sure thanks for all your help through the years! so I use Gimp its a poormans Photo shop for free the video that got me going is at the bottom. . I buy LD premium ink jet photo sticker paper. Its glossy. I buy powder coated boxes or i buff them to chrome shine at a friends boat propeller repair shop. this paper is good but for the drill pattern i use glossy setting on the printer.the colors fade but dont smear off when handling. for the final print i use matte finish.
I have a corner punch i got t walmart $9 and a paper cutter $9. SO i use 2 inch wide masking tape and tape the box up .cover everything .the masking tape makes it easy to center the drill template sticker it pulls off real easy plus protects the box if the drill slips. I make the holes to be driled the exact size i am drilling.
once the drill temp is centered i measure with a T squarei make sure my borders are even then I use a spring loaded center punch . Harbor frieght $4. I then mark the dc and in and out jack and hole punch them. I use the step drill bit and drill everything.I pull the sticker and tape off and use 400 grit sandpaper just to knock and boogers in the powder coat off it also knocks the edge that comes from drilling the holes . I have a rubber 3 inch wide by 4inch long sandpaper palm sander holder/block . Harbor frieght $5 .
so now i print the decal but set the printer to matte papper . This makes sure my colors dont absorb and blacks stay black , it was fading to green and brown . I cut the paper in half (save paper) and clear coat the untouchable decal so i can handle it. The key is holding the Rustoleam crystal clear enamel can 15 inches away. you want the coat to look like sand paper not smooth . If you do it the normal way you get tons of problems. the dif in ink levels builds up and you get fish eyes ponds . it took me dozens of pedals to come up with this method . I still forget and get in a hurry and it ruins the pedal and wastes time material and leads to a ton of sanding.
so after 2 very very light coats from 15 inches away and rough looking you cut the decal out and use the corner punch. If your decal has a lot of black you need to go around the edge with a black sharpie Now this ist the TRICK
centering the decal you use some masking tape. Take the tape and put it on your pants several times to decrease the stickiness. it will pill the ink and clear coat off on rare occassions. you center the decal and tape it down. I print the drill holes on the final decal so i can stair at them through a lamp to make sure its lined up. So with one half taped down on the bottom edge . YOu peel the sticker gently not to crease the decal it creases easily . tear the backing off and gently run your finger from bottom to top. it willl stay squared . then peel the tape off the bottom edge and peel the backing off that side. i usually go 2/3 on the first peel leaving a 1/3 at the bottom . once thats done and you use a exacto knife and cut the holes.
The key is light coats from 15 inches away i do about 15 coats and if i have a smooth finish. These coats ar so thin they dry to touch in 5 minutes . then i do a heavy coat from 10-12 inches away. let it dry overnight. I then wet sand it over the sink with 500 or 600 grit sandpaper. if you have a smooth finish it will look chalky verywhere after sanding. Be very careful not to sand through the clear coat and ruin an edge on the decal. been there done that to many times. thats why my new method with super light rough coats works better very very little sanding . i use about 1 can per 2 pedals.
rustoleum crystel clear enamel is great but it takes time to really harden. if you dont wait at least 2 days and you box it the clear coat will spread and the pots will come loose the pressue can squeeze the clear coat, 48 hours is usually fine. I use semi releasable locktite on all the top nuts . thats how I do it.The more clear coat you use the better it looks but too much can cause issues with the weather extreme heat or cold can cause the decal and clear coat to ripple so no more than 20 light coats and 2 heavy . it will take 3 weeks to compltely harden . I shipped one after a week and it gt ruined . Sunshine will help harden it but put inside by a window . I have done about 150 dif decals and circuits for myself and others. check out my Facebook Page Melody Pedals .there are about 50 of my personal pedals on there and just a few that i have sold.
Using gimp this is the video that got me going i watched it a dozen times and then watched dozens of other videos for Curved text and there are many free font sites.this is the video he uses waterslide decal i did several but that is a real pain to use and if done right the paper decals looks way better .You can find the decal paper on ebay and Amazon its like 25 bucks for 100 sheets. i can do 150 with 100 sheets cuting them in half . I print the glosst touchable then run it through and reset the printer page to 4,5 inches from the left then print the untouchable on the same side 4,5 inches over . so thats a drill and final decal per half a page. always print o version on plain paper and cut it out to see if sizing is right, If you have a design in mind Ill do one for you Frank You helped me plenty . I can email the file or Mail a printed drill and a few decals in case you have some issues