Building the (scratch) Flat Boy (part 3)

Well… that was a bit of a struggle.

My original intention for the white-on-red letters on top was to print a disk to cover the full top surface on label paper and use that. But then I found that I was having a lot of trouble getting a red anywhere close to the paint color out of my printer.

So plan B was to print a red rectangle with white letters on white-backed decal paper, cut it close to the letters, and live with the remaining mismatch. Now, the fins also need decals, but transparent-backed ones. I drew up two pages of decals, filling them out with Syracuse Rocket Club logos for use on our giveaway rockets. I printed them, and the clear ones came out fine. The white ones,IMG_0443not so much.

I tried printing them three times, with two different print quality settings, and they all were bad. Evidently something different about the surfaces of the clear and white decal papers. This is using third party inks in the inkjet printer, which I’ve never had issues with before. I’ve also printed white decals successfully before with third party inks, but I’m guessing not the same inks.

So I needed a plan C, or in fact plans A and C. A was the label paper. C was vinyl.

I’d been to a talk at NARCON about homemade decals and vinyl, and the vendor he recommended was I started to submit an order to them; they’ll sell individual sheets for $1.62 each. But then I discovered they’d charge $6.33 to ship two sheets. On the other hand, eBay vendor cajunokie would sell two sheets for $7.14, shipped. So I ordered from there. I also bought a package of full sheet label paper on Amazon.

I used both vinyl sheets, because the red I tried first looked awful on the first sheet. The second I decided was fine; not particularly close to the paint color, but better than I’d been getting on plain paper and good enough for the purpose. And no, the ink didn’t misbehave this time. I printed up one sheet on the label paper, too, but the vinyl was my first choice.

I printed the disk a little larger than the plywood, then cut the vinyl even larger and applied it.IMG_0434The theory was I was going to trim this back to the dimensions of the plywood disk, and it wouldn’t matter if the positioning was a millimeter off. The trimming turned out to be tricker than I expected, and in the process I took some of the red paint off the edge.IMG_0437So some touch up required.

The fin decals were no problem. I gave everything a couple coats of clear Krylon and it’s done.IMG_0460



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