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Do it yourself custom decals


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#1 kbproctor

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Posted 30 June 2011 - 03:07 PM

I, like everyone else on the board have been impressed with the graphics that Nuno Paulino does on his surf rods. He was kind enough to share his technique with us, but some of the materials are either hard to get here in the States or just can't work on a fly rod. His surf rods are much larger in diameter and some of the papers he uses are too heavy to wrap around a tiny little fly rod. So I adapted things to fit what I could get my hands on and the printer I had on hand. Any of this should be readily available to anyone on the board.

I print my labels with a regular inkjet printer on clear mailing labels. This works well as long as you remember that you can not print white or metallic with an inkjet. Using the clear label, whatever you stick the label to will show through and take the place of "white". It will also influence the rest of the graphic as inkjet ink is translucent, not opaque.

I print a decal that fills a 2" by 4" label with a graphic background. I do these up as an image in Gimp which is Open License image software. Free stuff and good. I then put the image into a label template in Microsoft Word. I incorporate the rod specs, etc, into the decal. It works well to print the label on paper and wrap it around the blank to see if everything is going to fit or not.



You need to use a spray fixatif on the label to keep the colors from smearing during this process.




The blank is prepared by painting on a Liquid Leaf in gold or silver available at most hobby stores. You do not have to be super precise with this base color as you will be hiding the ends of the decal and the base coat that might extend a tad beyond the decal in an upcoming step. I like silver for the military decals. Both the gold and silver will add a nice metallic shimmer to the look of the graphic.





Now to apply the decal. I put a junk reel in the reel seat and use that to hold the rod so I know exactly where to spot the decal for true "top" of the rod.



I carefully line up the decal and just set it in place.



Now to get it wrapped around the blank properly. Start with one side and gently smooth it down until you have almost reached center on the "bottom" of the rod. Now I take a small metal ruler that I have and place it under the decal, in line with the guides and hook keeper, and gently roll the decal onto that.



Then I flop the ruler over so I don't nick the blank and use the ruler as a guide and trim the decal with a new single edge razor blade. That side of the decal is then rubbed down.



Gently roll the other side of the decal onto the blank while rubbing out air bubbles and line the ruler up on the edge of the other side, stick the decal down, flop it over and trim.





Rub it down. There should be a very slight overlap of the two sides. Roll this with a rubber brayer or wallpaper seam roller.



Cover the seam and both ends with a coat or two of CP to seal them from the rod finish. You do not have to cover the whole decal, just the seam and ends. Don't rush this. I guarantee that the decal will lift if you do not seal it. If you can not get it to lay flat, peel it off and print another one. I normally print 2 or three and put any extras in the file for that customer in case I need one later for some reason.

Wrap decorative framing wraps over the ends of the decal. This is where I like to put my "Liar's Marks" or measurement marks. Apply finish and you are done!


Kevin

Colorado Custom Fly Rods, Ltd.

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#2 CDone

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Posted 30 June 2011 - 04:47 PM

Nice!! have been waiting for you to post this. Just need to play around with Gimp a little more.

Thanks
Colin

#3 John T.

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Posted 30 June 2011 - 04:58 PM

Kevin, thanks for the tutorial. thumbup.gif

John T.

 

 

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#4 Scuda

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Posted 17 September 2011 - 07:28 PM

Thanks a million for this. I was struggling with the waterslide paper and was look for an alternative. Here is my first attempt with it:









Not purple, the reflection!

Thanks again, it was a great tutorial!

Scott

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#5 kbproctor

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Posted 17 September 2011 - 08:19 PM

That looks great! Glad the tutorial worked so well for you.
Kevin

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#6 Rod O Rama

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Posted 18 September 2011 - 10:38 AM

Kevin,

Excellent tutorial. Can we can we get it pinned for future reference? I see some trial and much error in my future.


Pete
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#7 kbproctor

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Posted 18 September 2011 - 10:40 AM

QUOTE (Rod O Rama @ Sep 18 2011, 09:38 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Kevin,

Excellent tutorial. Can we can we get it pinned for future reference? I see some trial and much error in my future.


Pete


It is pinned in the Tips and Tricks forum. smile.gif
Kevin

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If your parents never had kids, chances are you won't either....

#8 mastercaster79

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Posted 18 September 2011 - 05:19 PM

QUOTE (Scuda @ Sep 17 2011, 05:28 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Thanks a million for this. I was struggling with the waterslide paper and was look for an alternative. Here is my first attempt with it:









Not purple, the reflection!

Thanks again, it was a great tutorial!

Scott

looks great except one thing bruins should have bin the canucks wallbash.gif stupid canucks

#9 Goduster

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Posted 18 September 2011 - 05:33 PM

Great tutorial,now if this old guy could just comprehend and understand it, it would be a lot better. Damn hi-tech computer stuff.

Ron Weber
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#10 Scuda

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Posted 20 September 2011 - 05:39 PM

LOL Mastercaster, I feel your pain, trust me, it' been a LONG, LONG time!!

#11 Scuda

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Posted 24 January 2012 - 10:15 PM

Hi Kevin et al.

Have a question for you, have you tried the clear CP on these labels? I did, hoping it would get rid of the small milky area that shows up. Well, it did, but it didnt stick well. Both of my tests starting coming up.

Didnt know if you or anyone else had this problem?

Thanks!

#12 kbproctor

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Posted 24 January 2012 - 10:50 PM

QUOTE (Scuda @ Jan 24 2012, 08:15 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Hi Kevin et al.

Have a question for you, have you tried the clear CP on these labels? I did, hoping it would get rid of the small milky area that shows up. Well, it did, but it didnt stick well. Both of my tests starting coming up.

Didnt know if you or anyone else had this problem?

Thanks!


After two coats of fixatif, you can get pretty agressive with rubbing the longitudinal seam down. The whole thing needs to be kind of rolled in place and rubbed as you go. The longitudinal seam has to sit flat and get rubbed or rolled down. Then I use plain old FlexCoat water based CP on the seam, 3 coats. Look at your seam. You should be able to see the CP has covered it from the little filet of CP from the upper layer of the seam to the lower one. Wrap the ends down with thread. As long as that seam is covered well, you should not have problems with the label lifting. However, I always print two just in case I have problems myself. If I only print one, I am assured that it will lift. hysterical.gif Print two and no problem.

Kevin

Colorado Custom Fly Rods, Ltd.

If your parents never had kids, chances are you won't either....

#13 2 X

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Posted 25 January 2012 - 10:44 AM

looks great except one thing bruins should have bin the canucks wallbash.gif stupid canucks

Could not agree more. Too bad the leading story for Boston pro sports is not about the curse of the bambino anymore!

Sorry for the hijack Kevin. Just could not pass it up.

Your tutorial is well done!

Jeff
If it ain't working, add more weight.

#14 hbell

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Posted 25 February 2012 - 02:07 AM

I have a really basic question. What is GIMP and OPEN LICENSE software? Are they a source of decal design?
Thanks. Nice tutorial, by the way!

#15 kbproctor

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Posted 25 February 2012 - 09:42 AM

Open source software is a program or programs whose source code is openly available and free to the computing community. Gimp is a image creation/editing package on par with Photoshop but is free as in costs nothing.

Open Office is another example of open source software.
Kevin

Colorado Custom Fly Rods, Ltd.

If your parents never had kids, chances are you won't either....



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