restless-rooster

Need help with putting a vinyl layer on a magnet

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Hey everyone

So I have someone who wants 2 24"x32" magnets. It's part of a trade, so I won't make money off it.   I already have everything I need also.      Anyway, he wants the background of the magnet to be blue.  I am having trouble getting the blue onto the magnet.    Do you have any suggestions on how to transfer the big piece of vinyl to the magnet?    I was trying it with and without tape and wasn't having luck.  Maybe I just don't have enough hands, but any suggestions would be appreciated.    I have paper tape and clear transfer tape, so I could use either one.   

Thanks for any suggestions.

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Using vinyl to color the entire substrate isn't idea.  It is hard to get good alignment.  Magnets, glass, metal, all are hard.  I avoid it when ever possible.  If I have to, I tend to put down vinyl larger than the substrate and trim it down.  If I have a job with high volume that needs the whole substrate colored, I try to find precolored substrate or outsource to a screen printer.  I have never seen pre colored car magnets though.

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7 hours ago, restless-rooster said:

Hey everyone

So I have someone who wants 2 24"x32" magnets. It's part of a trade, so I won't make money off it.   I already have everything I need also.      Anyway, he wants the background of the magnet to be blue.  I am having trouble getting the blue onto the magnet.    Do you have any suggestions on how to transfer the big piece of vinyl to the magnet?    I was trying it with and without tape and wasn't having luck.  Maybe I just don't have enough hands, but any suggestions would be appreciated.    I have paper tape and clear transfer tape, so I could use either one.   

Thanks for any suggestions.

Why don't you just apply the blue vinyl to the magnet wet? Squeegee the heck out of it, trim off the excess vinyl and then apply your top layer wet also. I have done many metal signs this way.

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Well, I have applied vinyl to magnetic material wet no application tape used a felt squeegee to not leave scratches in the vinyl, let it dry overnight and then cut it to the size I needed in the vinyl cutter, but since you can't cut all the way thru magnetic material on a cutter you  score it and then break it apart.

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Thanks everyone!

I think I will try the wet install with no application tape. I can trim by hand, I have a big square, so I can get it even. I need to trim a little off the top or bottom of the magnet anyway since its almost a half inch too big. 

And thanks Mz Skeeter, i will be saving that page for future use!  Wish would have known about that before,  but now I know!

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3 hours ago, restless-rooster said:

Thanks everyone!

And thanks Mz Skeeter, i will be saving that page for future use!  Wish would have known about that before,  but now I know!

Your welcome,  I just did a search for the blue magnet  and that came up.  :D

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I have covered magnets with various colors. Yeah it sucks. I have about as good luck without app tape as with, as long as you can keep from stretching it. (I too use a Big Squeegee although mine is just the cut vinyl version so probably not the best for it. Biggest issue I have had is getting that stuff (magnet) to lay flat and stay flat while working on it. I unroll mine and stick it to a fridge in the garage for a few days in warm weather to help it. I do just like dc and overlay it wider than the mag and trim it from there. I hate magnets. they are so retro. Only good part of they blow off and you get repeat customers. LOL. I actually built a set for a guy who found out later that his doors were aluminum. Ooops! 

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Lots of good info here so I'll add some that's applicable to pretty much all substrates (and application in general).

One thing I've noticed in my rounds is that a lot of people don't use double-sided adhesive tape (the red plastic backing type from 3M, can't remember the exact name of the product but it's about 1/4" wide) to first stick to the table and then to a substrate (parking sign blank, magnet, shape-cut substrate for 3D layered signs, etc...) to keep things from moving around, then, using the hinge method to apply either cut vinyl or digitally printed vinyl to the substrate (in this case a magnet). Wet application definitely helps but it's not necessary if you know what you're doing and confident in your green frog taped vertical hinge on the vinyl.

Using a fan on the magnet afterwards once the application fluid is felt squeeged out helps dry things faster. The trick to squeegying is to always make smile shapes (u-shapes) and never frowns (upside down u-shape). Start from the middle of your vinyl and do a half smile (u-shape) to the right, then do the left side u-shape half smile turning the felt squeegee so NON FELT SHARP SIDE is always facing away from you and NOT on the vinyl. It's tricky to describe but there is a bit of a hand dance going on. Practice first...I don't know why it is but that's the rule I was taught after screwing up LOTS and it's never failed me since. Like instant expert level applications...the slower you go, the more perfect your outcome will be.

Oh and for wet apps, the sun can help too to remove excess moisture and it can also assist getting out tiny bubbles that you don't want to needle pop. Sometimes, you may be able to use a heat gun too to help remove some blemishes or trapped material (hair, debris, etc) that you strategically and surgically cut out of a design (helps lamination film especially). You have to be very careful with a heat gun (because it can stretch and melt the vinyl quickly) but it can improve and smooth things to about a 25-30% visual improvement. Sometimes that's all it takes to go from a redo/reprint/relam to passable.

Though double-sided 3M tape is a bit expensive, it's essential in my opinion. I justify it like this...what's the cost of a few 6" strips of tape versus reprint time/effort, ink costs, transfer tape costs, your wage (or an employees), the time it takes to remove the old screwed-up vinyl, cleaning everything to ensure old adhesive is off (using rapid remover and Windex to then cut the oily citrus left behind), the cost of more paper towel or blue shop towels...don't forget bumping back all other jobs further in your "to do que" ya, it gets very expensive very quickly. Try the 3M double sided tape...it will never fail you. Just don't let it sit stuck to your substrate for very long (like over an hour or so) as it sets to the point of being extremely difficult to remove. Overnight is way way too long...

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I've not dealt with magnets, but would putting the vinyl on the table upside down and applying the magnet to the vinyl be a possible option? I know putting app tape on that way, put the app tape on the table and lay the vinyl onto the tape, can be quite a bit easier some times.

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