new owner, he will have to get his own sofware. Mine actually came with SignCut Pro so I suppose he can sign up with them and pay the subscription. I am ordering a SummaCut D75 next week believe it or not and was seriously considering selling off the P-Cut but maybe I'll just stick it out in the garage as back-up. At least I don't have to pay that darn subscription. Summa has a proprietary cutting program like Graphtec so I won't need anything for the new one. I'm SOOOOO EXCITED!!!!!!! Can't wait!

  16. I switched over to RTape and have had much better luck especially when doing large graphics by myself. For the crafty moms who order things and like to see the color I have some of the AT60 medium tack clear and it works pretty good. The medium tack helps let them get the app tape off even when they are installing on orange peel house walls. I still have a roll of the GS clear that I am trying to use up and I don't like it at all. 


    As far as the paper tape I just have found that the RTape brand will lay out face down much better than the house brand and this lets me lay my graphic out on it with less chance of wrinkles. Someone on here gave the tip Dakota mentioned to place the app tape down face first and apply the vinyl to it that way and once I started going that route life has been sweet. I have done very large pieces that way all alone with no problems.

  17. so long as i can get the logo vectorized i can cut it with SCALP?

    Yep. You will have to do the vectorizing in most cases but with some practice you can vectorize just about anything, especially simple one or two color logos like most of us cut with our cutters. I haven't used the tracing/vectorizing options much in SCALP but the auto trace seems to do a decent job if the image is dark on a light background. Jaybird is spot on with the text, if you can match the font you are far far better off than trying to trace it. You can usually get away with some slight inconsistencies on a graphic design but any little squiggly will show up on text. I actually design in Illustrator but even with that program I almost never use auto trace, it just isn't precise enough. I sometimes try it to see if it will get close and then clean it up before I cut but most of the time I just trace it by hand from scratch to get a nice clean job. The problem usually shows up if you trace a small object then try to scale it up, all the small issues you can't see become very obvious.