Sidewinder vinyl cutting blades for all the manufacturers of sign making equipment
Sidewinder vinyl cutting blades cut through all signage materials with ease.Cutting effective signs from vinyl materials requires a good plotter and sharp cutting blades.
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Sidewinder -Vinyl Sign Cutting- TIPS

bullet44.gif (896 bytes) Vinyl Cutting Tips:
The proper degree blade, the correct downforce, and the right blade lynx_bundle_special.gif (9633 bytes)depth guarantees quality cuts. Standard blades are 45 degrees. A standard or lower degree blade may not cut thicker materials because the blade gets buried in the material. A steeper, angled blade (60°) is tall enough to cut all the way through thick materials and pivots easier when cutting corners. The quality of the cut depends on the sharpness of the blade and the condition of the teflon strip. A cutter gauge helps you to precisely set the depth of your blade, which will extend your blade life significantly.

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bullet44.gif (896 bytes) Surface Preparation for Blade:
Make sure your substrate is smooth, clean and dry; also free of oils, wax, silicon, and other contaminants. Glass surfaces can be washed with warm soapy water and rinsed with clear water, and then dried. Any leftover residue can affect the bonding of the adhesive.

bullet44.gif (896 bytes) Application Tips:
Before removing the application tape, squeegee the vinyl down. Work 5100_series_group_small.jpg (5985 bytes)with small strokes from the middle out and don't be afraid to apply pressure. Next, gently remove the transfer tape by pulling it back along itself. Do not try to pull up at a 90° angle since this tends to "lift" the lettering. If the transfer tape is hard to remove spray a little application fluid on it. Squeegee the vinyl down again, removing trapped air bubbles as you go. Use pressure as you do this. The better the adhesion, the longer the letters will stick. Pop remaining trapped air bubbles with a straight pin, and then squeegee again.

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bullet44.gif (896 bytes) Design tips: "Don't Be Shy"
If your sign design is going to have a chance of instant recognition among the hundreds of signs fighting for attention it has to be legible and exciting! If this sounds contradictory it's not! It's called the professional craft of typography.

We have all seen examples of good design communication. Many signs need to be fairly conventional because of the businesses they serve. But when you need more . . . try using an unusual type face to "jazz up" your particular sign. Doing so will raise that sign design from a good sign to a sophisticated one.

Roland automated sign making cutting plotter equipment with special vinyl design sheets.

  • The teflon strip is the white or clear strip under the blade that runs the length of the plotter. To get the best cutting results from your blade and vinyl you need to replace your teflon cutter strip every six months. Worn teflon strips cause inconsistent cutting; sloppy, unclean cuts, and it dulls your blade quicker.

  • Vinyl designs and lettering require a sharp cutting blade in all brands of plotters.

  • Cutting 6-8" boat identification numbers with an old dull blade may work for a time, but if you want to cut tiny letters or delicate graphics a new sharp blade is a must! Just ask your customer for a little more lead time so you can cut it after the next blade change or if they have a deadline, “go ahead” and— change your blade early. It’s not worth the frustration to save a few dollars on a delicate detailed sign job.

  • Store your rolls of vinyl properly! It is best to store rolls on a signage1.gif (7579 bytes)vinyl rack. Storing vinyl on its end can make the vinyl bulge on that end and it won't track right through your cutter. If you're going to store on a shelf, store in the box laying flat, not standing on its end. Additionally, make sure you leave the plastic on the vinyl when storing on the vinyl rack. This eliminates dust from gathering on the vinyl and clogging your cutter blade and holder when cutting.

  • When installing your vinyl over rivets use 2 mil high performance vinyl because it conforms better to rough surfaces and will not pop up like calendered vinyl. Squeegee as close as possible to the rivet without wrinkling, use a pin (not a knife) to poke about 3 holes around the rivet, use a blow dryer to heat, and then use a rivet brush to push and hold the vinyl down.

bottom_pic_16.gif (4573 bytes)Desktop and stand plotters are used for sign making to enlarge bottom_pic_20.gif (3945 bytes)

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The sign making industry is served by many very capable OEMs such as Gerber, Ioline, Roland, Mimaki, Allen Datagraph, Anagraph, Summagraphics, American Graphtec, Mutoh, and Techno-Arts. These equipment manufacturers rely on keen cutting edges on many varieties of carbide to get the desired results.

Critical aspects of plotter blade and knife selection for use in sign making applications include:

Material selection for maximum wear resistance at a reasonable cost
Edge geometry, especially in the area of the tip, to balance cut force and quality of cut with blade life
Angle of cut determined by blade shape

If you do not see a term describing your process, please contact us directly for more information. Chances are one of our Applications Engineers has worked on a similar problem in the past and can use his or her knowledge and experience to create a custom cutting solution for you. If you ned links to plotter and signmaking manufacturers here

Use Sidewinder replacement blades for best vinyl cutting results.
Sidewinder Vinyl Cutting Blades are manufactured in Saginaw MichiganQuick contact information for SFS Carbide Tool Company

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