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Everything posted by OWJones

  1. I'm trying to find a free/cheap source for vehicle glass dimensions. I have a request to cut a memorial decal to go across the top of the windshield of a 1997 Chevy Astro van for a client a couple of counties away. I just don't have the time* to drive over there to measure it and she doesn't have any way to measure it herself. I tried searching and found plenty of CDs/DVDs for sale for window tinting, but I don't need that much information, just an idea of how long it should be to fill up most of the tinted part at the top, and approximately how tall it can be. Does anyone know where I can find this information without having to buy an extensive library of window sizes? *My co-worker at my "real" job is on medical leave so I'm working her shifts + my usual shifts = 10 hours a day for 6 days at a time with 1 day off...
  2. http://sanfrancisco.cbslocal.com/2013/07/19/fake-signs-warn-of-drones-patrolling-bay-area-highways/ Someone in California is producing DOT quality "Speed Enforced by Drones" signs and installing them along California Freeway... Who do we know in California with sign making gear?
  3. I stopped by my local Social Security Field Office and my first thought on seeing their decal signage was "that is a weird font choice" - then realized that it isn't the font - it's the crappy vinyl they used. This new building is ~3 years old, so there is no reason a quality vinyl should have failed that horrifically... It is an East facing entrance so it does get the morning sun, but still...
  4. I keep seeing posts from people looking for fairly standard clip art items, and so rather than keep replying with the same answers over and over, I thought I'd start a thread of links to all the most popular free vector clip art sites. First, some basic information about clip art. There are two kinds of free when it comes to artwork: the first being free in the sense that it doesn't cost anything. The second type of free is "royalty free" which means that you are free to use the art without having to pay a licensing fee each time you use it - it does not (necessarily) mean that the art is free for the taking and may very well cost you money to add it to your collection. Items placed in the Public Domain are considered royalty-free, although the terms are not interchangable. Unless it is marked specifically as Public Domain, every piece of art you will find is copyrighted to some extent - by default everything that is created in this country is automatically granted copyright status. For the most part that means you can't slap your name on it and claim that you designed it. In many cases it also means you can't legally use that art in your designs. Most websites make it clear what the copyright license, if there is one, will allow. It is your responsibility to confirm that any art you use is not violating someone else's copyright or trademark. This forum post demonstrates what can happen when you violate someone's intellectual property. It is possible to obtain licensing approval to create some copyrighted designs - however, the cost to do so is usually prohibitively expensive for all but the biggest businesses. If you send a letter/email asking permission and you do not get a response, do not take that as permission to proceed! You need it - in writing - to C.Y.A. when the lawyers crawl out of the wood work. It doesn't matter if everyone on ebay is making them. It doesn't matter if the guys/gals at the flea market are making them. It is illegal and if you are caught it will cost you more than you want to think about. Also, when you buy clip art, you are not necessarily obtaining a license to use the designs that you just paid for! There are many vendors selling copyrighted logos that are illegal for you to cut and sell. Let me say that again - "Just because you paid for it, doesn't make it legal!". Why do they include them? Well, theoretically if the local Ford dealership comes to you for a banner and they have the right paperwork, then you can use a Ford logo in their banner/sign and you'll be OK. It is still your responsibility to make sure that the dealership has the right paper work to prove they are authorized to ask you to cut a Ford logo. One last note - I use Chrome as my web browser and have ad-blockers enabled and various malware defense software running - I can not vouch for the safety of these websites or the ads running on them. It is your responsibility to use caution when visiting new websites! Please feel free to add your favorite links and a description of what people can expect to find there... http://all-silhouettes.com -- Great source for easy to cut vectors. Everything is sorted by category and are bunched together with several pieces of art on each downloadable page. Most art is available as Adobe Illustrator v8, Adobe Photoshop custom shapes, EPS v10 and SVG files. This is my #1 go-to site for basic vector art. http://artshare.ru -- In Russian, but a collection of vector and raster art, most pulled from other free sites. Formats vary but you can usually find something in a format you can use. http://dezignus.com/category/vector/ -- Similar to ArtShare, but in English. Mostly free clip art pulled from other sites. Formats vary but you can usually find something in a format you can use. http://downloadfreevector.com -- Similar to ArtShare, but in English. Mostly free clip art pulled from other sites. Formats vary but you can usually find something in a format you can use. http://clipart.edigg.com -- Another source for free clip art - I use it primarily for the pets categories when I need a specfic breed of dog or cat for a design. http://digital-clipart.com/text/links_catalogs_samples.htm -- A source to buy clip art that also offers free samples of some of their designs. http://www.freelogovector.com -- A variety of small, simple vector designs. http://www.freevector.com -- Another large selection of multi-color clip art in vector format. File types are usually Adobe Illustrator and PDF. http://all-free-download.com/free-vector/ -- A broad selection fo multi-coloro vector art. Includes a lot of vector backgrounds and other large designs. Most files are in EPS format. http://vectorstuff.blogspot.com/?m=1 -- An eclectic collection of some free vector art. http://www.vectoropenstock.com/home-vectors -- Has a nice selection of multi-color vectors, not all of which are cutter friendly, but lots of pretty art. http://www.vectorss.com -- Even more free vector art! http://www.clker.com -- The online royalty-free public domain clip art site - has a raster to vector conversion feature - upload a raster image and it will be automatically converted to a vector. http://tshirtclipart.com/?page_id=15 -- A site with clip art for sale, and a small free section to let you sample their work. http://www.vectors1.com -- Vector net has a large selection of mutli-color and mono-color vector art, some of which is free. http://vectorlady.com -- Another site that collects links to free vector clipart from around the world. http://wpclipart.com/index.html -- A site full of kid safe, copyright free clipart http://openclipart.org -- A site full of public domain (royalty-free) clip art http://www.freedesign4.me/category/vectors/ -- A lot of the art on here is backgrounds and 3D shapes that aren't cutter friendly, but you will find some designs you can use. http://boxtemplatesstore.com/ -- A site I just bookmarked - it provides vector templates you can cut and fold into a wide variety of box shapes and sizes. Could be used to cut wraps for boxes, or use your pen to draw a box template onto coroplast, cardstock, etc. and cut out to make custom boxes. Not truly clipart, but could still be useful... http://www.clipartandfonts.com/Free_Clipart.html -- This is the home site for the "World's Largest Vector Clip Art Mega Vault" collections for sale on the big auction site. They have several free clip art sample packs available for download to show you what their art work is like. Their collections do contain several copyrighted designs that you can't legally cut (Calvin, No Fear logos, band logos, Playboy logo, etc.). Don't buy from their website, instead buy from their auctions - I got their "$999" package for under $150 through one of their auctions on ebay. Their "Swap Meet" collections contain all of the popular designs you see for sale at flea markets, but also contain a higher percentage of unlicensed, copyrighted designs. http://www.brandsoftheworld.com -- This site is chock full of copyrighted and trademarked business and product logos. Unless you have permission from the owner(s) of the respective copyright and/or trademark owners, there is almost nothing here that you can legally cut. However, there are frequent requests for logos of this nature and that is the only reason I include it here. Edit - Made a grammatical correction and fixed a URL
  5. OWJones

    Cutout rubber design on hats question

    What kind of blade are you using? Try a 60° blade. That is what I use for cutting thick rhinestone stencil material and it works pretty well.
  6. I got a request to do a window decal of this design for a customer, and thought others might want a copy of it as well. The customer had seen it cut from "etched-glass" vinyl and applied to a tinted car window - personally I had never thought of using that material on a tinted window, but the picture they sent made it look good. I could not find a free vector copy of this version online - I found several of the 50 piece snake, but not this 8 piece design, so I found a hi-res JPG of the original image, cleaned it up, tweaked the contrast and then fed it to Vector Magic. I did a lot of node cleanup to make it a little simpler and took out some of the rough edges, plus re-typed the text to be cleaner. I'm reasonably certain that Ben Franklin's copyright has expired by now on the original design, and I hereby grant full rights to all of you to use this file as you please for all personal and commercial use. Enjoy! Join or Die.eps
  7. OWJones

    Need help...

    Please do not post copyrighted images and ask for conversion help. That is a violation of forum rules.
  8. OWJones

    Back Side Cutting

    I've got the same knife and got it from US Cutter, although I don't think they carry it any more. It works exactly as you would expect based on the description. You may have to adjust the depth of cut a bit to get it perfectly dialed in, but once you do it works great every time.
  9. OWJones

    It's a sad day

    I don't even bother with the website except to get their phone number. Just call and tell them what you want and they'll take care of you - you have to call to get the US Cutter Forum discount anyways...
  10. OWJones

    It's a sad day

    My last Clean Cut blade finally started showing it was past time for a change. I ordered 3 Clean Cut blades and have used them extensively - one is set aside for thick material like rhinestone template material, the other two are for vinyl - that 3rd one is still good, but the other two had finally been used to death. I called Clean Cut Blade and they checked and told me that I ordered those blades in June of 2012 - that means 4.5 years of cutting on those two blades... At less than $20/blade (and even less if you're a member of this forum!), I'd say I definitely got my money's worth out of them. The blade is dead. Long live the new blade!
  11. I placed the order yesterday and paid $9.50 S&H. Got home tonight and it was sitting on the porch. About 10 lbs of fluids and got it next day. For $9.50... Now to find out if the stuff is any good!
  12. OK, I went ahead and took a chance. I ordered their Vinyl Remover, the Reflective Vinyl Remover, Ghost Off and Graphix Gone - all to try out. Plus a quart of Rapid Tac II because I'm running low. That's at least 4 quarts of liquids, plus 2 of the 4 oz.bottles of Graphix Gone - I was anticipating an insane S&H quote and instead it was $9.50. I'm already loving these guys!
  13. There are vinyl removal fluids designed for standard vinyl and reflective vinyls - not sure how well they would work on that kind... I keep saying one of these I'm going to order some to try out... maybe today is that day! Reading the info on the Reflective Vinyl remover fluid it says it works well on metalized vinyls, too. https://www.signsplusbanners.com/itemdetail.php?sku=104032-12&p=Removal+Storage+%26+Tools&c=Removal+Fluids
  14. I bought my first cutter from a competitor - one of the cheap Sign Warehouse models - because I was stupid and didn't do any research at all - got suckered in by a cheap price and assumed they were all the same. Learned that lesson the hard way. I started forum hopping looking for good advice - there are numerous forums out there - many are ghost towns - a few are extraordinarily hostile towards any new people (I'm looking at you Signs101!) and US Cutter's was the first I found where I felt comfortable admitting I was new. I also found that, at the time, they had a fantastic deal on a Graphtec CE5000-60 along with everything you needed to get started - including a real, full version of CorelDraw, usable clip art, etc. That cemented the deal for me. Good support + good prices + (at the time) super-cheap shipping (my Graphtec package with 12 24" rolls of vinyl, plus all the tools, accessories, etc. came in 3 large boxes and was delivered to my door in ~48 hours from when I ordered it for $9.99!!!!!) = too good of a place to pass up!
  15. OWJones

    My First X-Banner

    Put together my first X-Banner this morning. Went fairly smooth - kind of boring , but it is sitting in a storefront window through Christmas and needed to be visible as people drive by. . .
  16. OWJones

    Strange Request

    When I first started out, I did a weekly drawing for a free decal on Facebook. One of my first winners responded back with "Do you make any copyrighted designs?". When I responded back that no, I did not, I never heard from her again...
  17. OWJones

    Gerber Edge 2 on Windows 10

    Thank you for coming back and posting the solution. Far too many internet users post a problem, then find a solution elsewhere and never share, so when people do Google/Bing searches all they find are dozens of people asking the same question and no answer...
  18. OWJones

    Free Clip Art Sampler

    Clipart & Fonts is giving away a sampler pack of over 900 pieces of vector clip art (904 .AI, 904 .EPS and 709 .JPG - not sure why there are fewer .JPG files...) It's available from their Dropbox site at https://www.dropbox.com/s/8h94knb1iyiwnhb/900.zip?dl=0 It looks like they grabbed a few from each of their collections - there is tribal, vehicle, stick figure, religious, snowflakes, animals, signs, biker, butterfly, clowns, devils, dolphins, dragons, faeries, fish, fire dept, flames, flowers, girls, horses, hearts, hunting, jesters, lizards, military, reapers, sharks, skulls, snakes, rebel, flea market, spiders, suns, tattoos, trees, truckin', wizards, warriors, etc... Basically something for everyone. And it's free - it's a 170+ MB download and includes a .PDF catalog.
  19. OWJones

    heat tape

    The heat tape used for Sublimation is Kapton (sp?) that is also used by a lot of 3D printing enthusiasts. It isn't super-duper sticky, but it holds well enough. I can't see any reason why you couldn't use it for doing hats, but it is kind of pricey...
  20. OWJones


    You can purchase a product called Ceramark (maybe Cermark?) which sprays on, and then when laser engraved it permanently bonds to the metal and leaves the nice black mark behind. Or you can spend about $10 and get a can of Dry Moly Lube spray which is primarily molybdenum disulfide in a spray matrix - gives almost the exact same result for a LOT less money because the big name product is essentially the same thing. Spray on a couple of light coats, let it dry, etch it, use a green scrubby pad and some water to remove the excess spray and voila, a permanently marked piece of steel!
  21. OWJones

    At my wits end.

    If you're only making one, then layering is probably the cheaper option. If you're making multiples, definitely go with printing - unless you're a glutton for punishment.
  22. OWJones


    Is that one of the Ozark Trail tumblers? I bought one last month and have been extremely impressed with it. It is ever bit as nice feeling as the Yeti mugs for about 1/4 the price. I saw a YouTube video where they compared the Yeti, Orca and Ozark Trail tumblers side by side - filled them ice and dumped out the melted water every few hours until there was no more ice. I know for sure the Ozark Trail mug won, it still had frozen ice longer than the Yeti - something like 52-54 hours before it all melted. I took mine to St Louis in July during one of the hottest weeks of summer and would fill it with iced tea every morning before we would go to the zoo, museum, etc. and leave it in the vehicle and it always still had ice floating in my drink, even after sitting in a hot car on 90° days... The only real distinguishing feature between the two is that the Yeti tumbler has a Yeti logo embossed near the bottom, and the Ozark Trail has the Ozark Trail logo embossed in basically the same spot and their logos in the center of the lids - it wouldn't surprise me to find they are both made in the same factory. Found the YouTube video -- Yeti is on the left, Ozark Trail is on the right - you can see how very similar they are in appearance.
  23. OWJones

    Harley Quinn

    Wow, 5 days before someone asked... I'm surprised it took that long...
  24. OWJones

    Random trouble cutting simple square

    I used to get weird actions like this all the time with my first cutter, a Sign Warehouse "Vinyl Express R Series II" which uses the Redsail drivers. Any design more complicated than basic shapes would cause it go wonky and start cutting across itself, or worse yet, dropping the blade and speed-feeding vinyl off the roll with a nice random cut down the length. When I called to get tech support, I was told that I had a discount "hobby" cutter with limited memory and limited usefulness and I should turn off unnecessary options like "weeding box" and "weeding lines" to reduce the amount of data sent to the cutter. I got online, did some research and upgraded to a Graphtec in less than a month - never regretted it.
  25. This recent picture is part of a decal I made for my sister a little over a year ago - it was cut from EnduraGloss 500 pink vinyl, which is Sign Warehouse's house brand. When I first started out, I didn't know hardly anything about the different types of vinyls and assumed that a vinyl that was advertised to last 6 years outdoors would actually last 6 years outdoors - silly me. This decal has been on the back window of her truck for 13.5 months so far, far short of the 60 month life span advertised for this product. You can see that the vinyl has shrunk back and exposed the adhesive underneath, also the edge of the vinyl that has pulled away from the adhesive has turned brittle and is all chipped and rough. Admittedly, she does live on a dirt/gravel road and it has been covered with dirt and dust a couple of hundred times since installation, but there is no reason why it should look as bad as it does. Well, there is a reason, and that reason is that I didn't know better and bought the cheapest vinyl available. I'm grateful that I didn't sell any of the decals I made using this vinyl and moved on to using Oracal soon after this was made. I'm going to keep this picture on my computer as a constant reminder not to cheap out on anything that I expect to last and especially on anything that I want to put my name on. She has a different decal, but the same color in Oracal 651 on the other end of the back window and it still looks brand new - it's only about 11 months old, but it's a night and day difference between the two...