My Inkjet Is Out of White Ink...

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JD Combs Sr

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Jan 30, 2010
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..:rolleyes: or how I applied a reverse printed(white letters on black background) logo decal on a black pen. I posted this pen earlier in the "Show Off Your Pens" forum but I wanted to post the details of how I applied the decal.

First the Blank: BTW most of the following is a copy-paste of a project overview I did for the customer so don't be offended if it sounds like I am talking to someone that doesn't know anything about pen making because in most of it I am.


My customer wanted a solid black stylus style pen with chrome hardware that used old 78 rpm record material as a component. (from here on I am repeating comments to my customer anything I add with this post will be in red)


[FONT=&quot]Initially I tried to mix record shavings from your old 78 in a clear resin. The density of the black fillings was insufficient to color the resin.[/FONT]
IMG_4710.jpg IMG_4716.jpg

[FONT=&quot]So I made additional filings(about two tablespoons), larger chunks were filtered out and then mixed with black Alumilite resin.[/FONT]
IMG_4784.jpg IMG_4789.jpg

The resulting Blank:
IMG_4790.jpg

[FONT=&quot]The blank was then cut into two pieces(barrels), one for the top and one for the bottom. It was then drilled, a brass tube was glued into the drilled hole. Each barrel was then individually turned to dimension. The lower barrel was finished and the lower components including the ink cartridge installed into it.

(I showed him a pic of the lower barrel with the nib, tranny, and refill installed here.)

After turning the upper barrel the barrel was masked for painting of a white space to accept the logo. After the white space was dry the logo was then applied .
[/FONT]IMG_4798.jpg IMG_4799.jpg IMG_4801.jpg IMG_4800.jpg

[FONT=&quot]The logo was allowed to dry in place overnight then 15 coats of clear acrylic finish was then applied by hand and then polished to a glass like finish. After the first 6-7 coats the edges of the decal were still clearly visible so I used some 600g sand paper and sanded the edges to feather them into the black of the barrel. I applied another coat or two of CA and check for visible edges and had to do just a little additional sanding in a couple spots. Now the black of the decal is undetectable except as a blacker area around the logo. The upper barrel components were then installed and the finished barrel with logo was installed on the pen completing the process. [/FONT]
 
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JD Combs Sr

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Owingsville, KY
The results

This is the final results:

IMG_4812_1_3_Detail.jpg IMG_4815_4_6_Detail.jpg IMG_4824.jpg

Some comments on the blank:
This was my first use of black Alumulite. It turned very nice. Very fast setup. The addition of the record material did not seem to advesely affect it except in color. The black record material is not truly black and could be seen as blotchy spots before finishing. After finishing they were a lot harder to see but still detectable but that is probably a positive for the customer.

About the Logo:(permission has been given for me to use it here)

The customer's last name is Nicholas, the logo is a stylized spelling of his last name. It spells the same right side up as it does upside down. Here I show it both ways, can't tell the difference.:eek: If you don't believe it copy it and play with it in Windows or a photo editor.


NicholasAmbigram.jpg NicholasAmbigram.jpg

All comments are appreciated
 
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bruce119

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Franklin, NC, USA.
About the Decal??

I read it a couple times to see just how you did the white. I see now it looks to me you painted a white background (underlay) on the blank then printed a water slide decal in black with the image dropped out so you get the illusion it was printed in white. It looks good in the photos the problems I could see with this method is matching the black of the blank and the black of the decal.

Your title says out of white ink ... but as I'm, sure you that is the problem. Now if you had an ALPS you could print on clear water slide in WHITE ink and just apply. But these printers are discontinued and dyeing out. And there is no affordable replacement yet that can print white on a water slide decal. I used to have an ALPS and did a LOT of decals for model trains. The ALPS was the only thing could do the fine scale quality in white.

Nice job figuring out the age old problem of white on a dark surface. When our printers assume we are printing on white papers.
.
 

JD Combs Sr

Member
Joined
Jan 30, 2010
Messages
767
Location
Owingsville, KY
About the Decal??
I read it a couple times to see just how you did the white. I see now it looks to me you painted a white background (underlay) on the blank then printed a water slide decal in black with the image dropped out so you get the illusion it was printed in white. It looks good in the photos the problems I could see with this method is matching the black of the blank and the black of the decal.

Your title says out of white ink ... but as I'm, sure you that is the problem. Now if you had an ALPS you could print on clear water slide in WHITE ink and just apply. But these printers are discontinued and dyeing out. And there is no affordable replacement yet that can print white on a water slide decal. I used to have an ALPS and did a LOT of decals for model trains. The ALPS was the only thing could do the fine scale quality in white.
Nice job figuring out the age old problem of white on a dark surface. When our printers assume we are printing on white papers.
.

Bruce, thanks for the observation and printer info. Obviously I was being facetious about my printer being out of white ink since it never had any in the first place. I was unaware that there ever was a printer with white ink:confused:.

As I noted there is a slight difference in the black of the decal and the black of the blank but I think most of the difference is the record filler dust in the blank giving it a slightly lighter black appearance. Without the filler the Alumilite and the decal would be real close in color.:)

Thanks again for your observations and comments.
 

Pjohnson

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Feb 16, 2012
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Plympton, MA
Thank you for the education. As I am trying decals for the first time - my objective is a green swirl blank and a decal that has green print .... Attempting to solve the dilemma above. Dark blank, dark decal ....

Many thanks - you have me thinking.
 

SteveJ

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Jul 11, 2012
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Grand Junction, Colorado
There actually are some printers now which print white. The Okidata 711WT goes for about $3500. (There are other more expensive options.)

You would have to sell a lot of pens to make that affordable. On the other hand, it is possible that someone near you happens to have one and wouldn't charge that much for one sheet of decals.

Steve
 
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Laurens,SC
When the background of the decal shows because of a color or shade differance, might concider cutting the decal to a pleasant balanced shape. Thanks for posting your tutorial. "Very interesting". I get to be better prepared to try decals. I'm slowly gathering supplies.
 

davarm

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Feb 22, 2021
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Winter Park, FL
What about printing a black background and white letters on white decal paper. The printer should interpret white as “no ink”, and you are left with the white paper showing the letters surrounded by black.
 
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