Sunday, March 17, 2019

More futile attempts to produce the last few decals for the DSKY panel



It occurred to me that one change from the early work where the decals transferred to the later work that didn't is that I ran out of the roll of paper towels I had been using and switched over to a different brand. Perhaps these didn't generate as much static charge as the original towels were capable of.

I made up another of the white decals, this time trying to use different clothes to establish the static charge. If I had solved the inadequate static cling with my test piece of white dots, I could quickly produce and apply the remaining text.

Setting up for work on the decals takes some time and I have to organize adequate workspace. I need water baths, drying areas, the laminator warmed up, cutting areas, and all the supplies in place. Therefore at the same time, I went ahead and prepared the black indicator text through the stage of fusing on black mylar.

The clear mylar peeled off the paper nicely, the dots and border all intact. HOWEVER, the next step is to dab the water off the bottom of the decal before spraying it with glue. It was at this point that one of the dots transferred to the blotting towel. It was perfect before I touched it.

My next try was to just leave the clear mylar decal to air dry, without any blotting, then hit it with the adhesive spray. That should retain structural integrity until I am ready to rub these onto the target panel.

Once again, the gremlins struck. During the step where I put the white dye mylar over the printed image and fuse them in the laminator, for some reason the white fused to the entire page surface, not just to the dots or the lines. Completely useless as a decal, it was a pure white rectangle.

White fused everywhere, useless

Black toner is only where white should fuse 
Frustration rose to the point where I put this aside again. I will work on it after regaining some motivation. Having used this system for a large number of decals when building my life sized replica IBM 1130 (see. if curious), I just can't understand why it is being so cantankerous with these final decals.

Late breaking news - after shutting down and clearing up, I realized I had missed a key step in the procedure. It is essential to use a hot air gun to remove all the moisture from the paper before fusing the colored mylar on the image, but I forgot to do this. I speculate that the moisture in the paper turned to steam and melted the white mylar onto the paper. 

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