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(Guest)    J&C Studios O Gauge Archive    Technology Modeling    Using a vinyl cutter to make structures
 
 
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Topic: Using a vinyl cutter to make structures
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ChiloquinRuss
Joined: Oct 24, 2012
Topics: 10   Replies: 50
posted on Feb 23, 2014 04:55 PM:
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Here are some examples of large structures made using plexiglass for the boxes and then a vinyl cutter to give the illusion of windows, doors. etc,.

Here is one way the vinyl cutter is used:
The side to be cut:




The vinyl is then cut and attached to the structure, the yellow is the color of the vinyl for this example:




Then some parts of the yellow vinyl are removed:




Grab your rattlecan (the darker color for the example) and do ALL of your painting at this point:




Finally the widows get peeled out revealing the clear plexi behind.




The windows frames and door frame are slightly raised, the insets in the door are slightly depressed, and the windows are clear.

Some examples of the finished goodies:










 

   

JohnBoy
Joined: May 14, 2008
Topics: 81   Replies: 512
posted on Feb 25, 2014 08:36 AM:
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Amazing Russ. After cutting the vinyl, do you then spray paint it, weather it, and then affix to the plexiglass building?

Am I close?

John
 

   

ChiloquinRuss
Joined: Oct 24, 2012
Topics: 10   Replies: 50
posted on Feb 25, 2014 09:36 AM:
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Actually it is all done AFTER putting it on the plexi.

1. Do your design on your computer, I use PowerPoint.
2. Take your file to the quickie sign shop (or if you have a vinyl cutter go for it).
3. They cut the vinyl and cover the vinyl with transfer tape (like giant masking tape).
4. The vinyl has a heavy paper carrier sheet, when ready to attach to your plexi box, remove the backing paper (NOT the tape). Attach the vinyl to the plexi.
5. Once stuck on the plexi you can then remove the transfer tape.
6. So now the plexi looks like the all yellow example above. The yellow above is not paint it is just an example of the vinyl, the color at this point does not matter, so any cheap vinyl or color will work. This means only that all of the doors, windows, etc, are lined up on the plexi. It is now time to start the removal of SOME of the stuck on vinyl as shown in the partially yellow example above. There has been NO painting to this point, just stuck on vinyl.
7. Once you have the vinyl stripped off of the areas like the door insets, or some of the walls, etc, as in item #6 it is time to do ALL of your painting, including the weathering.
8. When all of the painting is done, remove the small pieces for the window panes and install the building.

As in any new procedure ALWAYS do a test box just to see if you really have a handle on how the process works. I have corrected the above description. Russ
 

   

JohnBoy
Joined: May 14, 2008
Topics: 81   Replies: 512
posted on Feb 25, 2014 12:21 PM:
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That's fantastic Russ. Just for planning purposes, approx. what does this cost, say for a larger building like this one:





And I mean just the vinyl and vinyl cutting, not the plexi, paint, etc...
 

   

ChiloquinRuss
Joined: Oct 24, 2012
Topics: 10   Replies: 50
posted on Feb 26, 2014 01:16 AM:
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It depends on how rural you are versus how much competition the quickie sign shop has. In downtown or city areas it is usally pretty cheap. The charges are 'usually' based on the projected time the machine will be tied up versus the cost of the materials. For an example a really complicated sign may only use 2 or 3 feet of vinyl but take quite some time to cut. Whereas the building sides are so easy and fast it 'should' only be a few dollars. So that is a long winded answer that doesn't give you a direct answer but should give you an idea. Russ
 

   

Mark Boyce
Joined: Nov 3, 2012
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posted on Mar 9, 2014 10:26 PM:
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Russ, This is a new process I never heard of before. It sounds great. Thank you for sharing.
 

   

jhainer01
Joined: Nov 18, 2013
Topics: 10   Replies: 41
posted on Mar 14, 2014 11:24 AM:
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I have a 24 inch vinyl cutter this might be a good thing to try HMMM Idea's are running through my head now
 

   

ChiloquinRuss
Joined: Oct 24, 2012
Topics: 10   Replies: 50
posted on Mar 14, 2014 12:32 PM:
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Do some experiments on a small piece. It's pretty fun once you get the hang of it. The secret is don't 'weed' until after the first paint job. Then peel each layer to get the layered/texture you want. You'll see. Have fun. Russ

The station had the one inch strips glued on, then between the strips I placed the vinyl, painted, then plucked the windows.


 

   

RogerPete
Joined: Apr 17, 2014
Topics: 8   Replies: 16
posted on Apr 17, 2014 12:10 PM:
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I have a vinyl cutter in my sign shop, looks like a great way to do the Elves buildings on our Polar Express layout this year!
 

   

JohnBoy
Joined: May 14, 2008
Topics: 81   Replies: 512
posted on Apr 17, 2014 12:37 PM:
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Roger I hope you will. I also hope you'll post your work here so we can admire it.

John
 

   

ChiloquinRuss
Joined: Oct 24, 2012
Topics: 10   Replies: 50
posted on Apr 17, 2014 01:14 PM:
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Roger, once you do a small sample and see how its works you'll come up all kinds of ways to make really slick looking structures. I have done lettering, door / window trim, roofing details, etc,. All with just vinyl and rattle cans. Lot's of fun! Russ
 

   





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