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        Vinyl cutter for making airbrush masks?

#1 mluniewicz Jan 19, 2005 08:00 AM

Vinyl cutter for making airbrush masks?
I was thinking of getting one of the inexpensive (relatively) vinyl cutters for making masks for airbrushing. Any opinions on how well this would work? Is there material available like frisket paper that could be used in the cutter (I'm looking at the Stika cutters from Roland - www.rolanddga.com)? I imagine the standard vinyl used for signs would be too tacky to use as a mask (would lift existing paint, etc.).

Any opinions or info on experience with using a vinyl cutter for making masks would be appreciated.


- matt

#2 mluniewicz Jan 19, 2005 08:09 AM

Hmm... noticed two typos in my post - and can't find the edit button... where did it go???

#3 Joules Jan 19, 2005 08:15 AM

Hi Matt,
I have one of the larger desktop Rolands (PNC-960)... The Stika in my experience is not really man enough for cutting lots of mask film. You can actually buy a low tack vinyl that is sold as paint mask. Normal vinyl has too good a grab to be used. I have no problem in using Frisket paper, just test until you get the blade pressure right, and it only just scores the backing. For very intricate designs, do the cut in two passes, this lessens the chance of the blade snagging the film (reduce the blade pressure), and watch for worn blades, as they also snag.


Sorry, that should have been Frisket film...

#4 mluniewicz Jan 19, 2005 08:24 AM

This wouldn't be getting lots and lots of use, just for my own stuff and a couple of friends. I've found the SX-8 on ebay for about $360 and am just wondering if it's worth the investment.

Thanks for the info!

- matt

#5 Joules Jan 19, 2005 10:10 AM

I would say if the cost is spread around you and your friends, it's probably worth it. Just weigh up how much sign work you could buy in for that. You still have a learning curve, and possibly software to buy before you are going. Keep an eye open for a larger machine, once people know what you can do, it usually ends up being more than just a few friends asking for your services.


#6 GordonTarling Jan 20, 2005 06:08 AM

I've got a larger Roland vinyl cutter and use it to cut paintmasks all the time - it works very well. In fact, I cut the canopy masks for most of Jim Ryan's kits. You do need to use the special paintmask films, but other than that, there should be no problems. Any machine which you buy would also be invaluable for cutting vinyl decals etc. The older Stika machines were somewhat limited in their suitability, but I can't speak for the current range. Might be worth seeking out a used larger (pro type) cutter - they can be found at reasonable cost and are much more suited to the job.

#7 Jim Frahm Mar 21, 2005 03:13 PM

Take a look at this sight... http://www.signsupply.com/Vinyl/FDC/3503.asp

They offer the mask you're looking for. I just pruchased the Roland SX-12 and really like it. The included software is not that bad. You'll have to make a lot of decals before the machine pays for itself, but the convenience is priceless.

Can anyone recommend the best vinyl for decals? I'm going to use it on foamy planes and larger RC gas planes, boats, cars etc.

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