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Allright, I hand cut the freak flag for the bottom of my OMP's wing last night out of moneykote. I used WordArt in MSWord to print an outline of the big lettering I wanted and then pinned the letters over moneykote, took the Exacto with new #11 blade and started cutting.

It looks good, BUT, there has got to be a better way. This took me well over and hour to cut and apply six stinking letters (PRO BRO). I look at some of the lettering from the likes of GATOR and realize it would be a two week job for me.

So how do you guys go about it? What are the tips and tricks? Cmon Gator and company, spill the beans!

And how do you like to apply it to minimize bubbles and still get a good seal. I put these on with the Windex method and will go back tonight with the swab/trim sealant around the edges. What works for you guys?
 

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What about a sign shop? I know you can take a file into them and they will cut the lettering on sign vinyl, but will they cut Monokote? They could do some very complex designs if they will cut Monokote.
 

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Well There are lots of ways guys use, but here is my way of choice. I got this idea from somone else but I don't remember who.

I print out said design in mirror image, once I get the size right.

Then, useing contact adhesive, I just stick it too the back of the covering, and cut it out. I started out with 3M spray adhesive, but it's a mess. Now I just brush on a bit of contact adhesive from a quart can. Works great for me.

The only problem I have found is that my Ultra cote seems to loose it's backing after it's been in my shop a while.
 

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You could use a glue stick to put the backwards letters on the backing. I usually only do big "PRO BRO" letters, so a trace and cut technique works for me. For detailed stuff, I'd glue stick it, and give it some time to dry. If you don't go nuts with the glue, it's not too bad of a wait.

The Windex, squeege, then solvent trick works wonders for Monokote. Just don't give the squeege up until all bubbles are gone. Then, just a Q-Tip of Trim Solvent will do a few letters at a time.

As for Gator, I'm convinced that his 3D chip has become self aware and now scans the universe for added creativity from beings centuries ahead of our development. :wink:
 

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First, I draw the lettering in CAD, or print it full size from either PowerPoint, or from a drawing program......

Then I use some 'Removable Gluestick' to stick the patterns to the 'kote'. I have cut letters backwards and forwards, and either method works, but most of the time, I cut them out forwards now (like you see them on a page). For translucent covering, I put the gluestick on top of the letters and place the covering, backing down, over the letters and cut through the Kote and paper. for opaque covering, I put the paper on top and cut through the paper.

When you cut stuff, always cut from the inside out. Cut the centers out of 'o's , and the inside nooks and crannies of 'w's or 'r's.

The key to doing this fast and accurate is stabilizing the whole mess. For that, I have have several 'corian' sink cutoffs from a countertop shop. After gluing the paper to the kote, I use masking tape to tape the whole thing down on the cutting board (the corian cutout).

One other thing....., use a straight edge for every straight cut, and use a fresh blade for every graphics set........

Using this method, I did new lettering for one half of my Raven, and new lettering for a new prototype in 45mins. I then used the windex method to attach them......
 

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Something I have found to work when cutting letters or graphics from monocote. Take a clean piece of glass and windex the material to be cut to it without the backing. You can then attach the template to it with removible glue stik. Use a straightedge where possible. When your done remove the excess and apply a piece of tape to maintain spacing when you remove the assembly from the glass and apply to the model using the standard windex method.
The advantage of this is the monocote will not shift while cutting, and you can do multilayer cuts all at once.

If you have questions let me know.
 

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Quicker said:
What about a sign shop? I know you can take a file into them and they will cut the lettering on sign vinyl, but will they cut Monokote? They could do some very complex designs if they will cut Monokote.
:idea: Most sign shops will not be able to cut Monokote or Ultracote due to the backer not having enough "tack" to hold the film in place while cutting in addition to the backer not being thick enough so the blade does not damage the cutting strip. A few have tried cutting by using 2 thickness of transfer tape (upside down) and applying the film alone to the transfer tape. The problem then arrises as to how to remove the unwanted film and still be able to pick up the graphic without the transfer tapes (now face to face) trapping the graphic between. I will be trying this to see the limitations.

In the interim I do cut vinyl as part of my Sign and Woodcarving business. I have most of the standard items available such as Calvin "whizzing" on whatever, Shell Aero plus + many logos including JR, Futaba etc. Standard lettering is available in many fonts plus graphics to enable us to see if the plane in upright or inverted. For design I can provide a plotted image 22.5" high x any necessary length in positive or nagative (reversed).
 
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