What size tool should I get? We recommend that the tools fit your needs. Get one tool that spans the widest material you will be applying. Also take into consideration the number of a size that you typically need to work with. A good choice for someone doing many 4X8 installs would be a 58" tool. While, someone doing an occasional 4x8 could do okay with a 52" tool, However, if you also do many 36" wide prints then it would be best to have a 39" tool as well. Yard signs are much easier to do with a Yard Sign Tool.
How much downward pressure do I need to apply to the Big Squeegee? None. With the hinge method, just push it across to apply. Putting pressure downward by twisting on the squeegee will create an uneven pressure on the squeegee which could distort it enough to give undesirable results. The back side of the squeegee has to be raised up so that the squeegee is about 40 degrees to the substrate in most cases. You will develop your own techniques as you work with the Big Squeegee.
What is the difference between the Laminator and Rivet/Dent tools? The main difference is how the tools apply transfer tape. The Rivet/Dent tool does not have a roll holder so it can only push the roll of tape over the graphic. The addition of a roll holder to the laminator tool allows the tape to be placed on the roll holder so the roll does not need to be pushed over the graphic. Both tools have unlimited length of masking capabilities. The only time that you would use the roll of masking on the roll holder would be when you have fine cut graphics that may otherwise get moved in the taping process. Other differences; The Rivet/Dent series has a padded edge so it will install over small objects without slowing down. The roll holder on the Laminator tool helps to handle long pieces of vinyl. The Rivet/Dent tool is best used on small signs.
What is the difference between the Rivet/Dent series and Yard Sign series? One edge on the Yard Sign series is for laminating where the same edge on the Rivet/Dent series is for working with rivets, grommets and other such obstacles. The other edge on both tools is for applying transfer tape.
Can I apply vinyl that is wider than the Big Squeegee? No! The principals behind the Big Squeegee is to span the whole width all at once. Anything not covered by the squeegee will have bubbles and/or wrinkles.
How long will the Big Squeegee last? There are some tools that are still in use after 10 years of daily use. The felt is replaceable. Some is held on with Velcro but the newer felt is a replaceable tape. Cotton cloth is changeable. When it does get dirty it can be cleaned with a damp cloth. If it gets cut or torn, it can easily be replaced.
My distributor does not list the size I need. Where else can I get it? Some distributors have chosen not to carry the full line of the Big Squeegee Tools. If they don't list it, they don't stock it. I don't get any feedback from the distributors as to what they have on hand so I don't know who has it in stock. You can order what you want from this web site.
What are the limits of what the big Squeegee can do? The Big Squeegee needs a flat surface in one direction to work on. It has been used to apply vinyl to box trucks and windows. It won't work on complex curves. We have found that the length limit is about 70" for one person so we only make them to 66".
Will it help to apply wet? I don't recommend that any fluid be used. The Big Squeegee was not designed to apply enough pressure to get the fluid back out.
What is silvering? Silvering is a term used in laminating with clear vinyl products. You can see through the vinyl to see the underlying layer of glue. If the glue has not fully attached to the substrate, the result is what appears as tiny little bubbles. This is not caused by air trapped but rather the glue boundaries. The silvering will go away either over night or with application of more heat. If you plan to install the vinyl, the installation will provide enough heat and pressure to get rid of the silvering. If you do get bubbles from applying more pressure right after the install then don't do it on future laminations. The tiny bubbles will disparate more easily if left spread out. Use heat only to get rid of the silvering.
What is the learning curve for the Big Squeegee? Most users will watch the video and make their first install without any problems. I find that the ones that have the most problems are those that have been using four inch squeegees for such a long time that they have difficulty dealing with the idea that you don't need to apply a lot of pressure. The Big Squeegee will make it possible for new personnel to mount vinyl with very little instruction and achieve professional results.
Does the "you get what you pay for" apply? The Big Squeegee concept is so simple that we feel that the price is adequate for our production needs. The lower priced roll laminators are much slower on small jobs and less successful. They are not as flexible either. I don't know of any roll laminator that will apply the vinyl to the side of a truck or on a store window. The big Squeegee is a tool in a class of its own.. You get way more than you pay for with the Big Squeegee.
I have a roll laminator, do I need a Big Squeegee? It can be used as a companion to roll laminators. It is far easier to laminate small graphics on a table rather than changing out laminate. You could be done in less time than it would take to re-web a roll laminator. It also makes a good back up for when the roll laminator is down for repairs or the person that normally does the laminating is not around.
What materials work best with the Big Squeegee? Most vinyl's work well with the Big Squeegee. The vinyl with thin or plastic backings such as Origuard 290F require a different method for getting the backing off. This video shows a method that works. It works so well that some people use it on everything.
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