Author Topic: Waterslide decal questions  (Read 13530 times)

Bret608

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Re: Waterslide decal questions
« Reply #15 on: August 31, 2012, 09:23:06 AM »
Thanks John! What you've added is also really helpful. PPP let me know my enclosure is about to ship, so I should be able to report on my results within a couple of weeks.

Bret608

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Re: Waterslide decal questions
« Reply #16 on: September 10, 2012, 08:02:23 AM »
Hey everybody,

Just wanted to let you know how this went in case it's useful for anyone reading the post later!

First, I followed jimijam's advice and used the photo paper-best quality setting on my printer. It looked fantastic!

Next, I followed the advice of a couple of you and picked up some Testor's Decal Bond spray (last can at the local hobby store!). This stuff works great! I only needed to let it dry about six hours before I could get it into the water with no colors running. I did the three coats as TNblueshawk suggested, and also cut it out before spraying. In the future, I think I would probably affix it to a slightly heavy piece of carboard with a small piece of double-sided Scotch tape before spraying. Since I had cut it out already, the force of the spray almost made the decal get airborne and flip over!

I didn't have any problem soaking it and getting it onto the enclosure, but it was then I realized I cut it a bit smaller than the face of the pedal. Totally my fault--I used the 125b enclosure border from the pedal vector pack to create a nice border for the image. I decided after holding it up to the enclosure that I liked it better without the border, so before I sprayed with the decal bond, I trimmed it off. I probably should have redone the image a bit by scaling the border slightly larger than the enclosure face and then just using it for a cut-out guide.

I think I managed to squeegee the water out pretty well, minus one issue. The drill holes on the enclosure face seem to have very slight lip on their edge, and it was very hard to get the water and bubbles to exit via the hole or to move them out via the enclosure edge. As the decal dried, I could see these slightly cloudy areas around the edges of the holes, and in a couple of other places. Still looked good in the right light, though!

Trimming the holes out went fine. Then I clearcoated with Rustoleum automotive gloss. All was well until a gust of wind came after coat number two and made the newspaper on which I had set the enclosure jump up and slap the clearcoated sides! I quickly pulled it off, smoothed out the goofed-up areas, and re-sprayed. Next time, I will anchor the edges of whatever I am spraying on! All in all, I did quite a bit better than the first time I clearcoated a box. Under light, you can see some slight ripples on the face of the enclosure. Does that mean I should have held the spray can slightly farther away?

Anyway, this was a fun and educational first attempt with the decals. I don't think it will look too bad once I dress the box up with the knobs, switches and LED. We'll see anyway! Unfortunately it will be getting cold here soon so I might be done until next spring. Luckily most PPP enclosures look good without decals.

Thanks again everyone!

TNblueshawk

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Re: Waterslide decal questions
« Reply #17 on: September 10, 2012, 08:27:42 AM »
Bret, ripples in the clear coat or the decal?
John

Bret608

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Re: Waterslide decal questions
« Reply #18 on: September 10, 2012, 08:32:50 AM »
Hey John,

More so in the clear coat, minus the slightly goofy edges on the decal around the drill holes.

TNblueshawk

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Re: Waterslide decal questions
« Reply #19 on: September 10, 2012, 09:14:06 AM »
Man, that lacquer can be a bitch to be honest. It is hard to say about the can distance. I would do the same thing on one enclosure as I did on another and might get different results. My opinion on it, and I don't use lacquer any more so it's been awhile, is that many light coats is best no matter what you do. I know some guys that do 10 light coats kind of thing just trying to get it right.

If by ripples you mean "orange peel" that is very common. It means that it was not thick enough typically but then if you go too thick you get runs. There is some mythical middle ground there. All I can offer is to keep doing it and you will develop your technique of what you like to do. I also think the can of lacquer has something to do with the results meaning some cans come out faster than others, or spit more, or whatever. What I do know is if you go more than an hour between coats do NOT spray again until 24 hours has passed or you will be stripping it off decal and all.

Maybe some lacquer experts here will chime in.

Oh yeah, for water spots if for some reason you don't get them all out you can always take a safety pin and poke a hole in it and push it out. That tiny pin hole will get covered up by the clear coat and you won't see it.
John

Bret608

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Re: Waterslide decal questions
« Reply #20 on: September 10, 2012, 09:55:07 AM »
Thanks John! So those random cloudy spots underneath the waterslide are water spots then? And I thought I had squeegied really well--I used on of those soft cloths for cleaning eyeglasses to do it.

I did try poking a hole in a couple of spots to get a bubble or two out, and in one instance the decal stuck to the pin and tried to pull up a little, leaving a another cloudy spot!  :P  Luckily, that will be covered by a knob mostly. Do folks normally do this step before or after the decal dries?

gtr2

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Re: Waterslide decal questions
« Reply #21 on: September 10, 2012, 10:36:56 AM »
I take a round file and gently file the holes to knock off the burrs, this stops the "gathering that can occur at holes.

Just an FYI.  The polycrylic can be sprayed indoors if you're desperate.  It just smells like roach spray.  It's way better than a rustolium type product fume wise.

Josh
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Bret608

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Re: Waterslide decal questions
« Reply #22 on: September 10, 2012, 10:46:07 AM »
Good to know, Josh...that Rustoleum smells awful! We went out for a bit and when we came home and opened the garage (where the pedal box is curing), the smell just about hit us over the head!

TNblueshawk

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Re: Waterslide decal questions
« Reply #23 on: September 10, 2012, 11:58:33 AM »
Thanks John! So those random cloudy spots underneath the waterslide are water spots then? And I thought I had squeegied really well--I used on of those soft cloths for cleaning eyeglasses to do it.

I did try poking a hole in a couple of spots to get a bubble or two out, and in one instance the decal stuck to the pin and tried to pull up a little, leaving a another cloudy spot!  :P  Luckily, that will be covered by a knob mostly. Do folks normally do this step before or after the decal dries?

Well, I don't know for sure if the cloudy spot is something under the decal or if it is in the lacquer. Got a pic? Don't know if that will help me tell or not but what the heck.

What I do is right after I put the decal on, I would poke the hole if needed right then. But I'll wait for it to dry several hours before I spray or do what I do which is use an epoxy like Envirotex. I figure even though I got the water bubbles out it is still damp in there and I would just assume let all the water evaporate. I usually wait overnight but then I'm a patient dude on this stuff and I mostly build just for myself so I can wait.
John

Bret608

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Re: Waterslide decal questions
« Reply #24 on: September 10, 2012, 12:26:34 PM »
Oh, it's in the decal alright! The little cloudy spot was there before I clear coated. That makes sense about poking the holes earlier. Basically I put on the waterslide Sat. afternoon, cut out the holes carefully with an exacto on Sun. morning, and clearcoated on Sun. afternoon--about 24 hours start to finish. I may take a pic tonight, but I'm not too worried over it since the damage is done so to speak!  :D