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DIY Waterslide Decals: Laser Or Inkjet?

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  • DIY Waterslide Decals: Laser Or Inkjet?

    I am going to make my own for a Warmoth neck I am finishing. What is your preference?

    Any related experience would be greatly appreciated.
    Hey

  • #2
    I thought they were all meant to be used with ink jets.
    http://acapella.harmony-central.com/...nother-guitar.

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    • #3
      I tried with inkjet and had terrible results. Laser is supposedly a lot better.

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      • #4
        Laser's better for a number of reasons (waterproof for one, colour and sharpness tend to be better too, in my experience). The question is, do you have access to a colour (assuming you need colour, of course) laser printer?

        I did this one with a laser printer:
        http://acapella.harmony-central.com/showthread.php?2850477-Restoring-a-vintage-Hofner-Colorama-II-(lots-of-pics)&p=44529333&viewfull=1#post44529333

        It's different paper you need depending on the type of printer, btw.
        --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

        My guitar projects: http://diystrat.blogspot.com

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        • #5
          I did this with inkjet decal stock and it turned out okay:

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          • #6
            You are aware that water slides are plastic and that a laser printer uses heat to set the toner. If you check the package on most water slides it warns against using laser. The heat can, and sometimes does, melt the plastic. If the plastic is melted, it has the potential to ruin the toner cartridges, the belt, and the heater. On my printer the belt is $85, the cartridges $70 x 4, and the heater is special order at $150.

            I do not know about you, but I will not run a water slide through my Brother HL-4070 CDW printer. I would, however, wait longer for a water slide to dry if printed with a water resistant ink (most of them these days). Then again, there may be water slides for laser printers now.

            Your choice.

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            • #7
              You are aware that water slides are plastic and that a laser printer uses heat to set the toner. If you check the package on most water slides it warns against using laser. The heat can, and sometimes does, melt the plastic. If the plastic is melted, it has the potential to ruin the toner cartridges, the belt, and the heater. On my printer the belt is $85, the cartridges $70 x 4, and the heater is special order at $150.

              I do not know about you, but I will not run a water slide through my Brother HL-4070 CDW printer. I would, however, wait longer for a water slide to dry if printed with a water resistant ink (most of them these days). Then again, there may be water slides for laser printers now.

              Your choice.


              Well, maybe that depends on the paper.

              I don't claim to be an authority but I used to print decals as a side business for scale modeling so I can offer this advice after printing 100's of decals.

              First, I bought all my decal paper here - http://www.tangopapadecals.com/ Great prices and great paper.
              Second, for color decals I used an ALPS printer. It's actually a ribbon printer (like the old manual typewriters). Great printer because it can print metallics and white. No longer in business and ribbons are tough to get.
              Third, I would go with a laser printer over an inkjet printer.
              Fourth, seal your decal prior to applying. There are a couple of ways of doing this. One I used most often was to spray very light coats of Duplicolor clear coat paint over the top. Very light coats. Otherwise you can cause bleading/running of the ink. You can also (if you have an airbrush) apply a few light coats of Future floor wax (an acrylic clear coat essentially). The clear coats not only protect the ink/print but also make the decal less fragile when applying.
              Fifth, always apply over a gloss surface. Othewise the decal can 'silver' from not being able to properly glue/adhere to the surface.

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              • #8
                Then again, there may be water slides for laser printers now.


                Just to give a bit more information here, the decal paper I used was specifically made for laser printers. This is the type I got:

                http://www.decalpaper.com/product-p/l875c.htm

                It does warn you that you should use the paper as soon as the laser printer is switched on to avoid too much heat starting to melt the paper, so your warning is certainly warranted.
                --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

                My guitar projects: http://diystrat.blogspot.com

                Comment


                • #9
                  You simply need to buy either inkjet of laser waterslide decal paper.
                  Ones designed for high temp and one isnt.

                  http://www.decalpaper.com/Default.asp

                  I work for a major manufacturer of copiers and art studios and places like Fedex/Kinkos use the high temp stuff all the time.
                  Ink jet cant compare to the print quality of a dry toner machine so making up your artwork, sticking it on a thumb drive and
                  taking it to a kinkos or local print shop is the best way to go. Ink jets are water based and the print can run when you stick the
                  decal in water for applying it to a guitar neck.

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