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 Post subject: Home Made White Letter Decals - the Results
PostPosted: Apr Sun 30, 2006 4:02 am 
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Location: Sterling Heights, Michigan 48314, USA
A few weeks ago I started a thread concerning the restoration of the dial bezel on a Zenith K725. This radio has a large round steel bezel that is bright brass plated. The station lettering is white.

To make a short story long……..my bezel was very rusted and pitted (photos below)so I had no choice but to strip it down to bare metal using a fine wire wheel and very fine emery paper. I tried to replate it using a “brush-type” electroplating kit. As it turns out, this kit is great for small parts, such as hinges, fasteners, rivets…etc. but I could not get a satisfactory job on a part as large as the Zenith dial bezel. I believe the basic problem was, however, the poor condition of the metal I was trying to plate….just too many pits. I would have simply ended up with a bezel with a myriad of nicely plated pits.

I finally resorted to metallic brass paint (I know, I know……..yuk). I am satisfied with the result. And this gave me a nice surface on which to apply the white lettering graphics.

I was asked by a few guys to post my results with the white lettering kit I ordered from MICRO-FORMAT INC. http://www.paper-paper.com/white-letter.html .
I must say that I am very pleased with the way their product works. A series of photos follows detailing the process. I hope I am not taking up to much data space on the forum by posting this lengthy of an article but I felt that there are many of you who would be interested in the ability to make your own decals….including white, gold or silver ones.

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I hope this post will be useful for some of you guys

Edited 3/21/15 to restore lost images. Additional images of knob graphics content added.

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.....Dennis.....
Live Long and Prosper


Last edited by Dennis Wess on Mar Sat 21, 2015 5:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Apr Sun 30, 2006 4:40 am 
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Location: Vieques, PR, USA
Mahvellous!!!!

-Bill


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Apr Sun 30, 2006 7:56 am 
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Location: Tennessee,USA
Hi Dennis,
That looks absolutely great!

Of course it doesn't have the polished brass look, but that's ok. The sprayed finish is very nice, with a bright softer effect.

I wasn't aware of the powder method you used. Looks like the powder covered the letters very nicely. I'll search about it later, but I was wondering if the ink if from a regular ink jet printer, and if the 'high quality' selection was made in the print properties menu, so that you'd have more ink applied to the decal sheet?

Thanks, and the dial looks perfect.
Gary.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Apr Sun 30, 2006 11:31 am 
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Location: 13 Critchley Avenue, PO Box 36, Monteith Ont, P0K 1P0
WOW !! very nice indeed !!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Apr Sun 30, 2006 1:05 pm 
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Location: Howell, Mi
That's fabulous Dennis. You must have nerves of STEEL! Placing those decals must have been quite a task.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Apr Sun 30, 2006 1:48 pm 
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Location: Sterling Heights, Michigan 48314, USA
gvel,

The decals were surprisingly easy to manipulate and position. I cut them out of their backing paper as close as I could to the edge of the letters. The white letters are thicker than a typical wetslide decal (they are almost like they are "painted" on) and are therefor more durable. After sliding them off the backing paper onto the final surface you can re-position them easily. I used a pointy tweezers to handle and re-position the decals. Once they are positioned properly pressing down on the still wet decal firmly with a tissue on my fingertip causes the underlying water-soluble printer ink to ooze out from under the white lettering and wick up into the tissue. The decal then adheres pretty good to the surface. A clearcoat top finish will protect the lettering from wear and tear. The clear decal carrier paper must be really thin because I could not detect the edge of it around any of the decals.....even under close scrutiny.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Apr Sun 30, 2006 2:48 pm 
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Very nice work, Dennis. I bought one of their white letter decal kits last year, but have not yet tried to use it. I have saved this thread to my hard drive as inspiration for me to try my hand.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Apr Sun 30, 2006 4:58 pm 
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Location: Little Chute, WI
Dennis,

SUPER JOB !! Thanks for sharing. What an interesting method, could have alot of potential for other applications.....


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Apr Sun 30, 2006 6:26 pm 
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Location: Sandwich, IL, USA
Very nice Dennis. I'm not quite clear, when you say that the powder sticks to the wet ink. By the time my printer finishes printing the page the ink is dry on my Epson. How are you getting the ink to stay wet on the whole font long enough to get powder to stick???
Denny Graham
Sandwich, IL


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Apr Sun 30, 2006 6:51 pm 
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Location: Sterling Heights, Michigan 48314, USA
Denny and Gary,

Unlike the average printer paper, the decal stock that is supplied in the kit is a very glossy texture. The ink stays wet on it much longer than paper. I used the "Best Photo" setting on my printer (Epson). I moved briskly to pour the powder on the ink but I did not really have to rush.

They supply you with four 5 1/2 x 8/12 sheets of this decal paper. Plenty to last quite a while as you only use a little at a time. Whatever is left of a sheet can be used in the future. Just feed it into your printer as you would a small envelope or a small piece of paper OR.........you can temporarily tape the small piece of decal paper that you might have left to an 81/2 x 11 sheet of printer paper that you would use as a "carrier".

Don't hesitate to ask more questions......I think this is a very useful item for our hobby.

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.....Dennis.....
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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Apr Sun 30, 2006 7:51 pm 
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Location: Sandwich, IL, USA
Thanks for testing the water for us other guys. Now that you got your toe wet and it tain’t to cold, I think I’ll jump in and order a kit for myself.
Denny Graham
Sandwich, IL


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Apr Sun 30, 2006 8:47 pm 
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Location: Paradise, CA
A nice decal job, Dennis. I suppose those of us who only have laser printers are out of luck with this method?

Fred


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Apr Sun 30, 2006 8:58 pm 
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Location: Sterling Heights, Michigan 48314, USA
Fred,
Unfortunately the instructions that come with the kit specifically state that the process will not work with a laser printer. However, I have seen bare-bones inkjet printers on sale for as low as 29.99. Maybe the investment would be worthwhile for someone who would make decals more than just once in awhile. Or simply create your artwork or text and take your stuff to a friend's or relative's inkjet. I'm not sure I mentioned it before but with an injet you can also creat colored decals (other than white, gold or silver). You simply print any color of text or graphic onto the decal paper....no powder is used for black or colorful decals.

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.....Dennis.....
Live Long and Prosper


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: May Mon 01, 2006 3:46 pm 
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Location: Brentwood, CA
Wow! Very impressive! Very similar to a process my wife uses when she makes greeting cards. Her hobby is "Stamping", that is, she creates cards using rubber stamps and a "coating powder" in different colors that is then fused to the image with a heat gun.

Grampibear


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: May Tue 02, 2006 12:54 am 
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Location: Tennessee,USA
Thanks Dennis. I forgot that it was prnted on the decal paper.

Wonder if they will come out with a gold, silver or other color soon?
The gold would make nice logo decals.

I think it would be a better decal, because it is thicker than just ink, and look like the raised painted on lettering.
Take care,
Gary.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: May Tue 02, 2006 1:23 am 
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Gary, I bet that the stuff my wife uses for making greeting cards is the same thing. Comes in lots of different colors. Try a craft store that carries rubber stamp supplies. Stamping has become quite a popular hobby for the gals.

Grampibear


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: May Tue 02, 2006 1:44 am 
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Location: Sterling Heights, Michigan 48314, USA
The kit that I bought also is available in gold or silver. Or..... if you want a color other than white, gold or silver you can order their standard decal kit which allows you to make decals in any color that your inkjet printer can produce. The powder type method is only used for white, gold and silver because these 3 colors cannot be produced on an inkjet....at least not to a satisfactory degree.

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.....Dennis.....
Live Long and Prosper


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: May Tue 02, 2006 3:31 am 
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Dennis;
Very nice job.

Dan :D


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: May Tue 02, 2006 6:31 am 
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Location: Klamath Falls,OR - U.S.A.
That is incredible!! I'm sending you my 725 dial ring in the morning (I wish)
Jim


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: May Tue 02, 2006 8:29 am 
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That's beautiful, Dennis. Looks better than new :D

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