My easy multi-color method

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My easy multi-color method

Postby disctribution » Wed Mar 26, 2008 4:09 pm

Let me start by saying this is a method used when using a plotter/cutter. There are much better methods being done by hand, in which you can achieve unlimited colors if you have the time and patience. This is a limited technique and is very easy to do if using a plotter/cutter.

Here is my equipment:
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I'm using a Pro Wraith with a small tournament stamp on it.
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I removed the stamp color, then removed the stamp gently with a sponge and acetone. This is all done within 30 seconds.
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Now, I have a 2 color .GIF file I whipped up as an example:
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I send the GIF to my plotter and end up with a 12"X12" cut piece:
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Now, I am going to apply the transfer tape over the design, starting in the middle and carefully smoothing the tape out to the edges, to eliminate bubbles in the tape. After it has been snugly applied, I circle my hand around the design to ensure good adhesion to the vinyl....
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OK, so I'm ready to apply my vinyl to the disc. Ensure the disc is completely dry and clean. I use a penmark through the vinyl and a pen mark on the disc to center the design on the disc. Use whatever method you're comfortable with. I place the sticky side on the disc and again start smoothing from the center SLOWLY out the the edges of the disc in a circular pattern.
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Until you have the vinyl design completely smooth on the dome of the disc...
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Unless your design goes all the way to the edge of the disc, smoothing the edges isn't as important as just making sure they get good coverage so your dye won't leak through.
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After you're comfortable with the face of the disc, turn it over to complete the vinyl application
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Now separate the vinyl from the tape on the corners and tighly fold them in the the underside of the disc. Then tighly fold the excess vinyl in, like you're wrapping a present. Now carefully peel off the trasfer tape, slow enough to catch any mistakes, as the tape may try to peel your small design features off with it. After your tape is removed it should look like this:
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Now recheck your design and use your thumb to make any last adjustments, making sure to smooth out any areas that look bubbled, lifted, or just loose. Do not press too hard on the disc, and bending it will surely cause the vinyl to wrinkle, an undesirable attribute.

Remove the first portion of vinyl that you are going to dye. This will be the DARKEST part of your design. For me, I chose the center star to be the darkest.
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Now you're ready to dye. Take your pan, I use a cast-iron skillet because of the heat properties. Once you choose a pan, never use that pan for cooking again. It's a permanent disc dying pan now. Don't ever let your wife fry chicken in it, or she might ask you why everything is purple.
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Begin to heat your dye until you JUST start to see it beginning to steam. Overheating will cause disc warpage. After the dye steams up, remove heat and let cool for a couple minutes. This is what mine looked like as I removed it from heat. It isn't boiling, it isn't simmering, it's just evaporating.
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Now, using flaps from your vinyl, lower the disc in your pan and gently release it so it floats on the water/dye. I actually lower and raise it about 10 times because I find this eliminates the bubbles that may form if you just lower it once.
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Here's the technique part of it. After about 5 minutes I carefully remove the disc, rinse it, and remove the next portion of vinyl aroud the design that will be the second darkest. This can be the same color, or if you're clever, you've got another color waiting that works with your original color. Repeat this soak/rinse/remove process as many times as it takes to complete your design.
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Now each time you soak, the first layer will either get a little darker, or just stay black, if that's what you chose.

After that process is complete, rinse the entire disc with COLD water as you remove the vinyl from the disc. If you pull the vinyl off, instead of trying to scrape or scratch it off, you'll be left with a LOT less vinyl adhesive left on the disc.

After removing the vinyl, rinse it very well, and be careful of dye on your fingertips, this can bleed in to your disc as you are cleaning it. Dry your hands and the disc off and look at your work.
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Please note that this dye job was done on my lunch, so I was very time constricted. I used a simple pattern and only allowed about 2-3 minutes before each layer was removed. With a good amount of time and patience, I've made really nice multi-colored prize discs using this technique.

Please feel free to add content, tips, or concerns to this thread. I don't pretend to be an expert, but I have ruined a lot of discs to get to this point. There is still plenty to learn. I have other techniques for more complicated designs and colors, but those will have to wait until I have more time.

Good luck to everyone!
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Wow

Postby plshrk » Wed Mar 26, 2008 4:26 pm

Wow just seems TO easy...
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Postby AciDBatH666 » Wed Mar 26, 2008 4:26 pm

Purple chicken. LOL
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Postby disctribution » Wed Mar 26, 2008 7:30 pm

I got home and wanted to do another one to show the other example of multi-coloring using this technique. Just a black-then-red dye. I made the design from the city sign, but it translates in to disc golf well. lol. I also found a way to sneak my last name in for tournament play. 8)

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Postby ChUcK » Wed Mar 26, 2008 11:08 pm

See how nice plottered text looks? I really should get mine fired up again and do my name and phone number a million times for future use.

As far as tournament legal, it doesn't have to be your name or number or anything specific. All that is required of a disc to be legal for tournament use is a unique marking with pigment based something or other. So really any dye makes a disc uniquely marked.
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Postby HuckZito » Sat Mar 29, 2008 10:09 am

This may be a dumd question but, how do you dye with different colors?
How do you keep the second color from changing the first?

I see that you dyed the outer rim black and the text red. Do you have to mask the first dye area? Did you dye the black first and then the red?

Thanks, HZ
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Postby disctribution » Sat Mar 29, 2008 11:14 am

HuckZito wrote:This may be a dumd question but, how do you dye with different colors?
How do you keep the second color from changing the first?

I see that you dyed the outer rim black and the text red. Do you have to mask the first dye area? Did you dye the black first and then the red?

Thanks, HZ


I put the vinyl on the disc fully cut. THen after dying the darker color, which was black in this case, I pulled off all the areas that were supposed to be red, and dyed them red. The red dye doesn't effect the areas that were dyed black, in fact, it just makes them a little blacker. You can also do this with color that work well together. Take a white disc, dye blue areas, then dye your yellow areas, and wherever there was blue you'll have green. It's an expirimental type thing but once you start doing it you'll realize how easy it is to get 2 color dyes.
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Postby HuckZito » Sun Mar 30, 2008 10:11 pm

Hey Thanks!

I am setting up now to start some practice runs
I've built a pretty sano spinning device that I think will work real well.
What discs do you use for practice? I would like not to ruin too many if I can help it, while learning. I am looking at vinyl cutters / plotters right now.
Would a 12" be big enough?
Any advice for a newbie would be greatly appreciated

Thanks again, HZ
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Postby ChUcK » Sun Mar 30, 2008 11:17 pm

Advice?

I have some advice. Hit up all your friends for all the discs they have found but not given back (not accusing here, just trying to be honest about how many lost-but-not-entirely-found discs there are laying around people's houses). Get comfortable with disc dyeing (do thirty or so) and see if it really is something you'd like to get into seriously. Then drop a few hundred dollars on a plotter.

But really, wouldn't you like to show people your work and tell them that you cut it out, not some machine? I know I do. It may be slightly egotistical, but isn't every art/craft egotistical in that manner? People who sew quilts don't do it hoping to get reamed and laughed at by their friends, they want people to say "damn fine quilt! I can't believe you did this yourself!"

I know that if you showed me a dyed disc, and told me it was cut out by a plotter, the response you'd get is "oh. well, good job anyways, I guess!" That's just my skewed opinion on the matter, though, having spent thousands of hours cutting vinyl by hand and trying to perfect the technique. Maybe I'm just the xacto Paul Bunyan to all these fancy plotter chainsaws.
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Postby stoneman » Sun Mar 30, 2008 11:48 pm

Nah, I agree with you. If a plotter is used, all you really did was soak a disc. :lol: I'd say it's DEFINITELY the way to go though, if you want to make some money selling custom discs...it would be cool to have one, but I'd be more proud of my bled-up Stooges disc that I did by hand than one that came out cherry using a plotter. Just my worthless opinion.
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Postby ChUcK » Mon Mar 31, 2008 12:16 am

Well, there's no guarantee that plottered vinyl will come out bleed free. Dip-dyeing is still a difficult and rewarding undertaking. However, xacto skill is a whole different ballgame.

If I really was a true purist, I would be drawing all my own art instead of being a tracing rip-off artist. Got no artistic skills, though- just craftiness!
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Postby disctribution » Mon Mar 31, 2008 12:21 am

Well to me the art of it all isnt how it's cut. It's the actual design and dying technique, whether you cut and paste it from somewhere else, or drew it up yourself in photoshop. I can make a one of a kind art design in photoshop, cut it in a few seconds, and dye a disc. Now, let's say I screw up my dye job somehow, overcook, bleeding, bubbles, etc. Although the disc is a goner, I'll grab another one, and have my plotter recut it. It's still the same one of a kind design, but I don't have to spend an hour or so recutting it. Or I get a beautiful dye on my favorite driver then throw it in the the oil sump 3 days later. I can load up the design, make some quick changes, and recut. I just don't see what could be negative about making the design cutting easier.

If I was painting a bedroom with a brush, sure I'd be proud of how it looked when I was done. But if someone next door paints there room with the same color and uses a power sprayer and gets way better and faster coverage I'm gonna ask him if I can use his sprayer next time.
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Postby stoneman » Mon Mar 31, 2008 1:14 am

So you're going to loan out your cutter?? :lol:
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Postby Dut » Mon Mar 31, 2008 6:25 am

disctribution wrote: I can make a one of a kind art design in photoshop, cut it in a few seconds, and dye a disc. Now, let's say I screw up my dye job somehow, overcook, bleeding, bubbles, etc. Although the disc is a goner, I'll grab another one, and have my plotter recut it. It's still the same one of a kind design, but I don't have to spend an hour or so recutting it.


I think thats the part that there arguing. When you see one of these crazy over the top dye jobs and then find out the guy hand-cut it it just adds that much more appreciation to it.

With that being said, it doesnt take away from yours. Using the plotter is a much more convienient way, and shows no less creativity. Its all about what you enjoy, if all the hand cutting just seems tedious then theres no reason to do it. For some I would imagine all of the hand cutting just makes it that much more satisfying. To each there own.
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Postby disctribution » Mon Mar 31, 2008 5:41 pm

Well I gotta say, for the first few months I was an exacto-crazed disc dyer. But some of the more tedious designs really made my hand cramp up by the end of it. That's actually the reason why I looked up some automatic way to cut vinyl. It was only after I got one that I realized I wasn't, by far, the only one who used a cutter. I really thought I had some revolutionary idea. lol. Show's how simple I am. =D
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