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  #1  
Old 08-09-2018, 03:16 PM
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Question How to Apply Vinyl Stripes

So my vinyl stripes arrived today from Aerographics and now I have to figure out how to apply them. The stripes are 18' long, straight, and taper from 3/4" wide in the front to 2" wide at the tail. The material is 3M Scotchcal 220. Aerographics sent instructions describing a dry method and a wet method. I'm thinking the dry method is what I should use. They suggest placing the vinyl on the aircraft with small pieces of tape to hold it in place, then taping a continuous "hinge" along the top edge so the material can be lifted up and the backing pulled off. Does this sound right? Does anyone have any advice or suggestions? Thanks in advance.
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  #2  
Old 08-09-2018, 03:40 PM
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Default professional goo

I put vinyl stripes on my -7
http://ukfigs.blogspot.com/

I first tries the water and soap method on the wheel pants and the graphic touched the surface and stuck in the wrong place and I destroyed it trying to get it right, ordered another set and figured putting the graphic on the fuselage would be mission impossible. I decided to talk to a few experts (one who puts graphics on commercial airliners) and came up with the following:
1. It is a 2 person job
2. If there is a place to cut the graphic to have shorter pieces then do it (on mine the fuselage decal cuts are at the cowl intersection and aft of the cockpit where is a skin overlap), makes it easier to place the pieces.
3. The professionals use a gel like substance that you paint on the back of the decal, you can then slide the decal into the correct place and squeegee out the gel and the decal adhesive then sets up. Mine is 7 years old and still stuck solid even the edge by the cowling.
4. Place the decal with the backing on on the plane and use masking tape on the plane and the decal to line everything up and make alignment reference points to help you align the decal when you do the actual install.

I cannot remember the name of the gel but maybe aerographics will know. The name of the company that helped me was called namplates Inc (now NPI) in Tulsa.
Hope this helps.
Figs
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  #3  
Old 08-09-2018, 04:11 PM
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Just saw a guy put on long stripes on a freshly painted Zenith and he:

1) Had help as in two person job.

2) taped the decal roughly in place with masking tape.

4) Used secret spray on subtance to allow repositioning the decal.

5) Worked from the middle outward to both ends using squeegee (bondo spatula)

His secret spray on ingredient?

Windex

Results looked perfect but he said he grew up in the auto body biz so he's done a lot of anything to do with finishing vehicles.

YMMV
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  #4  
Old 08-09-2018, 04:44 PM
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I put decal stripes on a VW Beetle 35-years ago and use a wet method similar to what is described above. I did not use Windex but did use water and dish soap mixture with great results.
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Last edited by RV6_flyer : 08-09-2018 at 04:44 PM. Reason: stripes
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  #5  
Old 08-09-2018, 05:14 PM
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Default Thanks!

Thanks for responding. The stripes on your RV-7 are beautiful. If mine come out that well I'll be happy. So you used the "wet" method using "application fluid". I can see how that would definitely take two (or more) people. I understand about using little pieces of tape to align everything. I was hoping to do it "dry" but am unclear if I can peel off the backing on an angle without moving the stripe. I guess I'll watch some more YouTube videos
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Old 08-09-2018, 05:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by snopercod View Post
So my vinyl stripes arrived today from Aerographics and now I have to figure out how to apply them. The stripes are 18' long, straight, and taper from 3/4" wide in the front to 2" wide at the tail. The material is 3M Scotchcal 220. Aerographics sent instructions describing a dry method and a wet method. I'm thinking the dry method is what I should use. They suggest placing the vinyl on the aircraft with small pieces of tape to hold it in place, then taping a continuous "hinge" along the top edge so the material can be lifted up and the backing pulled off. Does this sound right? Does anyone have any advice or suggestions? Thanks in advance.
I did Dry, like you described. I have large nose art and stars-n-bars, just not anywhere as long as your stripes. Sounds like two pairs of hands will be needed. A tool that worked well is the felt wrapped plastic squeegee, bought at vinyl wrap supplier helped, and kept pressure marks to a minimum.
https://www.metrorestyling.com/High-...feltsqg6in.htm
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  #7  
Old 08-09-2018, 05:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BruceEicher View Post
A tool that worked well is the felt wrapped plastic squeegee.
I think I need one of those. Aerograpics sent me a plastic squeege, but I think I need something softer. I see that Teflon sleeves are available for those.
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Old 08-09-2018, 06:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rbibb View Post
Just saw a guy put on long stripes on a freshly painted Zenith and he:

1) Had help as in two person job.

2) taped the decal roughly in place with masking tape.

4) Used secret spray on subtance to allow repositioning the decal.

5) Worked from the middle outward to both ends using squeegee (bondo spatula)

His secret spray on ingredient?

Windex

Results looked perfect but he said he grew up in the auto body biz so he's done a lot of anything to do with finishing vehicles.

YMMV

I used this method.
Works great.
Make sure you spray the outside of graphic too.
Makes squeegee slide easy.
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  #9  
Old 08-10-2018, 05:42 AM
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I'm in the middle of my 4th condition inspection at the moment, so I won't be applying those stripes for at least week or so. One thing I'm planning on doing is laying down a 4' strip of polyethylene sheet on the hangar floor to set the vinyl on while I stretch out the stripes so as not to get them dirty. Before applying the stripes I'm planning on cleaning the fuselage sides with wax and silicone remover. Does that sound OK?

Besides Windex, has anybody used Rapid Tac application fluid?

I have another question. This will be the design on top of my vertical stabilizer (white squares will be stars, of course).


How should I wrap the two blue pieces around the front and top? Butt joint? Overlap? I have a roll of single thread knifeless tape but, to make a butt joint, I think the pros use 3M Tri-Line Knifeless Tape.

Here's a 3M video on how to use the Tri-Line tape: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pw44tc3rI20
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Last edited by snopercod : 08-10-2018 at 05:52 AM.
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  #10  
Old 08-10-2018, 07:27 AM
Jasonm Jasonm is offline
 
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Hey John,
I have Tri-Line tape in my hangar if you need it.
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