I'm posting this here and I also posted in the 60s truck section. Don't know where it should go, but I think this information about making your own waterslide decals might be worthwhile. It isn't difficult, either. The basic image manipulation program in Windows 10 (called "edit 3d" but you'll need to do it in 2d) is plenty to let you get started and there are free programs like GIMP and Inkscape and even free font creation programs for the advanced person. These decals can be made in nearly any color (not silver nor gold) and could be used for gauge restoration, radio dial restoration, clock restoration, pillar decal duplication, engine decals, whatever.
Anyhow if you are interested, here is what I know about the process condensed as much as possible:
1. you can buy 8.5 x 11 inch sheets of the waterslide decal paper in either laser or inkjet styles. Buy these on Etsy. Some sellers offer free shipping. 2. you can have FedEx (the old Kinko's) print for you using a color laser printer. You will need to convert your files to pdf format first, and this is easy as pie. In Windows 10, select the image you want, choose "print" and when you do this, choose "Microsoft Print to PDF" as the option. It will convert your image to a pdf file and you can then print and adjust the size if needed. 3. IMPORTANT NOTE: please remember only very specialized printers can print in white. Kinko's doesn't have them and I suspect you don't either. So, if you need white letters, etc, purchase white waterslide paper or use clear paper applied over a white painted base. You can get paper in white or clear in either laser or inkjet type. The original poster in the 60s truck section wanted a decal which was black with white letters. Using white paper and a common laser printer, these are dead easy to make. 4. make sure your base is sanded or cleaned very smooth. Even a tiny dot of dust will show through when your decal has dried. 5. once your decal image has been printed (either by inkjet or by laser) coat it with Krylon or Rustoleum clear spray. Inkjet images will dissolve in water and you can scratch laser print images with your finger while working with them. Plus it will help your images resist humidity, fading, etc.
When you have found or created an image (I use jpeg images) and you are satisfied with it, you're ready to go. This could be a jpeg file of any time...photo, drawing, computer generated, etc. And you will find you can stand on other people's shoulders as many of these decals have already been made or you can find and save them on websites. As for applying the decals, this is an acquired skill and you'll get comfortable with it pretty quickly.
So, if you're interested you can see some of the stuff I've done recently. First is an electronic speedometer conversion I've made for my pickup. You may have seen this in the electronic section. I've tried to keep it looking as original as possible. Next you can see a temp gauge register I've re-done. And there is also a watch dial I created. This watch (a 15 jewel Swiss movement) I could repair, but the dial was so bad I could not read anything on it, so I was left to create my own. The dial was painted light yellow and the decal was printed on a laser printer using clear paper. Easy as pie. So now I have a watch which looks brand new...despite the fact it was made during WWII.
Good luck. If you have questions, please send me a PM or email.
Additional note: in number 2 above I mentioned the ability to change the size of the image when you have it printed. This is actually sort of important. Please let me explain. For reasons I don't quite understand, a file on one computer when transferred to a memory stick and then printed on another computer can change size a bit. So, when you go to a place like Kinko's (or any other place that can print on a color laser printer for you), have them first print your image on a piece of plain paper. Normally they won't charge you for this. Measure that image with a ruler and be certain it is the size you need. If it needs to be altered, in the Acrobat reader program, the "print" screen has a place to alter the size. Alter the size until you get what you want and you'll be good to go. Also have Kinko's or whoever print using the photo paper or specialty paper selection on their printer. It will give you the best results. Fed Ex (Kinko's) usually charges me $1 or $1.25 to print a single page.
Jon, my digital skills are adequate for most things I tackle. They've helped me put food on the table for many years of working with gis programs in the pipelining world. That said, no way I'd have ventured down the path you've detailed above on my own. Thanks for taking time and helping those of us who need help. I'm now looking for a reason to try making decals.
1951 3600 with Clark flatbed, T5, 4.10 rear 1970 340 Duster 1990 5.0 V8 Miata (1990 Mustang Gt Drivetrain) 1951 Farmall Super A
Thanks, Ron. I've got to give thanks and credit to the guys and gals in the world of Linux. That's where most of the brains and creativity in the digital world really are. Their generosity in sharing their work lets people like me and others stand on their shoulders and do stuff like this.
When I studied computers (NTSU), the work was relegated to an extremely cold room in the basement of the business admin building, punch card machines, arcane flow charts, a surly chain-smoking operator and a computer roughly the size of a VW Van. Probably was the same at U of A or ASU.
Tim, I'm afraid by some definitions I've already gotten old so at this point I'm hoping I stay alive as long as possible. I've actually wondered if I could enter the next winter Olympics. From what I've read there isn't an age limitation unless the monitors of a specific event have set one. I think I could manage that event where you ski really fast down two grooves in a hill and become airborne at the bottom. The landing of course would be the challenge, but the way I have it figured I couldn't lose. If I landed and lived I'd be famous even if my jumping distance didn't win anything. If I landed and for whatever reason didn't live, I'd be the first person to ever die in this event. And it would probably provide great comedy for everyone...no matter what the outcome and might revive global interest in our generation.
Housekeeping (Moderator) Making a Stovebolt Bed & Paint and Body Shop Forums
Jon Going after "Eddie the Eagle's" notoriety eh? Or maybe the Jamaican Bobsledders. I'd watch (safely from my recliner in front of the TV).
To get back on topic, I've made some window decals out of static cling plastic stuff. Printed from a photo of an original cracked decal that I patched up in a photo editing program. Don't remember the name of the stuff or where I got it (probably some office supply store). Found it. I was from Office Depot - called WindowDecals. Comes in letter size sheets and works with inkjet printers. I painted the backside white so it showed up like the original.
Kevin First car '29 Ford Special Coupe #2 - '29 Ford pickup restored from the ground up. Newest Project - 51 Chevy 3100 work truck. Photos [flickr.com] Busting rust since the mid-60's
If you're interested in learning about and becoming more comfortable with Linux, there is an operating system I've used since it appeared. The name is Puppy Linux and while the originators will tell you they didn't intend it to be an operating system, I can't for the life of me understand why they'd say that. It is a lean system and part of its fame is that it can work on a computer totally lacking a hard drive. In fact, I ran a laptop which had no hard drive for a couple of years using a CD and a thumb drive only. No virus risk and no intrusion risk at all. My favorite version of it is TahrPup 6.0. There are other versions of TahrPup available now, but I haven't tried them. It is compatible with Ubuntu programs and you can run any Microsoft program using WINE (an acronym for Wine Is Not an Emulator). But when you install it, you'll see it comes with word processing, spreadsheet, secure web browser, firewall, paint programs, draw programs...a lot more than you would expect for a small (and of course free) Linux distro. You can add as much to it as you wish. And depending on how much ram you have, it can be fast. This system works by pushing as much of the operating system into ram as possible. So access is faster.
I'm not really a fan of Ubuntu but at the same time I should tell you I'm ok with the system. Bottom line is it has become larger and more bloated and more commercial and that's what I don't like about Windows. I'm not a fan of Apple, either...for some of the same and for some different reasons.
I think it boils down to what you use your computer for, actually. Most people I talk to don't use their computer for 1/10 of what it was designed to do.