Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Tinkering Runs In The Family

A couple of weeks ago I posted about making some vinyl decals for my sister Velma who lives in Tennessee.  She had been working on restoring an old Radio Flyer wagon that had been sitting in her garage collecting dust, dirt and anything else that wanted to crawl into the wagon to call it home.  After taking the wagon apart and repainting all of it's parts she still needed the finishing touch to complete the project. Namely the " Radio Flyer " decals that adorn the sides of the wagon.  I spoke to her at the time and started looking for the correct decals from the company.  The wagon was so old the decals no longer were available.  I told her that any company that did vinyl graphics for cars could duplicate the decals for her but I was also sure that they would not be inexpensive.   At that point I got to work figuring out how to cut vinyl decals of my own and offered to make them for her once I had worked out the bugs to the process so to speak.   

To review a little bit, here is what the original Radio Flyer painted logo looked like on the wagon before Velma did any prepping for painting on the project. With this image I was able to make a drawing to create the new decals that she needed.  This was the simple part being as the tape measure in the picture gave me the information to get the dimensions at least fairly close to what was originally painted on the wagon.  

I got the decals cut with a little effort and shipped them of to Tennessee.  That was a couple of weeks ago.  Being as all of this was new to me as far as making decals and even applying them I had to relay instructions on to Velma on how to put them on the wagon without messing them up in the process. I crossed my fingers that my instructions were enough to have things work out for her project.

The transfer tape that I used for the decal already had a grid printed on it so it made things simpler for Velma to align the new decal when she was ready to apply it.  She simply had to place the decal on the wagon side and then use a credit card to press down on the transfer to squeegee it firmly to the part she was working on. 

Then it was just a simple matter of peeling the transfer tape off of the part to leave the vinyl decal in place afterwards.  The transfer tape is sticky enough to hold the decal but not so sticky as to remove the decal once it has been pressed into place using a credit card.  Best description I can give you as to how sticky the transfer tape is?  Something as sticky as a "Sticky Note" would be. 

Here is the finished wagon that Velma can be very proud of.  She had applied three coats of clear over the paint on the red parts of the wagon to seal the vinyl decals in place. This should insure that they will stay put for years to come and have to be sanded off the next time the wagon should ever need to be refurbished once again.

She and I both learned some new things along the way and had some family fun in the process.  The one person that will surely appreciate the restoration the most is Velma's grandson who will surely get many hours use out of a wagon that had been neglected for many years but now has been lovingly restored to like new condition once again. 

Smiles and bragging rights are well earned with the completion of this project. 😀

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