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Old 28th Oct 2021, 3:00 pm   #1
David G4EBT
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Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Cottingham, East Yorkshire, UK.
Posts: 4,813
Default Film Free Waterslide Laser Printer Decal Paper

Although I don't have a laser printer, but for anyone who does have a laser colour printer and might want to experiment in printing decals for radio tuning dials, I've just become aware of a new product which might be more suited for tuning dial reproduction than the normal laser or inkjet waterside decal paper.

As anyone who has attempted to create a new dial on glass using conventional waterslide decal paper will know, though the image may look excellent when still on the backing paper, once slid onto glass, the image is 'wishy washy' and quite hopeless.

Some time ago, having had a lot of success in creating and fitting decals on white and clear in-jet decal paper, (more commonly called 'transfers' in the UK), applied onto solid backgrounds, I spent quite a lot of time and not a little expense in experimenting with creating radio dials - not so much for radios that I was restoring, simply for those for which I had reasonable scans, such as the KB FB10 'Toaster' radio and the ubiquitous Bush DAC90A 'money pit'.

The decals (printed in reverse of course for application to the rear of the dial glass), looked excellent while still of the backing paper, but when applied to the glass, the artwork lacked opacity, was wishy washy, and fell well short of what was desired. (The original dials would of course have been screen printed - not decals).

I've no idea whether this new paper will produce better results, but thought I'd give it a mention. Steps 1 to 5 are the same as with normal waterslide decal paper (which can be had for both ink-jet and laser printers is white and clear), but steps 6 onwards only apply to this new paper:

Step 1 - Print your text or images in reverse mode onto our new special film free decal paper.
Step 2 - Cut them out
Step 3 - Dip in water
Step 4 - Take out and slide your decal on, picture side against the surface.
Step 5 - Smooth away any water from under the decal with a cotton wool ball and allow to dry hard.

Step 6 - Place into a home oven at 110c for 15 mins.
Step 7 - Remove and allow to cool, over night is best.
Final Step - Catch the edge of the decal films special top surface and gently peel away to reveal your decal embedded into its surface with no film.

It isn't cheap and applying waterslide decals is an acquired skill.

The title infers that you slide the transfer off the paper but if you do that, it will crinkle up. As anyone who has used decal paper will know, having soaked the paper until the decal will slide on the backing paper, you need to hold it in the position that you wish to apply it, and slide the backing paper from beneath the decal, gently smoothing the decal onto the surface to remove all bubbles.

I guess the decals might be a little more durable, but whether the colours are more solid is anyone's guess. When applied to the rear of a dial, durability isn't an issue - what matters is opacity.

1 Sheet - 3.99
3 Sheets - 10.99
10 Sheets - 24.99

I've attached pics of reverse scans of two Bush DAC90A dials, and a KB FB10 'Toaster' radio, which all looked fine when still on the backing paper, but were dismal when slid off onto glass, and far short of what is called for.

Hope that might be of interest to someone.
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