best method for noob to put graphics on pedal

my first build has and will have no markings on it. (see super generic image attached).

For the next ones I do want to put graphics/text on.
I have read the "no film waterslide" tutorial and am not sure if that is the way I want to go.
I have a color inkjet and a black and white laser printer. I am ok with the first few being black and white.

Can I buy a "sticker" sheet that I can print directly to? Can anyone link me to some tutes or wikis?
Ideally I would graduate to full color later and do some really goofy looking stuff down the road just not sure where to begin.

What is the best free software package to use in order to take the PedalPCB PDF file and use that drill template as basis for placing text and graphics? Is that the main technique, take the drill template and modify that? How do I know the sizing is right, etc.. So many noobie questions, so much free time.
 

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SillyOctpuss

Well-known member
Gimp is free and has some good tutorials online. You can buy self adhesive inkjet or laserjet paper which you can print designs on and then stick straight to an enclosure. The easiest way to protect that would be clear coat sprayed straight on from a rattle can.

I used a rattle can for my first few though my builds improved immeasurably once I started using envirotex

This guide by Juansolo and Cleggy is excellent and pretty much how I finish all of my enclosures

 

SillyOctpuss

Well-known member
I bought some printable adhesive vinyl stuff for my first attempts at pedal graphics but I was never really satisfied with the results. I'm a full no film convert
I had a look at the no film tutorial on here but I'd need to buy a toaster oven and unless I read it wrong I wouldn't be able to use colourful graphics/pictures. would this be possible?
 

BuddytheReow

Breadboard Baker
I would recommend some clear "sticker" paper for a noob. You can use the drill templates in the build docs as a guide for where you want to put things. For the design of the decal you could use photoshop, or Microsoft Paint (ugh). If you're handwriting's pretty good you could try labeling the knobs in a gel pen/sharpie, slap a clip art sticker on it, then 3-5 coats of clear coat.

The waterslide option would be the next step up in enclosure art. Then etching, laser printing, etc....
 

boji

Active member
As a fellow noob, I thought I'd chime in to tell you how I put graphics on my first few pedals.

I had some cool Japanese wrapping paper laying around. I just stuck some on pedals and covered it with mod podge. Super fast and easy! But you have to be OK with the fact that they'll be random/unique.
 

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Danbieranowski

Well-known member
my first build has and will have no markings on it. (see super generic image attached).

For the next ones I do want to put graphics/text on.
I have read the "no film waterslide" tutorial and am not sure if that is the way I want to go.
I have a color inkjet and a black and white laser printer. I am ok with the first few being black and white.

Can I buy a "sticker" sheet that I can print directly to? Can anyone link me to some tutes or wikis?
Ideally I would graduate to full color later and do some really goofy looking stuff down the road just not sure where to begin.

What is the best free software package to use in order to take the PedalPCB PDF file and use that drill template as basis for placing text and graphics? Is that the main technique, take the drill template and modify that? How do I know the sizing is right, etc.. So many noobie questions, so much free time.

Another easier option is just rubber stamps. You can get a set of rubber letters and a StazOn stamp pad for under $20, and it'll last a really long time.

Stamps: https://smile.amazon.com/Alphabet-S...rds=rubber+letter+stamp&qid=1627494428&sr=8-3

Ink: https://smile.amazon.com/Tsukineko-...1&keywords=black+stazon&qid=1627494482&sr=8-1

Looks pretty darn clean and nice too.

1627494713810.png
 

Paradox916

Well-known member
Inkscape is a free vector program and there are lots of tutorials on YouTube.. and if you just have an inkjet printer you can get both clear and white water slide decals. IMO it’s the easiest and cheapest way to dip your toes in without much of a commitment to the process if you decide to up your game... I still do it that way and pretty decent results. And I’m only into supplies less than $20 for the decal paper and clear coat. 45951FF7-34FB-4513-AE83-CDF9E0A25E77.jpeg
 

SillyOctpuss

Well-known member
Another easier option is just rubber stamps. You can get a set of rubber letters and a StazOn stamp pad for under $20, and it'll last a really long time.

Stamps: https://smile.amazon.com/Alphabet-S...rds=rubber+letter+stamp&qid=1627494428&sr=8-3

Ink: https://smile.amazon.com/Tsukineko-...1&keywords=black+stazon&qid=1627494482&sr=8-1

Looks pretty darn clean and nice too.

View attachment 14178
I've been looking at stazon and stamps recently as an alternative to decal and envirotex. Just so I have more finish options really
 

peccary

Well-known member
I'm a fan of no-film waterslide. It is pretty simple, looks good, and is near indestructible without a clear coat. You can do color with a color laser jet printer. I've not experimented with color yet, but now that I am back in the office and have access to a decent quality color laser printer I'll be giving it a good here relatively soon.

I got a little toaster oven to keep in the garage from Amazon for like $20, but if you hit up a Goodwill or equivalent you can probably find one for a few bucks. They are also really helpful for painting as well and are a pretty handy tool to have around.
 

peccary

Well-known member
@peccary — How well does the no-film waterslide take a clear-coat?

I've not actually experimented with this, yet. My results were so good without one that I didn't really see the need.

I have some of that triple thick clear glaze from Krylon that I have had good results with in the past (It really seems to add some depth to whatever it's covering) and I just need to do it one of these days to see how it looks.
 

Mcknib

Well-known member
I've tried most methods my preferred method is toner transfer

I use el cheapo yellow transfer paper from eBay

It's basically prepping for acid etching without acid etching

The best results I get are sand bare enclosures flat with 180 grit then clean with soap and water

Drill the holes

Design on gimp print on paper see if it all lines up then when I'm happy I simply reverse the decal, copy and paste around 6 into a word doc then print onto the toner transfer paper

I place it onto the enclosure line it up and use paper tape, top and bottom, to hold it in place, I then hold it up to the light to see how it lines up with the holes, set the iron to full and place it on the enclosure

Leave the iron on it for five minutes, then iron it for another 2 to 4 minutes, you should start seeing the transfer through the backing when it starts to adhere

Pick it up with pliers (it's hot as hell, so don't touch it)

Then place it in the sink running cold water on it for around 15 minutes till it cools pick one corner off then run the tap under that corner and gently peel it off, generally it more or less falls off with the water running under the transfer and a wee bit of gentle peeling

I'll then either apply a couple of clearcoats or to add colour use transparent paint then clearcoat

It's cheap and fairly quick, it doesn't always fully adhere to the enclosure but it's very easy to remove it with a brillo pad and go again

I've also done it with powder coated enclosures but there's not as much room for error if you mess it up it's much more difficult to get off

Here's 2 done recently using the transparent paint and the above timings and they adhered perfectly the 1st time and a couple on powder coated boxes

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Grubb

Well-known member
These are all great methods, I personally find the easiest way to get good graphics is to do Tayda UV printing. There's a whole thread about it, maybe that's an option for you in the future. There's a bit of a learning curve but the results are worth it IMO. The other thing I want to try is laser-etched 2-tone acrylic faceplates. Design them on a computer, get them etched, keep them on with double-sided tape or even just the pot and switch nuts.
 
Lots to digest here, guys. Thank you as always. The part sourcing is one thing. The building is another. And then the art is yet another and then putting the art on is yet another. It's all very great and challenging and I like it. I will continue reading up on how to do the art and experimenting. I kind of also like the look of a totally blank (but powder coated white) pedal. I spent so much time fixing my face melter that I will forever have the knob functions memorized!
 
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