Letraset for front panel art

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celebutante
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Letraset for front panel art

Post by celebutante » Sun Oct 18, 2015 10:37 pm

I'm kind of a long-time 5U/dot com lurker; thought y'all might be interested in this. Like a lot of DIY guys, I've bellyached over how best to create front panels. Never wanted to do Front Panel Express, b/c I wanted to match the white ink of my dot com modules. In the past, I've had silkscreens made from my Photoshop art; these came out ok, but not great. (turns out I'm far better at soldering than screening)

Anyway, a friend suggested a place in SoCal (http://www.cliffdigital.com) that could make custom Letraset dry-transfer decals. If you're not familiar with old-school letraset, you just rub off the decal from the backing, and only the printed characters stick to the surface (i.e., there's no clear part that stays on the panel). Also, they can do full-color (including white, which was all I needed).

They rub off VERY easily (as in, you have to be careful about touching them down if you're not ready to apply); I just used a wooden stick that I rounded off with sandpaper. Not sure how tough they are once applied, but I rattle-canned a few coats of clear lacquer to be safe.

The end result is indistinguishable from stock dot com silkscreening (helps that I found the artwork for the knob hash marks!), and once clear coated, just as durable. The only downside is the cost; I did a sheet about 8"x4" (i.e. two single-width modules), and it ended up costing about $70 shipped, so $35 a module, roughly speaking (I presume it'd be more economical if you did more modules at once). I'm sure it's cheaper than having a place silkscreen panels.

Just to be totally clear, I have zero affiliation with the print shop. Feel free to ask any questions.

Image

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NS4W
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Post by NS4W » Mon Oct 19, 2015 1:34 am

I tried using some old Letrasets on a steel panel and it just wouldn't stick.

celebutante
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Post by celebutante » Mon Oct 19, 2015 1:37 am

NS4W wrote:I tried using some old Letrasets on a steel panel and it just wouldn't stick.
I'd guess they worked for me because the blank dot com panels are powder coated black. Either that or the ones I had made are different than the letra set lettering you can buy.

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snaper
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Post by snaper » Mon Oct 19, 2015 3:17 am

But...how???
Looks awesome :D

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EASYBOY
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Re: Letraset for front panel art

Post by EASYBOY » Mon Feb 22, 2021 4:59 pm

Another thread back from the dead.
Did anybody Else try letraset or sth similar in the meantime?

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plushterry
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Re: Letraset for front panel art

Post by plushterry » Tue Feb 23, 2021 6:30 am

I've used black letraset on a plain aluminium panel. It looked really good. Make sure to give the aluminium a clean with some degreaser first, I used isopropyl. Then I put a couple of coats of clear lacquer over the top.

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