Laminating on a dime ( no machine needed )

General tips and techiques used in various sign/graphic design software. Corel, Flexi etc.
Post Reply
Site Admin
Posts: 844
Joined: Thu Jan 26, 2006 11:40 pm
Location: New Jersey

Laminating on a dime ( no machine needed )

Post by Muts » Wed Apr 25, 2007 9:36 am

Laminating on a Dime

Laminators are expensive... Until I had the money
to purchase one I used this method (still do sometimes)
it works and is easy to do. This is geared toward thermal prints....but works with anything really.


1. Nice big flat table.

2. The Solution - I use a solution of Ivory Dish Soap, Water and sometimes
Denatured Alcohol, I do not consider this application fluid, it’s a repositionable fluid. (DO NOT USE RAPID TAC) We want to delay the grab. Extra Soap is a must.
How I mix it...I pour just enough soap to cover the bottom of the spray bottle completely then fill with water letting the suds float out completely. I add alcohol depending on the temp and humidity. The first time you do this you may want a little more soap in it.

3. 16” or bigger screen printers squeegee...

4. The Laminate - I use either Avery A6 clear or Avery A8. - the later being a bit more tricky to handle. Avery stuff is proven, I have been using it since I had a Summa Chrome. I have yet to see any degradation, separation or adhesion trouble with it, including fading

Cut your lam to the correct size for the print. Flip it over and peel the liner off.


with the liner completely removed, spray it liberally with "The Solution"


I like to keep the print rolled, and release it so it rolls into place on the lam. I little practice and you can get it straight, if you need to adjust it do so, that's what "The Solution" allows you to do.


I then flip it over completely - give it a squirt to lube the squeegee and not leave any marks with it.




Done. I sometimes hang the just laminated prints up to let any fluid dry.
You'll be surprised how fast the clear tacks to the printed vinyl. I have on many occasion moved it right off the table and into the plotter to cut contours with out any issues. I have done things as big as 48 x 144 this way.....

Note - using this method with Summa's hp vinyl with the synthetic liner is super easy. It's a bit tougher to do with any paper backed vinyl ( for obvious reasons ) - but can still be done.

Last edited by Muts on Fri Sep 28, 2007 8:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.


great tutorial

Post by Ruddbow » Wed Apr 25, 2007 5:31 pm

Excellent tips Muts. You'da man.

Posts: 373
Joined: Tue May 16, 2006 12:21 pm
Location: Frisco, Colorado

Post by zlmark » Wed Apr 25, 2007 6:23 pm

Before I had a laminator is used Rapid Tac. Had to replace
some graphics. Seems it went kinda rusty underneath the clear.
For smaller graphics I do a Signlab Print/Cut operation and
after the DC3 has done the cut I don't peel up. I then apply
Clear Shield (water base) and now peel up before the Clear Shield
has had time to set up. Real good success in this one.
For a less expensive and very good Laminator I purchased
a Royal Sovereign 42" laminator for $4k. I have had it less
than a year and works great.


Posts: 114
Joined: Tue Apr 25, 2006 2:14 am

Contour cutting after lamination.

Post by cyberdine » Mon Apr 30, 2007 2:56 am

Hey Muts, Good tutorial!

I have one question in regards to the contour cutting after the lamination.
How much slack or extra vinyl do you cut off in order to load it again onto the printer for the contour cutting with the registration mark?
I want to practice loading the print again onto the machine to try this.

Site Admin
Posts: 844
Joined: Thu Jan 26, 2006 11:40 pm
Location: New Jersey

Post by Muts » Mon Apr 30, 2007 8:55 am


If you are talking about running it back through the dc3 - that's something
I will not do. I run it back through my plotter with opos set up.. I just do not like the thought of running something through the printer that may have some kind of debris on it.............

For running it through the plotter I leave 3 - 4 inches behind - if that helps.


Post Reply