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Everything posted by rrc1962

  1. rrc1962


    Guide rails won't help to keep it straight. If it starts to wander, vinyl will just bunch up against the rail and cause even more problems that if you just let it drift a little. I made some stops that I mounted to front and back side of the plotter. I use those as a guide for aligning material. Another thing that works is to set the vinyl up a little crooked to compensate for the amount of drift you know will occur. That's not an exact science though. You kind of have to make an educated guess as to how much drift you will get based on where on the vinyl you are cutting.
  2. $6 - $8, but that's only because I wouldn't really want the job, and anything more than a couple bucks each would pretty much guarantee that. I never turn down a job. I just price accordingly. If it's a job I really don't want, I price it high. That way if I get it, at least I'm getting paid for the aggravation.
  3. I'd be at $.50 each...and I can guarantee you that some else around here would do it cheaper. I'll bet you could get them done for half that if you called some of the CL price whores.
  4. Cheaper in the long run to buy an only PC running XP and dedicate it to the plotter. I paid $40 for the PC that runs Flexi and the plotter.
  5. Count yourself lucky that you got the USB to work at all. Time to start using the DB9 serial connection.
  6. rrc1962


    That's what I did. Les blade and less pressure = less drag on the material, which helps to stop the material from shifting when making long cuts down one side of the vinyl. Anyway you slice it though, making a long cut down one side will usually cause some shifting. In over 10 years of doing this, I've seen just about every friction fed machine do it. If you do a lot of striping work, it pays in the long run to buy a pin fed machine. If you don't believe it, cut a long stripe down one side the with the vinyl aligned in the same spot, cut the same stripe down the center of the vinyl and compare. Take it one step further and cut the same stripe down the other side. You'll notice the vinyl always drifts away from the side being cut. That's because the drag from the blade is like a brake on that side. Placing two of the pinch rollers in the area being cut helps...Like this... ^ ------------------------------------------------- O O O When I make long narrow cuts, I use the narrowest material I can get a way with and I cut down the center. The little bit of wasted vinyl is WAY cheaper than cutting the bob over and over trying to get it right. Of course, you also have to align the vinyl dead nuts in order to track dead nuts. Even the best plotter will not track unless the vinyl is aligned properly. Don't rely on the front and rear rulers. Even the Roland I used to have was off by almost 1/8" on the rulers. My Refine is off by about 1/16". Make some test cuts and note where the material was on the rules before each cut. If it's dead on, you got lucky. If not, make a note align accordingly. Remember, what happens when you dry feed and what happens when there is a blade creating drag is not always the same.
  7. rrc1962

    How is this model?

    I bought a 1992 Corvette convertible on eBay on 9/11/2001 for just under $1800. It was listed with no reserve and had brought a few bids. It was set to end on the evening of 9/11. I bid $1775 with a max of $5000 about 2 hours before the WTC got hit. I had forgotten all about the Vette. Later that evening I got the email that I won the auction at $1775. I drove it for 2 years and sold it for $11,000.
  8. rrc1962

    Printed Vehicle Vinyl

    We're paying $5 per square foot rounded down to the nearest whole square foot. EI: 60 x 96 would be $200. We don't do much with printed graphics because there are shops here who will do that installed for less than $200.
  9. rrc1962

    Drumming Up Business - How Does Everyone Get Theirs

    We get some business from CL, but it's a whores market, and that's not how we roll. You can get a set of 12x24 magnetics here for $15 on CL. Printed banners for $1.50 per SF. Vehicle lettering for $10 per door. Doesn't really matter what you quote, someone on CL will do it cheaper. Of course, the quality of work you get for that is another story, but people are price shopping these days. They seem to be OK with inferior work as long as they are getting it cheap. I commented on a job that another shop did the other day that was at least 10 degrees off level. The logo was off but everything else was pretty close. The guy was OK with it because he only paid $25 for 2 doors and a back window in 2 colors. I said...Well, you got what you paid for.
  10. rrc1962

    what do you do for a living?

    We make CNC Plasma tables and routers. We had a production sign shop years ago and still do it as a side line just because we have the equipment. Probably going to stop doing vinyl and just do plasma cut and routed signs to fill in when the shop is slow.
  11. rrc1962


    We used to do craft shows with our sublimation equipment. We traveled with a diesel RV and a trailer all set up the equipment and a photo booth with green screen. The summer/fall of 2007 we were netting 3-4K per show. When we started back up in the spring of 2008, we couldn't even cover fuel costs. We kept at it all summer but it just got worse. 2007 to 2008 was like someone hit a light switch. It's no better today. A friend does craft shows with metal art and he hasn't covered his booth fee on the last two shows. To add the the lack of sales, the venues want to charge higher vendor fees because there are fewer vendors now.
  12. rrc1962

    Thinking of purchasing a plotter setup

    How much do you want to spend?
  13. rrc1962

    Logo Design

    You can also print it and have it notarized. When they notarize it, make sure the seal impression goes into the image and not just on the white space.
  14. rrc1962

    First pay job(kind of)

    I would be at $225 done in Oracal 651.
  15. I charge more to clean up old junk than for a new substrate. There is usually way more time involved in cleaning up the junk to where it's usable than the cost of a new panel. If it's a lighted sign and it's painted already, then it's no longer a lighted sign. If they are OK with that, use a cheaper non-translucent material, like alumacorr. If it is a lighted sign and they want to keep it lighted, then you have no choice but to replace the panel.
  16. rrc1962


    That's it right there. Just like a famous performer is always on stage while in public, a successful business owner is always selling. When the wife sees lame graphics on a vehicle, truck, etc., she'll jump out of the car at a stop light, tell them how much more business they could have with a well designed logo and graphics and hands them a card. We've got a number of jobs that way. When she sees a lame yard sign, she calls the number on the sign and does the same thing. Be proactive. Business won't come to you...Not until you're well established anyway.
  17. rrc1962

    8'x8' sign

    I've done the same, except I use Sikaflex or 3M 5200. When it sets, it might as well be welded.
  18. Graphic designers don't always understand how to design cutable artwork. I got one today that looked great in print, but it was a mess to cut. It was faster to hand trace a jpeg than use the original AI file.
  19. rrc1962

    Flexipro really?

    I bought 7.6 back when I was making killer money in another business venture. I just bought 8.1 from a buddy getting out of the business. We traded some work in our steel shop for it. I could never justify buying it new. I'll bet if SA woke up and realized that most of the sign shops out there are small businesses on a tight budget and brought the price down to $599...even $999...they would see sales skyrocket.
  20. You don't need a driver if using the serial port. All you have to do is make sure the communication settings are correct. Here are mine in FlexiPro. Bits per Second: 9600 Data Bits: 8 Parity: None Stop Bits: 1 Flow Control: Hardware Hardwires (Check boxes) DTR: Checked RTS: Checked DCD: NOT Checked DSR: NOT Checked CTS: Checked And of course, make sure the correct com port is selected. COM1 in my case.
  21. All you would need to create this relatively quickly is the logo. I rarely ever trace text. Much faster to just find the right font and add it that way. As you can see, the logo is available on Brands of the World. If it weren't available already in vector format, I'd hand trace it which would be about a half hour job. For a logo like this, you could probably google up a better jpeg to work with. For one off logos, you're pretty much stuck with whatever the customer brings you.
  22. I trace the image and charge accordingly. I charge anywhere from $10 - $50 depending on complexity. $50 would be a complex multicolor hand trace (about a 2 hour job). $10 would be a simple auto trace with a little clean up. I don't usually charge if I can get an acceptable auto trace that doesn't need clean up.
  23. rrc1962

    Long Cuts

    Your problems are with the USB port. It has never worked properly on these cutters. Get an old XP box with a serial port and dedicate it to cutter.
  24. Offset should be whatever the knife manufacturer says it should be. .01" is right for a 45