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I've been trying to come up with a way to transfer a complex pattern that has "islands" that are cut out to a disc without having to put the whole pattern on the disc and cutting it there. I hate the idea of cutting on the plastic so I wanted a way to avoid that if I could and here is what I have come up with:

1) On a piece of tempered glass, spray some spray adhesive.
2) Put a piece of sign vinyl on the glass. Adhesive will hold vinyl in place.
3) Cut pattern into vinyl as you normally would. I normally will be taping a printed pattern on top of the vinyl and cutting through both all the way to the glass.
4) Remove all the spaces from the cut vinyl.
5) Apply transfer tape to the cut vinyl. Transfer tape should be bigger than vinyl.
6) Here is where I have two different thoughts on what comes next:
a) Remove pattern from glass with backing intact or
b) Remove pattern from glass leaving backing on glass
7) Apply pattern to disc, remove transfer tape, dye, dry, fly!

It's a little rough around the edges and short on detail, and I haven't tried this yet but I *think* it might work. If anyone has a tip or refinement please post!

As soon as I get some transfer tape I am going to try this out to see how it works.

The clean up of the glass will be the worst part. I'll probably use acetone and a putty knife to clean it off.

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Replies to This Discussion

Hrm...a bit more complicated than what I do.

I just use 4 small clamps to hold the pattern and vinyl together, with the vinyl on top.
Use a tracing table to shine some light through the pattern & vinyl and cut out the pattern.
Put the tranfer tape on.
Then carefully peel the vinyl from it's er wax paper??
Apply to disc, remove transfer tape, etc...

With you cutting through the pattern and vinyl, you're gonna dull your knife real quick.
And I can't stress enough how important a sharp knife is when doing detailed work.
I'm still trying to figure out how you are able to keep your "islands" in place. Do you only cut through the vinyl and not the backing paper the vinyl is on? To me that would seem to require a lot more patience than I usually have =)

You could tape the pattern to the back of the glass and back light it, but I think that taping it on the front is OK as long as you keep an eye on your blade sharpness. I also use carbon tracing paper sometimes and copy a pattern directly onto the vinyl.

So peeling the vinyl up and leaving the backing works. I thought it might be the way to go.

Good tip in general, keeping a sharp blade. I always change my blade at the first sign of dullness. Got a whole box of them =)

Thanks for the tips!
I only cut through the vinyl, not through the vinyl's backing paper.

Just guess that you're making it a bit harder for yourself when transfering that way.
The backing will wish to come along with.

The way I make sure to get all the islands is after applying the transfer tape, I'll press the vinyl & tran tape under some heavy books for a hour or so.
Then when removing the vinyl from it's backin paper, I'll go real slow, and if any islands don't wish to cooperate, I'll back up a bit and press that island with my fingers, and try to peel it again. Repeat until the tran tape takes ahold of that island.
yeah that technique should work... but you may find that when the adhesive hits the backing it will ruin the bond with the vinyls adhesive. Im my experience of doing sign jobs... anytime the backing on vinyl gets wet... its a disaster removing the vinyl... it pulls pieces of the backing with it, and makes for one hell of a difficult time.
Thanks for the heads up, I will definately watch out for that!
You know, sometimes you can't see the forest for the trees (or rather the disc for the trees). I have missed a very basic principle in masking. Up to this point, I have been drawing my outline on the vinyl, pulling it off the backing, placing it on the disc and then cutting it out on the disc. I had assumed that if I did the cutting on something besides a disc, I would cut through BOTH the vinyl and the backing paper so I would need some elaborate setup to keep all of my islands in place.

I had no idea how easy it is to just cut the vinyl and leave the backing. I thought it might take a special knife that only cut so deep or something like that, but you can tell by feel how to cut it. I was able to do it after a minutes practice.

In other words, never mind!

I can't believe I missed that basic concept. D'oh!

Going to make a light table now and try Euphoric's technique. Dudes got some wicked looking plastic!
My light table is a piece of shelf glass laid across my legs with a lamp under it. I print a design, then tape vinyl over it. I do this so that I can rotate the design as I cut.

funny how we all use different tactics......;) I tape my design on the vinyl and then start cutting.I go through the paper and the vinyl but not through the back of the vinyl(if that makes sense to anyone).My buddy came today with another plan to get the design on the disc.I told him that I would take the design,put it upside down on my table and then get the disc on top of it.He said;why don't you leave the whole design on your A4,put it on the disc and then peel off the stuff you don't need.I thought it was a pretty smart move but in my case, I like to leave the negative part of my design intact so I can use them both.I guess it can work how he said it too....
I have a way to transfer any image whether downloaded or drawn up or even a picture you take onto a disc. the disc will have a film on top of the disc making it illegal for tournament use but the ones i have made are only for display anyway. look up member name paul ward. that is a pictur of a disc that i made for him. i can make these discs for anyone once you send me a jpeg or other image. I can also put these on any discs you like. totla price is $25 which includes price of the disc and production.
I found another way.................
Take your print and print the negative one(make it negative on your pc) on the backside of your vinyl.
This way it won't smear off .....and you have the positive design on the front.
i use a light table, and put the pic under the vinyl and cut only the vinyl out the back paper is very inportant when ur doin detailed work.then transfer tape ect.......


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