When we convert rolls for our customers we only use our large slitters that cut through the entire roll. However, for in house jobs that require only a short run of material we use the machine pictured below. This method is similar to the larger rewind slitters in that it cuts the material while it is being wound onto another roll. We just simply pull the material through versus rolling it onto another roll.
This type of table top slitter creates smooth clean edges and is often used to create pinstriping. I like it because I can take a 24″ wide roll and create a couple of 12″ wide by 10 foot rolls and then leave the rest of the 24″ roll intact. I purchased this machine from Ronan Tools and it is my understanding that they do not make the larger slitters anymore. The pictures below may help you if you wished to create your own from scratch. You could do it with some pvc pipe and some exacto knives.
Rolls of standard sign vinyl or reflective tape can be “cleanly” cut down, resized or converted to different sizes in two ways. One way is by using a rewind slitter and the other is by using a baloney slitter or roll slitter. There are advantages and disadvantages to each method. We convert or resize sign vinyl rolls using a baloney or roll slitter. We first tighten up the roll and tape it. Then we measure out the roll widths and mark where the cut will be. Finally, we start the machine and pull the blade through the material. The advantage of slitting this way is that it is quick and clean. The edges generally come out just like the factory edge. We can create rolls that start at 1/2″. The price for slitting is $10 per roll that we create. For example, a 24″ roll cut to 4 – 6″ rolls would run $40. For more information you can email me at email@example.com or call 850-934-3157.
Vinyl Graphics rolls often arrive at your shop or location blotchy, streaked or mottled. Here is what has happened. Sign vinyl has an adhesive coating which is protected by a paper backing. When vinyl is rolled up, the face or glossy surface of the vinyl comes in contact with the paper backing. The paper creates in imprint on the vinyl making it blotchy or mottled. This does not always happen and is normally only clearly visible on black rolls. It has been my observation that this is more prevalent on rolls that are tightly wound thus creating more pressure between the vinyl and the paper backing. I have also noticed that when you get a blotchy or mottled roll it is going to be that way for the entire roll.
First, let me say that the vinyl is in no way ruined or unusable. It is simply a cosmetic problem. You can take a piece of mottled or blotchy sign vinyl and lay it in direct sun and in 5 minutes it will be perfectly glossy. You can also take a hair dryer and remove the blotches with heat. Lastly, you can roll up some vinyl and heat it in a microwave. You have to be careful when doing this as too many seconds in a microwave will melt the vinyl or start a fire.
For obvious reasons, when we cut designs in black that will be shipped to a customer we like to remove the blotchiness in advance. A hair dryer was too slow and laying the material in the sun or in a microwave also had several downsides. For this reason, I created a simple process that removes the mottling fairly quickly.
First, I took a couple of boxes and created a support system that would hold a portable halogen lamp. The support system keeps the lamp several inches from the surface below. To heat the vinyl I just set up the system, turn on the lamp and begin sliding the vinyl underneath the lamp. Once the lamp is hot it only takes a few seconds per inch to remove the streaking on the vinyl and gloss it back up. The pictures below show the process.
Our roll converting department specializes in small converting jobs. There are no minimum job requirements. We can slit all types of materials, however, it is recommended that you call in advance to discuss the job so that we can confirm that we can convert your rolls. Pricing is $5 per roll that we create. For example, to convert a 24″ wide roll to three 8″ rolls would be $15 for the three rolls.
On this page we have a collection of videos showing the roll cutting or slitting process. As you can see from the video, the rolls need to have a 3 inch core. The maximum size that we can cut is about 7.5 inches in diameter and up to 36 inches wide.
Included below are pictures of some of the rolls we convert. As you can see we can convert most rolls as long as they are less than 7.5″ in diameter and less than 36″ in width. We can slit rolls as narrow as 1/2″. Fees are $8 per roll that we create. For example, it would run $32 to create 4 – 6″ rolls from a 24″ roll of vinyl. For larger jobs we can give a discount.