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Hints, Tips and Solutions (Do NOT post requests for help here) If you have any useful general hints and tips for vintage technology repair and restoration, please share them here. PLEASE DO NOT POST REQUESTS FOR HELP HERE!

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Old 16th Oct 2017, 9:47 am   #1
David G4EBT
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Default Printing White Lettering on Water-Slide transfers ('decals')

In another thread it was said that 'you can't print white lettering on waterslide transfers' ('decals').

It's true that you can't print white onto clear decal paper, but you can easily create white lettering on a solid background colour using white decal paper. If you have the luxury of a good quality scan - say of a maker's logo - white lettering on a gold background, perhaps with a black border or whatever, you're home and dry. The printer will apply colour everywhere on the decal paper that isn't white. Hence, when that is decal is applied, all the white areas on which no ink (or toner) has been applied - lettering or whatever - will appear as white, just as though white ink/toner (which doesn't exist on normal printers) had been applied.

If you don't have the luxury of a good scan of an image and had to create one, or if you wished to create decals for your own homebrew projects, which model makers do all the time, using MS 'PAINT' or whatever, you simply use black text in whatever font you wish, draw a shape of your own choosing around the text, then use the 'Select Image' facility, right click on the image, and left click on the 'invert colour' tab in the drop-down menu. That will create a 'negative' on the image, so everything that was black will now be white. In other words, you'll have white lettering on a black background.

It's unlikely that you'll want a black background, so the next stage is to select whatever colour of the rainbow you want, then use the 'paint-bucket' tool to pour your chosen colour as the background. The white lettering will stay white. You'll also need to pour 'paint' into any closed letters - 'O, P, Q, R, A' . (Trivia: Hull is the only English football club which has no closed letters!).

To show what I mean, I've quickly drawn a sheet of examples in 'PAINT', (about ten minutes work), using the fictitious and unimaginative name 'TAYRONICS' to create a simple logo to show the stages. The shape can be anything you care to draw and whatever size you wish, within the limits of your printer and paper.

Having created your decal, there is a skill involved in applying them, which I've mentioned in other threads. If you try to slide the transfer off the paper, (they are after all called 'water-slide'), you will fail - the transfer will wrinkle up. You must always place the transfer still attached to the backing paper, where you wish to place it, then you slide the backing paper from beneath the transfer and smooth the transfer down. It helps to wet the surface to which it's being applied, so you can slide it about a bit to get it exactly located before you smooth it down permanently . Once smoothed down, they're very durable and need no protection, though if desired, can be sprayed with clear acrylic varnish, (which you need in any event to seal the paper after printing).

Hope that helps.
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Old 16th Oct 2017, 9:58 am   #2
Boater Sam
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Default Re: Printing White Lettering on Water-Slide transfers ('decals')

I can feel David talking himself into another job after he has finished making all those wooden boxes for the IF aligners!
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Old 16th Oct 2017, 10:35 am   #3
kellys_eye
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Default Re: Printing White Lettering on Water-Slide transfers ('decals')

Although 'white' laser printers do exist I'm waiting, not exactly with baited breath, for their prices to come down to more manageable levels.

Even a toner cartridge with white power comes in at 300 !!!

Thanks for the useful tip David.
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Old 16th Oct 2017, 11:27 am   #4
David G4EBT
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Default Re: Printing White Lettering on Water-Slide transfers ('decals')

Quote:
Originally Posted by Boater Sam View Post
I can feel David talking himself into another job!
I cant!!

Hopefully the tips might help others to have a pop at it though.

Of course, some people prefer not to 'destroy the patina' of old equipment, and find it offensive to the eye to see old things looking like new. That's a separate topic and a well travelled road, but it's not as though we're sanding down a Chippendale chair and giving it two coats of Ronseal is it? To take as an example, a Wartime Civilian Receiver. I have one that was scruffy and it could have stayed that way - it had a manky dial and top logo, no back and torn speaker fabric. I re-created the dial and top transfer, made a new back and label, and renovated the cabinet. All in all, though 'you can't put lipstick on a pig', to my eyes it looks presentable enough to be on display.

The most recent transfers I've created were to fit a logo to a scruffy VP4 valve that I'd tidied up & re-sprayed gold, and for a label for the AM/FM converter which featured in the Bulletin and on this forum. The one for the valve and the WCR dial were on clear decal paper - the others on white. These are simple examples - my CAD skills are very limited, and I'm not in a position to offer to print transfers for others, but cite them as examples. I'm sure others on the forum could cite far more impressive examples, which hopefully might encourage others to have a go. The paper isn't very expensive, you don't need a special printer, and all that's at stake is your time.

As to the 465kHz aligner, the bits are in the post to me. If it doesn't work, at least it should look good on the shelf! With several signal generators, I don't need an aligner, but small things amuse small minds, so it's yet another little frolic to keep me entertained and to maintain the connection between my brain and my hands!
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Old 16th Oct 2017, 11:38 am   #5
Aerodyne
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Default Re: Printing White Lettering on Water-Slide transfers ('decals')

Lipstick on a pig, David? How about Miss Piggy?
Seriously, a very useful thread from you, once again. Always clear and precise, even I could follow your instructions!
Tony
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Old 16th Oct 2017, 4:57 pm   #6
David G4EBT
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Default Re: Printing White Lettering on Water-Slide transfers ('decals')

Thanks for your kind and encouraging comments Tony - praise indeed, coming from an author of considerable note!!
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Old 16th Oct 2017, 5:20 pm   #7
Robert Darwent
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Default Re: Printing White Lettering on Water-Slide transfers ('decals')

Quote:
Originally Posted by Aerodyne View Post
Seriously, a very useful thread from you, once again. Always clear and precise, even I could follow your instructions!
As could I Tony - David has become quite the expert with this sort of transfer paper.

Quote:
Originally Posted by David G4EBT View Post
...my CAD skills are very limited
Not at all David, you are very skilful indeed! Always enjoy reading about your CAD projects.

Kind regards
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Old 16th Oct 2017, 6:55 pm   #8
David G4EBT
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Default Re: Printing White Lettering on Water-Slide transfers ('decals')

When I made that statement Robert, I was using you and your amazingly faithful recreations of round Ekco dials as my benchmark, and the likes of Gary Tempest!

It's very gratifying to receive kind comments from people whose work and opinions I respect.

How lucky we are to live in an age in which we have software and craft materials at our disposal - not to mention youtube tutorials, and forums such as this one, on which to seek help and advice and share ideas and techniques. Long may it continue!
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Old 17th Oct 2017, 12:35 pm   #9
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Default Re: Printing White Lettering on Water-Slide transfers ('decals')

Hi David G4EBT
In the vintage audio forum I posed a question of how to reproduce the LEAK logo on a re-painted TL12 plus chassis. I had looked at clear waterslide transfers and fell foul of wanting to print very close to white.
Your concept here is interesting but have you had any success merging the background you have added with the underlying base colour of what you 'sticking' it on.
I am currently getting some of both the clear and the white backed waterslide papers and going to do some experiments.
I think I have 2 options:-
1. Paint a white area on the chassis and then use the clear paper with the logo clear and background the same as the chassis.
2. Use the white paper withe the background the same as the chassis, as you say here.
Both present the problem of trying to merge the printed information with the base colour of the chassis.
With the clear paper I can though thin out the background colour so more of the underlying chassis colour comes through and the merge is not harsh.
With your more experience with these transfers what do you think?
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Old 17th Oct 2017, 1:42 pm   #10
ms660
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Default Re: Printing White Lettering on Water-Slide transfers ('decals')

Whichever ways, if you're doing it from a sheet you'll need a way of cutting out the transfer accurately, anything less than accurate will look awful in my opinion, especially if using the white paper, so will sharp corners instead of curved ones.

Lawrence.
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