Intheshaw

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30 minutes ago, Intheshaw said:

You're right, the note for freight related to the 120 not the 60. I'll probably just buy it all from here as well as whatever oracal is on sale. Looking at getting the sign shop starter kit as well.

Are the clean cut blades sold here? Are they called the clean cut premium blades?

Working on putting together my cart and I'll post it up before I order to make sure I'm not missing anything. Everyone here has been a huge help so far.

I have a CE6000-60 Plus. These were the blades that I ordered. I stick with the 60* because I get the best results with the stuff I cut.

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3 hours ago, haumana said:

I have a CE6000-60 Plus. These were the blades that I ordered. I stick with the 60* because I get the best results with the stuff I cut.

So if I'm just cutting let's say regular sign vinyl, 651, 751, etc., Should I use the 45 or 60 degree ones? 

I have a 3 pack of the 45 degree ones in my cart now but can switch it out.

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I strictly use 60*, however, I also cut 651 95% of the time.

If I'm finding something tough to cut, I would rather do 2-passes using a 60*, than blade swapping.

I do not want the hassle of having to adjusting blade depths unless I really, really, really have to ... like when I need to take the holder apart to clean it up and de-gunk whatever bits of vinyl might have gotten stuck in there.

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So this is my current shopping cart (although I see the blades are now sold out).  Anything I'm missing or anything I really don't need?  And shipping is just a flat $87 for this whether it's just the machine or all the stuff with it.

 

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The Carrier Sheet is only necessary if you're cutting paper, or something that does not have a backing.

Not sure about the heat press being 'free' as if you just bought the CE6000-60 as a stand alone, the price on that 1795.

Size of the vinyl, colors, app tape, etc. that will fall to personal preferences and intended applications. I cannot speak for the cost of the starter kit vinyl, since I never buy 24". Just imagining weeding and taping is makes me anxious :laugh:

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51 minutes ago, haumana said:

The Carrier Sheet is only necessary if you're cutting paper, or something that does not have a backing.

Not sure about the heat press being 'free' as if you just bought the CE6000-60 as a stand alone, the price on that 1795.

Size of the vinyl, colors, app tape, etc. that will fall to personal preferences and intended applications. I cannot speak for the cost of the starter kit vinyl, since I never buy 24". Just imagining weeding and taping is makes me anxious :laugh:

He added a $199  Sign shop in a box to the cutter and press which took it to   $1994.99.   It looks like.  

Actually larger decals are easier to weed than smaller.  I cut and tape 30"  vinyl all the time.  Not a problem.  And I do it by myself.  But I use a Mask-Rite applicator. It also is 30" wide. 

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I added the starter kit to get some tools as well as some extra vinyl, which is 199 as mentioned above. I added the carrier because I saw a video that said cutting the scraps are easier with a carrier. Maybe that's just die to roller positions on a cheaper cutter?

Maybe I'll throw some cheap 12" on there too to play around with.

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Got it!

Hmm... for $200 I'd put the money towards stuff that I would actually use, rather than a package that they're going to send me stuff I don't want.

 

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6 minutes ago, haumana said:

Got it!

Hmm... for $200 I'd put the money towards stuff that I would actually use, rather than a package that they're going to send me stuff I don't want.

 

So is the sign shop starter kit not worth it? Could be one of those things they make a ton of money off of us new folks from. 

I'm fine dropping the kit and picking up some individual parts and tools. It probably would be better but I figured I would use the included vinyl in the kit to practice on.

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7 minutes ago, Intheshaw said:

So is the sign shop starter kit not worth it? Could be one of those things they make a ton of money off of us new folks from. 

I'm fine dropping the kit and picking up some individual parts and tools. It probably would be better but I figured I would use the included vinyl in the kit to practice on.

Sign shop kit not worth it to me.  And I can cut down to 2" scraps with no problem and no need for a carrier mat.   If you really need to, you can use some spray adhesive on some vinyl backing to hold scrap vinyl pieces.   There is a screw you can loosen to bring the 2nd to right pinch roller over to the larger grit roller.  You can cut those scraps right on the large grit roller.  That grit roller is about 6.5 " wide. 

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It really depends on what you end up with.

I cut on 15" 651, so 12" wide app tape simply isn't wide enough. I have a roll of 4" and 6" app tape, but never use it.

I prefer to use a rolling cutter to actually cutting the vinyl once on the mat, and I use an x-acto for weeding. Squeegees are cheap enough, and you'll develop your own personal preference as to width and rigidity. I still have a few of the original squeegees that were sent to me by Banner John when I got started 11+ years ago.

I don't have a huge working table, so the 43" ruler would just be too cumbersome.

Application fluid - anyone here can share their 'recipe' with you, it's just water, rubbing alcohol, and few drops of dish soap (I use it to clean all kinds of stuff in my office too :laugh:)

You'd probably be better off earmarking that and buying what you in a la carte. You don't need to buy everything, just what you need, but this is to give you an idea of prices.

Cutting Mat 29.96
Rotary Cutter 23.39
36" Alumicutter 21.03
24" Alumicutter 18.77
18" Alumicutter 15.55
12" Alumicutter 8.97
X-Acto 13.78
Squeegee (4pk) 7.99

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The SignShop in a Box comprises the following:

Sign Shop in a Box

Includes:

  • A 12in by 10 yard roll of High Tack Application Tape (TransferRite 592U)
  • A 6in by 10 yard roll of Medium Tack Application Tape (TransferRite 1310G)
  • A 5 pack of Chiz'lers-for vinyl removal as well as application in tight corners
  • An Excel K1 light duty knife with cap
  • A package of 15 Excel blades
  • An 8 oz. bottle of Splash concentrate - makes 1 gallon of application fluid
  • A chemical resistant spray bottle
  • 2 Rolls of 3/4 inch masking tape
  • A 5 pack of application squeegees
  • A deluxe rubber-edged '3H' style squeegee
  • A Deluxe USCutter felt squeegee

...PLUS vinyl, banners and shop tools!

  • 43" BigFoot Ruler
  • 17 5/8" x 23 5/8" Greenie self-healing cutting mat
  • x1 GreenStar Two-color vinyl, 24" x 5 ft Starter Banner
  • GAP ScrapeRite scraper vinyl removal tool (holder with 5 blades)
  • x2 Magnum Magnetics 30mil white magnetic sign blanks, 12" by 24"
  • USCutter Rapid Weeding Kit
  • x5 24" x 5 ft rolls of GreenStar Intermediate Performance Vinyl (black, white, real red, canary yellow, green) (colors may vary based on inventory)

 

This is a random assortment of stuff, but is it worth $200. or not? The cutting mat seems too small (I would consider a 2' x 4' a minimum area). Two magnetic sign blanks is not enough, once people realize you're capable of doing those truck/car-door magnets, there will be more demand, and you'll need more blanks on hand. (same thing with banners)

By the way, that GreenStar two-color vinyl material is very cool, I've used it before and earned some serious money by making banners with that stuff. (it's a specialized product, good only for temporary/indoor display, in my estimation)

If you want regular 13oz. white banners (pre-hemmed and grommeted) then you'll need to order those as well.

And I would prefer to own a nice four-foot long T-square instead of the BigFoot ruler. ( I bought the BigFoot and it sits unused, as a drywall t-square provides me better results).

The narrow width of those app tapes is essentially not functional for what you'll probably end up cutting (24"-28").
Plus, 2 Rolls of 3/4 inch masking tape? This is called "hinge tape" and you'll grab it as needed from a local supplier (any home-improvement store).

Squeegees? Hmmmmm...

Picking/weeding? To each his own.

And so it goes..

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I agree on the starter kit. Over time you will figure out what works for YOU. For comparison to the others I use a 24.5" x 6.5" Fiskars see-through ruler with the 1/4" x 1" grid lines like you find at the sewing store or walmart to cut down almost everything. I DO have a 40" SOOPER Purple trimmer with finger protection that I bought with the extra T-square attachment and I actually have used it three or 4 times since I bought it in 2010. <_<. I weed cut vinyl with a pair of really pointy tweezers because I find that I can also reach in around the letters and stuff and hold trouble pieces down while I lift the weed with my off hand. I keep a 10" roll of clear app tape for occasional need and craft moms who want to see the colors but it lasts me forever. I keep a 12" and 15" and 24" roll of app tape(or more) as well and use the one that makes the most sense. The 12" for smaller stuff and the 15 and 24 for whole width cuts on the corresponding vinyl widths. I use R-Tape with conform and prefer higher tack 4076RLA but 4075RLA is also good high tack. Medium tack is sometimes handy too but for most small detail jobs higher is better IMO. App tape is expensive and only comes in 300ft rolls so you have to figure out what you really NEED to get started and maybe buy a bigger one once you get some cash flow. App tape will dry out if you have it too long; wrap it up the best you can with a plastic bag most come that way. You CAN also layer app tape in a pinch but it will likely cause some bubbles at the overlap. They can be dealt with but are hard to avoid. I like high quality hard squeegees but also have some softer ones as well for uneven substrates. The hard ones create less drag on the app tape and so don't cause as much stretch allowing more pressure.  Don't scrimp on squeegees the cheap ones are often warped. 

I don't use wet application very often but keep some fluid around. You will want some adhesive remover and some rubbing alcohol. I also use some denatured alcohol mixed with water as a basic pre-cleaner or after using the citrus based adhesive/grease remover. 

I have some of the vinyl removal tools that are basically the same thing as the scrapers you use to clean cooking stone cookware (hint). I use parchment paper to help layer multi colored work and there is a thread in the instructional contributions about that. I am an x-acto guy and use them in conjunction with the see-through roller to chop down my work after the cut and weed. 

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27 minutes ago, Wildgoose said:

... For comparison to the others I use a 24.5" x 6.5" Fiskars see-through ruler with the 1/4" x 1" grid lines like you find at the sewing store or walmart to cut down almost everything. ..

I have a few of those too. LOVE them!

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So I'm coming back here hopefully one last time before I place my order.

I called US Cutter and they will not upgrade any parts that are part of a bundle.  So my new question is, should I buy the graphtec with the vinyl bundle and add a swing away press or is the clamshell good enough?  From what I've been reading most prefer the swing away and since they are on sale right now I'm almost leaning towards getting the vinyl bundled one and adding the press separately.  

But if there really isn't that much of a difference, then I'll stick with what I currently have and use the cheap clamshell until it dies or I get enough orders to justify buying a nicer press.  It will primarily just be used for shirts for my buddies and I for now until/if any demand for my shirts is there.

This is my newest cart, the blades are out of stock and I'll be picking up a clear fiskars ruler and cutting mat locally.  The only thing I can think of changing would be to just add a 100 yard roll of 15" transfer tape vs the two 10 yard samples.  I just wasn't sure if I should go high or medium tack so I grabbed 10 yards of both.

 

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I started with a sunie clam shell and other than a few burnt knuckles it worked good till I could upgrade.  on spare blades since they are our of stock just call cleancut directly and mention the forum discount - all I have used for years in all my plotters

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I'm a heat press end user and the cheap press they are offering with the cutter is the base model. The problem with that clam is it does not have a center point pressure spot. If you go and look at the 16"x 20" clam and the auto open clam they have a center point that allows the platen to adjust to different thicknesses much better. The ones that don't will only work really well on basic tee shirts. Anything thicker and they will pinch hard at the back and not enough at the front.  For instance, if you were doing a hoodie the front pocket will cause issues so you need a press pillow to even out the pressure. Now your trying to press something an inch thick and it will probably not come out evenly pressed (the pillow WILL help some). Same with polo shirts that have buttons. Gotta have a press pillow or press pads so the buttons don't hold the platen up off the work and it's just too thick (I see you have one in your stack of stuff). The budget swinger has a set of 4 springs that accomplish the even pressure. Even with a center point or the springs style like the swing press has you have to pay attention to how the press is applying pressure and make adjustments so you get even pressure at the design area. 

10yd starter rolls of app tape is a good way to go and will get you rolling just fine. 

Don't buy the cutting strip right now. If you cut properly you will be years down the road before you would ever possibly need it (if ever). If you do flex cut, pouncing or whatever Grpahtec calls it where you cut through the backing then you will need a new one after a while but the cutting strips on the higher end cutters are more resilient than the budget models even for that kind of abuse. 

I see you have poli-flex HTV chosen, Not to knock them but Siser is WAY more friendly in my experienced opinion. I have some poli-flex here but it's thicker and much harder to see what you're trying to weed. Siser doesn't make stretch in grey and so I bought it in poli-flex because I wanted more flexibility and I don't like the stuff. It's also cold or warm peel instead of hot peel which makes production times longer especially when layering. 

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Dakota - Thanks for the tip, didn't know there was a discount and the 3 pack here seemed pretty cheap so I figured that was best.

Wildgoose - I'm really only planning on basic t-shirts right now.  I may just keep the clamshell and use it for basic t-shirts until I can pay off the goodies I'm buying now.  I will definitely look towards a nicer press in the future.  And I only put the cutting strips in there because someone mentioned they are good to have on hand along with extra blades.  I'll ditch for now until my next order.  And I just chose poli-flex because it was on sale but if the Siser is a lot better I'll switch it out. I'm starting to realize that the vinyl is the cheapest part of this whole endeavor and don't want to waste my time on stuff that doesn't work (which is why I'm just shelling out the money for a graphtec to begin with).

 

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Thanks for everyones help, just placed the order so now I'm fully committed to the vinyl life haha.

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it's either get under your skin for life or drive you nutz 

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43 minutes ago, Dakotagrafx said:

it's either get under your skin for life or drive you nutz 

I'm hoping since I'm starting with a nice machine that I'll get hooked for life. I've dabbled in screen printing and vector images before but nothing like this.

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Oh you'll be hooked for sure. Having a nice cutter is going to make your life a lot sweeter and less frustrating.

Nothing necessarily wrong with the other heat transfer vinyl but I have used almost every major name brand and Siser is my favorite. There are certainly other times for certain applications that you have to go elsewhere because they maybe lack a specific vinyl type. An example of this is I did some nylon volleyball jerseys and nylon is really tricky to embellish. Siser has nylon compatible vinyl but it's not stretchy and these needed to be flexible for the sport and they always wear them skin tight. I had to go to Stahls to find a product that would work on nylon that was also stretchy. It was cold peel which sucked because that meant that I had to install one color layer and let it cool completely off then do the second color stacked on top. This presented a challenge because we were doing a couple hundred jerseys so we had to develop a way to keep the second half of all those jerseys organized. Ended up doing a team at a time and running the lower layer then peeling and running them through for the second layer. Siser is hot peel on most of their stuff which means you just do a few seconds on the first layer and peel the carrier then add the second layer immediately and press for the full time and your  ready to peel for good and throw it in the completed pile (or flip it and do the back). If you only do one shirt it doesn't matter but in any kind of production the hot peel option is worth a lot of money in the time is money equation. 

Good luck on your new toys and the forum is here to help if you get stumped on something. Most everything that will happen to you has happened to someone else and often just a quick search will pull up some needed answers. Graphic arts become a factor as you progress through the learning process but if you are unfamiliar with all that just don't get discouraged it will all make sense after some practice. 

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This is my personal opinion.     

You're starting off with WAY too much.    For example why do you need 15" and 24" paint mask?   

Going down the list......

- Drop the cutting strips until you need them.   Graphtec is a super nice machine and you won't be cutting into the strip if you leave the sensors on.  

- Just get the 24" roll of paint mask if you're really going to use it. It sounds like you're most interested in shirts.   I'd stick with vinyl and shirt tell you learn the trade then dive into paint mask.   

- Drop the Poli-flex and just stick with the tried and true siser easyweed.  

- Drop the Orafol plotter sample pack, Oracal 631, and all the transfer tape you have in your cart.    

-I'd get a 24" roll of Oracal 751 in black and white,  Few colors in 651,  Rtape 4076-RLA transfer tape (I like 30" wide rolls).    Learn on the basics: good vinyl, good paper transfer tape

Those would be my suggestions.   You'll get overwhelmed with all you've got going on.  It might look easy but just trying to apply transfer tape can be hard for a beginner.   

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6 hours ago, Go-C Graphics said:

This is my personal opinion.     

You're starting off with WAY too much.    For example why do you need 15" and 24" paint mask?   

Going down the list......

- Drop the cutting strips until you need them.   Graphtec is a super nice machine and you won't be cutting into the strip if you leave the sensors on.  

- Just get the 24" roll of paint mask if you're really going to use it. It sounds like you're most interested in shirts.   I'd stick with vinyl and shirt tell you learn the trade then dive into paint mask.   

- Drop the Poli-flex and just stick with the tried and true siser easyweed.  

- Drop the Orafol plotter sample pack, Oracal 631, and all the transfer tape you have in your cart.    

-I'd get a 24" roll of Oracal 751 in black and white,  Few colors in 651,  Rtape 4076-RLA transfer tape (I like 30" wide rolls).    Learn on the basics: good vinyl, good paper transfer tape

Those would be my suggestions.   You'll get overwhelmed with all you've got going on.  It might look easy but just trying to apply transfer tape can be hard for a beginner.   

Thanks for the input. I probably am starting off with way too much, I was just hoping to save on future shipping costs.

 My plan is to learn on the vinyl the move on to the paint mask. I got the mask so I could add a custom painted aspect to my side woodworking business but also look to make money off of vinyl and shirts.

My end goal would be to use the 24" stuff but I bought some 15" mainly to practice on.

I'm sure I'll be hitting up the shop again when I realize what I like and don't like, I was just trying to eliminate any small follow-up orders right away.

Now thinking I wish I bought some different brands of transfer tapes but I'll make sure I do that on my next order.

Thanks for the input!

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