Sign & Digital Graphics

July '17

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46 • July 2017 • S I G N & D I G I T A L G R A P H I C S WRAPS DIGITAL GRAPHICS Wraps Tools Tools for efficiency and better results Charity Jackson is co-owner of Visual Horizons Custom Signs based in Modesto, California. She has been in business since 1995. You can visit her website at www. B Y C H A R I T Y J A C K S O N Let's Talk Shop and others were completely new to me as we covered some wrap install types that I wasn't previously doing. Wrap training is a great way to experiment with various tools, whether it's formal wrap training school or a seminar style training course offered through a supplier. Trade shows offer another great opportunity to see these tools in action and to help you determine if it's worth the purchase. Setup There are simply too many tools on the market for me to list all of the options within an article. What I can do is walk through a typical vehicle installation and note steps along the way that will require a tool for the best results. This is not meant to be a comprehensive rundown, but an overview of the tools we use in our shop. Having an organized setup for all your tools is the first step. We have a main cart where we keep our extra lint-free cloths, Tape Primer, alcohol spray bottles and backup tools. We picked up some inexpensive plastic utensil organizers and placed them on the rolling cart to keep everything organized. We also purchased two metal rolling carts with multiple metal shelves. These are smaller carts that we move around the vehicle as we're installing the graphics. In our shop, we have two main installers and each cart is setup for a particular installer. For example, on my cart I keep my Silver Streak GeekWrap squeegees because I prefer these. While our other main installer keeps the original white GeekWrap squeegees on his. We also keep our preference of scissors, knives and other tools that have become "ours" over time. These carts have sides to each shelf that keep our tools from rolling off, and they feature multiple shelves so we can keep items sorted. Since the shelves are metal, we can drop our heat gun in a shelf with- out worrying about melting any plastic. Chairs, Creepers and Stools We've gone through quite a few shop chairs over the years trying to find one that works best for our installs. Some shops use a chair that incorporates storage within the chair. I preferred a separate cart, so this wasn't a feature we required. Comfort is of course important, rolling over uneven concrete was also necessary. One thing T here are numerous tools available on the market for wrap installers—and new ones arriving all the time. Some tools are specific to a certain type of install while others have a broad use. While it's tempting to try and purchase most of these tools—especially as you get deeper into wrapping—don't sink too much money into your purchases without doing your homework. A wrap tool should primarily satisfy two requirements to make it worth purchasing: efficiency and better results. Efficiency is what makes you faster and helps you turn a profit. A tool that achieves better results is also important because it will make the wrap look better and last longer. When I did the training for the 3 M Preferred Graphics Installer test we used a lot of tools that I hadn't used before. Some were just different options to tools I was already using A quality chair that works for your needs will not only save your back, but it fosters better results dur- ing your finish work.

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