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I'm about to pull the trigger on a stencil cutter and was wondering what the best masking material is for long term storage. We get so many requests for custom markings but dry transfers have gotten obscenely expensive to produce that potential customers usually faint when I give them an estimate.

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There is a conundrum in that.........

Some prefer rice paper tape (tamiya) and some prefer Ora-mask type vinyl. I've used both extensively, and found both have their advantages and disadvantages. 

Rice paper tape masks stick very well, and they don't shrink nor are effected by temperatures. However, it does not go around complex/convex curves very well at all.

Ora-mask is a great masking mask material, is reusable, sticks fairly well, and compared to rice paper tape, goes around compound/convex curves really well. However, the main and most confounding issue with Ora-mask is that when you cut it, is  can suffer from shrinkage. The stuff is made on huge rolls, and it has some pre-tension made into it, and when you cut a mask set on it, the cuts can release that tension, and the positive and negative parts of the mask can shrink away from each other. 

It doesnt happen all the time, and high temps can accelerate the process. It can take a couple of hours, a couple of weeks or even months if temps are cool.

 The solution I have found, is to wait and cut the masks as close to the time you are actually going to use them as you can.

For large scale business purposes, rice paper tape is less flexible and IMHO not  as good a masking material, but would survive longer term storage much better than Ora-mask.

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23 hours ago, Out2gtcha said:

There is a conundrum in that.........

Some prefer rice paper tape (tamiya) and some prefer Ora-mask type vinyl. I've used both extensively, and found both have their advantages and disadvantages. 

Rice paper tape masks stick very well, and they don't shrink nor are effected by temperatures. However, it does not go around complex/convex curves very well at all.

Ora-mask is a great masking mask material, is reusable, sticks fairly well, and compared to rice paper tape, goes around compound/convex curves really well. However, the main and most confounding issue with Ora-mask is that when you cut it, is  can suffer from shrinkage. The stuff is made on huge rolls, and it has some pre-tension made into it, and when you cut a mask set on it, the cuts can release that tension, and the positive and negative parts of the mask can shrink away from each other. 

It doesnt happen all the time, and high temps can accelerate the process. It can take a couple of hours, a couple of weeks or even months if temps are cool.

 The solution I have found, is to wait and cut the masks as close to the time you are actually going to use them as you can.

For large scale business purposes, rice paper tape is less flexible and IMHO not  as good a masking material, but would survive longer term storage much better than Ora-mask.

 

Thanks for taking the time to explain both... very helpful.

 

I was aware of the Ora-mask issue and will try it first, but I plan to cut it into sheets and flatten it under a pile of books to see if it will release the tension. Regardless, if I do cut masks for a customer I'll be sure to tell them it has to be used SOON after receiving it.

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1 hour ago, Archer Fine Transfers said:

I was aware of the Ora-mask issue and will try it first, but I plan to cut it into sheets and flatten it under a pile of books to see if it will release the tension. Regardless, if I do cut masks for a customer I'll be sure to tell them it has to be used SOON after receiving it.

 

 

Prior to finding out about the pre-tension issue with the giant rolls of Ora-mask, I actually purchased the end of one of these enormous rolls, that had about 200 - 300 ft of Ora-mask left on it. I took it to my local FedEx business office that had a office supply workshop with a 6' long straight edge cutter. The roll was 24" wide, so I cut strips 12" x 24" off the roll, then proceeded to cut those 12" thick strips into 3 8" x 12" sheets. I spent probably 3 or 4 hours in that FedEx shop that day, and cut enough sheets for myself for the foreseeable future.
 

I took the 12" x 8" sheet home and stacked them neatly in my office. After I got home that day, I experimented with the sheets I had just cut, and made several mask cuts including a full checker board for an upcoming project. Several of those sheets I cut down to 1/2 their original size, and cut some of those with masks too.  I made the mistake of taking the checkerboard downstairs with my to my work shop, as I was going to see how well they lined up to the base I wanted to use. The mask cut of the checkers was perfect at the time, 100% nearly impossible to see the cut lines. 

I made the mistake of turning on my portable heater in that room that night to accelerate the drying time of a model I was working on..............I made a second mistake of leaving the full checkerboard sheet in that room overnight.  A few hours later in the morning I went to check my model, and noticed that ALL the checker cuts had shrunk so badly away from each other, that there were now 1-5mm gaps between all of them. I took the rest of the sheets I had experimented on and placed them in my basement where its cool and dark. Now months and months later only some of them have started barely shrinking away from themselves. 

There really isn't anything that helps the pre-shrunk tension in the Ora-mask other than keeping it in as cool and dry a place as you can find, and cutting the masks as close to the 11th and 3/4 hour as you can. The shrinking issue follows the sheet to whatever size you cut them to unfortunately.  

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41 minutes ago, Out2gtcha said:

There really isn't anything that helps the pre-shrunk tension in the Ora-mask other than keeping it in as cool and dry a place as you can find, and cutting the masks as close to the 11th and 3/4 hour as you can. The shrinking issue follows the sheet to whatever size you cut them to unfortunately.  

 

Well, it just goes to show that nothing is ever as simple as it seems leaving us to only:


169956417.jpg

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lol, definitely not trying to be miss negative Nancy, I just wouldn't want any surprises down the road for you whatever you decide.

Dont get me wrong, I love Ora-mask personally and it's all I use. I just usually make the masks in Silhouette Studios designer edition, then cut the a test mask or two for size, then cut the final product right before I spray.

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Hey Woody, another advantage to Oramask 810S is that it's translucent and

(obviously) being able to see thru it gives it an advantage in placing it.

I have 810S in sheets and kept them in a box and haven't had a problem

with them shrinking away like Brian has.

https://anteupgraphicsupply.com/oramask-810-stencil-Vinyl-12-x-12-sheet/

 

 

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On 10/27/2019 at 4:11 PM, Archer Fine Transfers said:

Regardless, if I do cut masks for a customer I'll be sure to tell them it has to be used SOON after receiving it.

 

I think that would be a big mistake. Many modellers buy kits and aftermarket stuff for things to do when they get around to it. I can see lots of future articles all over the internet about how people bought masks only to find they had shrunk six months later

 

It would hit the reputation of the masks badly, and Archer Fine Transfers too

 

Richard

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On 10/30/2019 at 4:27 AM, MikeMaben said:

Hey Woody, another advantage to Oramask 810S is that it's translucent and

(obviously) being able to see thru it gives it an advantage in placing it.

I have 810S in sheets and kept them in a box and haven't had a problem

with them shrinking away like Brian has.

https://anteupgraphicsupply.com/oramask-810-stencil-Vinyl-12-x-12-sheet/

 

Now we're getting somewhere! Thanks Mike, just ordered.

 

The cutter arrived yesterday, and so it begins.

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4 hours ago, MikeMaben said:

Which cutter did you get Mr. V ?

 

Cameo 3. Just got it on Friday.

Looks pretty simple and I was a bit surprised that you can select three different resolutions up to 1200 dpi. 

Can even be used to cut card stock.

 

Of course I haven't tried any of this yet. Tutorials are pretty lacking and seem almost exclusively geared to crafters.

 

Oh, and BTW, you can call me Woody. Mister V was my father. LOL

Edited by Archer Fine Transfers

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A couple of us have posted setups for different materials in the Tips &Techniques forum. I put my setup in there for Maketar masks which are kabuki. I know the Oramask settings are there to.

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8 hours ago, themongoose said:

A couple of us have posted setups for different materials in the Tips &Techniques forum. I put my setup in there for Maketar masks which are kabuki. I know the Oramask settings are there to.

 

Excellent! Thank you.

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