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Everything posted by sarconastic

  1. When I first got my machine I went over it with a fine tooth comb adjusting dialing and just basically getting it cutting as good as I could for a Chinese machine. I got it close but I still wasn't 100% satisfied, I'm kind of a perfectionist in that respect. So I was installing my blade holder and noticed a little front to back slop in the holder. What I mean is, you grab onto the blade holder bracket after you have a blade in place and lightly pull back and forth on it from front to back of the machine. After studying the machine for a little bit I saw that on the left side of the cutter head are two roller bearings that are screwed in the head, there are spring like bars running up and down that keep these bearings in line and prevent the lower cutter head from rotating on the solenoid shaft. This may sound a little technical but it's not that hard to fix. I will post a pic when I get time to do it. the way this works is there is a threaded screw that runs through one bearing, a nut to lock that bearing in place. then another bearing gets tightened against the nut when you tighten the screw, The first bearing on mine was little loose, allowing the cutter to slop back and forth. I removed the screw, place a piece of paper under it, there are several tiny little washers in there. I removed the inner bearing and the nylon washers on either side of it. Then tightened the jamb nut tight up against the outer bearing. then I put the washers and inner bearing back on, then reinstalled the whole assembly and tightened the screw back down... Huge improvement in the corners and I got rid of most of the little pig tail it was leaving at the start of a cut. Almost all of the play I had is gone and it seems much tighter. Hope this helps someone else with similar problems. What it does, is show that sometimes even though a machine is inexpensive a little ingenuity can make it work like a much more expensive piece of equipment. Kevin
  2. I was sitting here trying to figure up my expenses on a few decals I just made, and thought why not just make a spread sheet that does it for me. So I sat down and figured out the formulas and here ya go. I have attached the Excel file here. I was going to get a little more advanced, and I am up for suggestions. It will let you put the Name of the vinyl, your Supplier, the width and length, then it calculates your cost per square yard, foot and inch. Then at the end you can put in a length and width for a sign or decal and the number of color layers and with let you know the cost per decal/sign. It's basically a running list of your materials with some calculations in it. So you get a new roll, you put it in the sheet while you have the invoice handy and then when you need to know what a project it going to cost you enter the numbers. Kind of like a mini Inventory. If you have more rolls that the sheet I sent uses, just copy a row and paste it back in below the bottom. It should copy the formulas etc into the new row. Let me know what you think. This was done in Excel 2000, but it should open using OpenOffice spreadsheet too if you have it. ***EDIT: Updated this one to the new version, Roll Vinyl Calculator Roll Vinyl Calculator
  3. sarconastic

    Is this considered "Ironic"?

    The little sign in the bottom right says it all. LOL He got those at the WAallll-Marrrt. ;-) as Larry the Cable guy would say. WOody
  4. sarconastic

    Vehicle Magnet & Decals.

    The proper format for Incorporated names is "Company Name, Inc." Need the comma the capital I and the period. I have been corrected on this by my CEO on several Hippa Reports. She was an English major in college. So she knows it pretty well. Not always require on every sign though. WOody
  5. There are a lot of us on here doing this from home. But when you undercut pricing to a point it is ridiculously low you kill it for everyone. I have dealt with this lately. Been doing vinyl signs for a company for several years, charged them a fair rate. Someone working for them cut a budget cutter and undercut me by half. I looked a the first sign they did for the company and they don't know what they are doing, They didn't weld anything so everything has cut lines across it. These opened up in no time and it looks bad. But the customer thinks everyone should cut for that price now. Also their designs are terrible, no presentation, they don't understand distance rules etc. Even though we work from our basement or garage or whatever we should know our craft well, and charge enough to make sure we can continue to keep cutting in the future. If we low ball all we get is screwed in the end. Just my 2 Cents Woody
  6. sarconastic

    review my website please

    You have a good start but I will give some advice I was given early on in website work. think smaller and think more. when you page loads it should have more information in the main screen and the images and graphics should not be cut off. I loaded your page on 23" monitors and it still cuts off the image on the bottom. Your fonts are huge too. Thinks smaller and get more information on the main screen. No less than 3 - 6 sections should be showing on your home page. Get your clientele interested in your business. I would recommend experimenting with a wordpress site. A lot of good templates and easy to set up for most hosting sites. Oh yeah don't put email out in the open. wrap it in java to xml to prevent spam. Just trying to help ya out Woody
  7. sarconastic

    LARGE cut for wall

    FLexi just auto tiles according to vinyl size. I think every cut software I have ever used does this. Sign Blazer, Signcut and flexipro. Never had to tile anything. Just paid attention to orientation. WOody
  8. sarconastic

    I'm not this cool... Yet...

    No that is his hero...Castro! ...... or Bob Marley not sure which ;-) Woody
  9. sarconastic

    oracal 631 applied to varnished wooden bookshelf

    I believe 631 is safe for wood finishes as well. As long as removed within a few years 3-5 or so I believe. But if it is a particle board flat pack shelf from wally world it might tear the paper finish off on removal too. Woody
  10. sarconastic

    A shirt I did for my nephew

    That's called repeat business. LOL Woody
  11. sarconastic


    Reitterating what everyone has said just make sure the rubber roller is over a gritty portion of the drive rollers. But as far as pre-feeding your asking for trouble if you do not unroll at least the amount your going to cut from your roll. You may not have had a problem yet but you will. When your doing longer cuts, say 2+ feet and your cutter decides to move from one end to the other and open up to full speed to do so, and when it does it hits the end of the slack going full speed your gonna hear a tell tale "SLAP" and your design is going to be screwed. It will knock out your alignment for your feed vinyl and everything you have cut up to that point will not be aligned with everything cut after. Do it often enough and your going to break something in your drive train or electronics on your cutter. PWM motors do not like to stop suddenly with out command or be jolted very hard and the speed controllers in these cutters are not rated for the current that gets pulled when it happens most of the time. So pre-feed and save yourself a crap load of money in the future. Woody
  12. sarconastic


    I did this a couple times, fortunately it was for my band, so I took the reverse images and heat pressed them on the back, so it looked like I did it on purpose. Regular on the front and reverse on the back. Charged $10 more for those in the end. Sometimes your just being creative and don't know it. later Woody
  13. A few tips I got in here when I first joined. If your having trouble removing the vinyl from the backer then do the following. Pick the right application tape, they are not all created equal. Cheaper is NOT better. I prefer R-tape but there are other good choices. But what you have is always what you can use. Don't pull the app tape and vinyl up do the opposite. Before applying your decal. Squeegee it again. Then flip it over and squeegee the back side. this is a huge help. Then slowly fold the backing paper back over itself and remove it slowly. You should be pulling back 180 in the opposite direction. the flatter the better. Slower allows the vinyl to release. If it doesn't use your finger to press vinyl back against the app tape a re-pull that area. Place the paper back onto the vinyl being careful not to wrinkle. This makes it much easier to apply. Later Woody
  14. sarconastic

    Did an install today...

    I'm trying to work a deal with a body shop right now to get the hail dents repaired on the wife's car. They want shorts and hats. So this should be pretty easy. All dent less repair so they don't have a lot of materials only time. SO If I can cover my expenses on the materials and get the car fixed I would be a happy camper. Here in Iowa we don't barter we horse trade. LOL Later Woody
  15. We had a big Pageant at our local High School that was directed by the English teacher. It was titled the "Miss Shenandoah Pageant" they made a 30 foot long 4 foot tall hand painted banner and misspelled the name of the town. It was the "Miss Shenadoah Pageant" in their minds apparently. Ever since then I have made sure I proof read everything I create and thank Flexi-sign for it's spell checker. Later Woody
  16. sarconastic

    cutting issues

    I have never used the Greenstar, I am an Oracal Guy all the way. I will pickup some LG once in a while from a local supplier if I am in a hurry though. When I first started they were selling BGS vinyl with the cutter when you added a vinyl pack. I still have 8 out of the 12 roll sample pack. Once I cut with Oracal I never went back. I used the BGS for a little bit to make the Inevitable FreeBees for friends and family. Until I realized if it didn't last, they didn't recommend me or my work. Even with the disclaimer. So spend your money wisely. The time difference between weeing Oracal 651 and a cheap hard thick vinyl is immense. Even the extra cost is worth you sanity. Later Woody
  17. sarconastic

    glass etching....

    Etching cream will work, but it is not even close to as nice looking and definitely does not wear as well, Especially on glassware. Even a cheap handheld non recoverable blaster will do a better job on your glassware. Plus you don't have to use Special stencil vinyl that cost a fortune. You can use any calendared vinyl you have laying around . It holds up great to blasting. I personally use Walnut shells now instead of all the oxides. You have to replace it more often but the Dust isn't a carcinogen as far as I know. Plus it vacs out really nicely with a shop vac. Later Woody
  18. sarconastic

    631 Transfer tape

    I will tak BCOJdecals suggestion one step further. I use a tennis ball on a lot of installs. But on larger decals it can take forever. Go to your local pet store and buy a Giant tennis ball. One made to play catch with your Doberman. They are 7 or 8" in Diameter. same material as a tennis ball and work great. Cover more area with less time. Oh and HT55 Is worth the money. But some walls have to be degreased for the 631 to stick properly. Especially oil based paints or Latex painted over oils. I use a diluted solution of simple green occasionally, but you must let it dry completlely before trying the install. Later Woody
  19. sarconastic

    XP Up-Grade

    I'm an It Systems manager and I can tell you two things. If you don't browse the web, or check your email, or do anything on that machine on the web and you have a good firewall you will not get a virus,trojan.malware or spyware. But if you access the web for anything for very long after support stops you will eventually become a victim of something. Hackers discover holes in OS's on a daily basis and exploit them relentlessly. The updates and patches you download are what prevents you from being attacked by these easily. Once an exploit for win XP is found There is no guarantee your antivirus/antimalware/anti-s[yware will catch it either. Heck they barely catch them all on fully patched and supported OS's. The best idea right now would be to try and at least upgrade to Vista. It is still supported for a few years and has come a long way since it first was released. Licenses are cheap too. Then try compatibility mode on it. Most things will probably work. As far as the gateway thing goes, that is a simple trick to try and prevent internet access, but not a fool proof one. It would be best to Deny outbound and inbound access to all ports (TCP&UDP) to the IP of that computer in your firewall/router. This way nothing gets in OR out. . Just my 2C Woody
  20. sarconastic

    Hi Again.

    Been a while since I was on here last. Had some health issues and got out of the game for a while. Got those fixed and am trying to get back into Vinyl and Heat press work again. So I dusted off the LaserPoint and the 6 in 1 press and am getting ready to go again. I also just received a New Cap Press to play with as well. Looking forward to chatting with some old friends I see are still on here and meeting some new ones as well. Later Woody
  21. I have the 6 in 1 press I got from USC back in '09 I think it was. But the one short coming has always been the cap press. I should have bought a new cap press back then when they were more affordable, but Hind sight is 20/20. I have always turned down jobs that needed more than 10 or 15 hats. They were just too difficult to do on this press. Don't get me wrong, I love my 6 in 1. it is a good press and the hat attachment is great for you to be able to do a few hats. Though it is obviously not intended to be a production machine. So recently I got and order for some shirts and they also wanted 100 hats. So I decided to take the order and then figure out how to get a new press. Tends to work better that way. The wife can't say no as easy if i have a plan. LOL. I found a press on Ebay that was New old stock from a company that went out of business w few years ago. It is National Equipment's HM2220 Cap press. which is the same as the HM2000 but in 220V European power setup. I got the press for $160 and as you can see it is very similar to a Hix cap press. and often confused with them. Many try to say it is a re-branded one but is it not. This one was wired for European 220v and I just switched the plug to a US 240V and it works great. Timer is solid state so the 50Hz issue is moot. Which is one reason I got it so cheap. Many are scared of 220/240v equipment and especially european stuff. If it had Electronics inside I would have had to re think it. but it is great. Later WOody
  22. My Sister in Law brought me the tag out of a Firefighters coat, They are wanting me to add the fire department logo to them. But I am not sure if i can heat press on it or what I have to use, since it's a fire coat. I figured vinyl would just melt in a fire. My screen press isn't done yet so that's not an option, but even if it was i still don't know what to use for graphics on them. The tag say Class III Photometric performace level 2 100% polyester and says do not Iron. ANy ideas for me on this? Kevin
  23. sarconastic

    Cheap Light Table

    I haven't had time to get the monster light table I picked up set up in the shop yet. I was working on a 3 color decal today and messed up the registration marks. I'm thinking, hmm should have set up that light table dummy. So I wander through the house and find an old Fish aquarium we had used for a hamster of my daughters. I drug it and an olf=d Chicken light out of the store room and Wallah, instant light table. It's not a permanent solution but works in a pinch. Kevin
  24. sarconastic

    Credit card Acceptor: Square

    We can argue semantics all you want, but it is not illegal in most states to charge the surcharge. Are there contactual limitations imposed by card companies yes. but it I'd not illegal, they canv throw you in jail for it they just cackle your contract. Btw, got my reader this afternoon. It works great. The one thing I dont like is that they want you to create an account on squares website to full the full receipt you email your customers Kevin
  25. sarconastic

    Credit card Acceptor: Square

    Actually you are partially correct, but mostly incorrect. The Federal Truth-in-Lending Act prohibited surcharges on credit card purchases until 1984; since then, there has been no Federal law on that subject. (Other provisions of the law are still in force.) The states of CA, CO, CT, FL, KS, MA, ME, NY, OK, and TX have laws against surcharges, according to Bankcard Holders of America. Most of the hype against the charges are from the credit card companies themselves. Kevin