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Author Topic: Laminator for toner transfer  (Read 6570 times)
Gozdom
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« on: June 06, 2010, 08:27:41 pm »

I have etched quite a few pieces of brass with the laserprinter & iron method, but transferring the toner is still the trickiest part. About one in three goes wrong. I read that a laminator provides a much more reliable way of transferring the prints to the brass, so I'm pondering the idea of buying one. Before I do that, I'd love to know if anyone has had success with them, as I don't need a laminator for anything else than that, so I don't want to purchase it if its of no use.
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jringling
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« Reply #1 on: June 06, 2010, 08:46:54 pm »

I use an inexpensive laminator I got off of ebay... I had the same luck with an iron, but I hardly ever lose a transfer with the laminator. I use wax paper and the blue paper from pulsarpro. I usually feed each piece through 10-15 times using a folded piece of cardstock as a carrier...

I normally use 20ga or 0.032" material and it feeds without any problem. I think I could fit 0.064" through, but then you have to push it to help the feed rollers...

Let me know if you have any specific questions or want to see pictures of mine...

you can see some of my newest etchings here:
http://creativeetching.deviantart.com/gallery/#THUM-Artshow


here you can see the name of the laminator I use, the wax paper backing from avery labels, and the cardstock carrier...
Spoiler (click to show/hide)

And here are afew out of the laminator
Spoiler (click to show/hide)

I know when the toner is stuck by how hot the metal feels. The avery paper doesn't have to soak in water, you just peel it off while the metal is warm.
« Last Edit: June 06, 2010, 08:56:58 pm by jringling » Logged

Gozdom
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« Reply #2 on: June 06, 2010, 11:53:24 pm »

OK, it's resolved then. Your pieces are perfect. Looks like an ordinary cheap laminator, that's what I had in mind. So you don't use inkjet paper? What is wax paper, I mean where should I look for it, what's its normal use?

In fact, I managed a few pixel-perfect transfers with the iron but it's rare and very dependent on the pattern. Thank you!
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jringling
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« Reply #3 on: June 07, 2010, 12:11:26 am »

By wax paper, I mean the paper backing of peel-and-stick mailing labels. I use Avery brand 2"X4" labels.

There are 2 cons to this paper:
* the paper is split lengthwise by a perforation, which limits the etchable size to 11"X4", unless you can live with a dashed line through the image.

* every once in a while, the seams of the labels show up. If this happens, it is visible on the laminated piece as a faint line. I touch these up with a paint pen. Sometimes they are faint enough not to be seen until you etch the piece, then you get a fine etched line where there shouldn't be. I get around this by laying out my pieces to the 2"X4" grid when I can.

I have looked for larger labels to avoid these problems, but all of the larger labels have a split backing.



I also use a toner sealer available from Puslarpro FX. After the toner is transfered, you run it through 2 or 3 times with this stuff (green):
http://www.pulsarprofx.com/pcbfx/main_site/pages/products/toner_foils/toner_foils.html

This stuff is great. It seals the toner and fills the small holes. The plate has to be DRY before using it so the wax paper makes it very easy to use... I posted afew pictures on my DA page showing the green foil:
Spoiler (click to show/hide)




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Mr. Hatchett
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« Reply #4 on: June 07, 2010, 06:39:52 pm »

Are you saying that you take Avery's label paper, peel off the label and then print your reversed out image on the backing?  If so, how well does it handle big, solid fields of color?
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jringling
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« Reply #5 on: June 07, 2010, 07:10:27 pm »

Yes, I peel the labels off of Avery brand labels and run them through an HP laserjet using HP toner. I have very good luck with large fields of black toner. I have photographic proof here:
http://brassgoggles.co.uk/forum/index.php/topic,21211.0.html

But you must watch out for perforations on the sheet and possible faint toner-less lines at the label edges...
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Mr. Hatchett
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« Reply #6 on: June 07, 2010, 07:32:09 pm »

That's bloody clever.
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jringling
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« Reply #7 on: June 07, 2010, 08:26:20 pm »

Thanks! I was tired of soaking and rubbing the photo paper so I set out to find something that would peel easy...

I tried to find a larger label that wouldn't have the perf line, but the 2 "cheap" brands I have tried do not release the toner well, so I'll stick with suggesting Avery brand...

I have also tried using the copiers at the local Staples store, but the toner they use did not stick to the paper... I felt sorry for the guy that helped me because I know they had to take the copier out of service and have it completely cleaned. Other than that 1 attempt, I have only used an HP printer with HP toner...
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Gozdom
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« Reply #8 on: June 12, 2010, 03:55:57 pm »

OK I got my laminator and experimenting. I use inkjet paper because that's what I got. I found those Avery sheets at the office but they jammed the printer. Question: did you modify the laminator in any way? I read that the method is widely used for homemade printed circuit boards but they replace at least a resistor to allow for more heat. As it is, I sent 0,15 mm brass sheets through about 10-12 times, one with a cardboard carrier, another with a thin paper carrier and one with no carrier just the inkjet paper taped on. The first one is ruined, the rest is still soaking.
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jringling
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« Reply #9 on: June 12, 2010, 04:19:57 pm »

I didn't do anything to my laminator... I used it right out of the box. I use 0.032" brass with a folded cardstock carrier and have had no problems. With the avery paper you can peel a corner to check the bond, but mostly I go by feel... it the metal burns my fingertips, it must be hot enough... I do try to keep the paper facing up but not sure if it matters...

keep us posted!

-Jerry
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Gozdom
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« Reply #10 on: June 14, 2010, 12:51:51 am »

It works OK, the only caveat is not to use any carrier. This laminator is for 125 micron pouches, which means it won't get as hot as some others. Without a carrier, toner transferred fine, with only a few thin lines missing. I'll try other media like magazine sheets.
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Mr. Hatchett
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« Reply #11 on: September 02, 2010, 02:54:53 am »

How much ironing is needed?  I tried this last night with some images printed on Avery peel-and-stick label backing (an exercise in frustration in itself, as the toner doesn't fuse cleanly when it's printing,) and the iron didn't seem to be getting hot enough to affect a full transfer.  The printer I'm using is a Konika-Minolta Magicolor (one of the older models, with the separate fusers and toner cartridges).
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jringling
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« Reply #12 on: September 02, 2010, 03:09:18 am »

When I used an iron, I would iron for a good 8-10 minutes. It is important that the metal is good and hot, all of it. I would preheat the metal on the iron before sticking the paper...

I have only ever printed on HP printers with HP toner, and never had a problem. I tried a sheet through the photocopier at work and had nothing but fail...
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