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Label / Transfers?
Label / Transfers?
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Old 8th January 2018, 11:19 AM   #1
calpe is offline calpe  Gibraltar
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Default Label / Transfers?

I'm looking for something to label two black Powder Coated Aluminium panels.

Ideally, i'm looking to put indications on to show - Volume, Balance, Input, Output etc. for a Preamplifier

Can anyone advise what i could use?

With thanks
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Old 8th January 2018, 11:30 AM   #2
JonSnell Electronic is offline JonSnell Electronic  United Kingdom
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I use Letraset. It is a transfer system and comes in different fonts and colours.
letraset transfers | eBay
Available from all good stationers.
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Old 8th January 2018, 12:19 PM   #3
calpe is offline calpe  Gibraltar
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Cheers for that, didn't think Letraset was still around!

I'll check out that link, thanks

What do you use to protect the letters from rubbing off?
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Old 8th January 2018, 12:45 PM   #4
JonSnell Electronic is offline JonSnell Electronic  United Kingdom
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I spray clear lacquer, this will give you the idea; Electronics Varnishes & Lacquers | RS Components
Probably available from stationers or printing companies.
Clear Acrylic aerosol | eBay
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Old 8th January 2018, 01:31 PM   #5
calpe is offline calpe  Gibraltar
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Is there nothing a bit more profesional?
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Old 8th January 2018, 01:50 PM   #6
nigelwright7557 is offline nigelwright7557  United Kingdom
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Quote:
Originally Posted by calpe View Post
Is there nothing a bit more profesional?
Your local engineering facility might be able to laser etch it for you.
Or try Front Panel Express: Front Panel Design Software and CAD Conversion Service: Home
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Old 15th January 2018, 03:11 PM   #7
Johnny2Bad is offline Johnny2Bad  Canada
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Silkscreen also works. You can make up your panel on a desktop using whatever fonts and outlines you prefer, and transfer it to a screen, one swipe with some ink and you are done.

There are a few tricks but broadly speaking it's easy. You can DIY everything you need if you're handy, buy a few chemicals and inks. It's essentially a photographic process, you create the original, expose the treated screen to your image + bright light in a dark room (closet, etc); some areas will harden and others remain soft, wash the screen in water, and then it's just a matter of applying some ink and taking a swipe. Dry and done. Screens can be cleaned and re-used for back panels, or whatever you want to add or use on another project.

Many, many commercial items are silkscreened. I visited a friend in Minneapolis one day, they were printing Audio Research face plates. Commercial printing like that application uses a slightly different process (pad printing which is essentially the same process except for the final inking) but for low volume, screen printing works just fine.

Whenever you encounter an audio device where the ink is raised somewhat so that you can feel it with your finger, it's pad or screen printed, probably, and a huge number of items now in your home and garage are screen printed. It's durable and can be very fine line, any single or multiple colours, and so on. But simple white ink on anodized black aluminum, or vice versa, is not difficult and with single colour, no big issues with registration.
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Last edited by Johnny2Bad; 15th January 2018 at 03:32 PM.
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Old 15th January 2018, 03:48 PM   #8
Johnny2Bad is offline Johnny2Bad  Canada
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The clear lacquer that is used on letraset by artists and others who do mock ups (architects, etc) is called fixatif and is available in gloss or flat finish, spray cans, found in art supply and stationary stores.

Applying it first, then the letraset, decal, etc, then a second coat gives the lettering some "tooth" to stick to for positioning.

You may be able to buy decal sheets you could use instead of letraset. Try music DIY amp companies (music as in Fender, Gibson, Marshall) online.

Aside from the suggestions so far, there are a number of other options, usually involving a computer and a laser printer. Again the music business is your friend, those who make DIY mic preamps, console channels, mixers, etc do this kind of stuff. That's a Google hint at a minimum. For some reason it's a more popular topic on those sites than here.

Note that laser vs inkjet is an important distinction. If you use inkjet, you will be using fixatif, probably. But you can laser print on clear mylar, and even some thin metals or metal-look "paper" etc fairly easily. Sandwitched between your aluminum and some clear/coloured polycarbonate, makes a professional appearing faceplate with whatever you want printed on it.

And that's just scratching the surface. There are more options out there if you search for them.
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Last edited by Johnny2Bad; 15th January 2018 at 04:07 PM.
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