Brother P-Touch Love

Jovi Bon Kenobi

Well-known member
What is a Brother P-Touch? An inappropriate monk? No, it's what I use to label my pedals. I wanted to create this thread to show my process of how I utilize this machine since a few people asked how I do my enclosures and I would rather link to this because I'm lazy and can't type fast 🤪

This is the machine I use. Mine is three and a half years old and is still chugging along.
Brother P-Touch PTD600

You need cartridges of clear tape and they come in many colors and sizes. I prefer to use 18mm tape but occasionally have to use 12mm because all the color options aren't available in 18mm. They make tape in 24mm but color options are even fewer. The bigger the tape, the fewer color options. For the clear tape cartridges I've found ink colors in white, black, blue, red, and gold. These labels are waterproof, rub proof, and UV resistant. I always buy the knock off brands because they are way cheaper!

Here's a link to the knockoff tape I use.

This machine comes with software that you can download called "P-Touch Editor". I only use this software, not the stock fonts that come on the unit. You simply plug in the included USB cable to your computer and it bypasses the keypad and screen on the unit. Basically, it's now just another printer. The software allows you to do a variety of editing functions from resizing, stretching, bending words into a radius, etc. The function I use the most is "Snap Mode". This allows you to screenshot anything on your monitor then send it into the editing page. It looks like this:
Screen Shot 2019-10-26 at 12.49.13 PM.png
In this photo I used Snap Mode to capture "Grievous Angel" from a font website. I had to snap it in a few sections, like just the G, then rievou, then the s, etc. I did this because the font I used had variations in the same typeface, like those swashes that create bookend flourishes. And the L in angel didn't have that swash coming off of it so I snapped a swash and placed it in a pleasing looking spot. All the single letters or groups of letters were stretched, moved, and resized to fit together nicely. Once I had my name I "grouped" it together in the software menu.

All files I create are saved onto my computer through the software. This allows me to come back to them and quickly print designs that I use most often, like my logo, the in/out header, or the curved radius letters that I use for control knobs and I just retype a new word in that same radius.

Print em out!
IMG_20191025_072908.jpg

Next, I cut. I use very sharp fine scissors and wear my Optivisor to get in there nice and close. I find that it looks the least noticeable on the enclosure when I cut directly on the edge of the letters. It's even less noticeable if you add a border and cut right along it's edge.
IMG_20191025_073431.jpg

If I need to cut a straight line I use a ruler and my Swann Morton Retractaway Scalpel. Hands down my favorite craft knife. Surgically sharp and no slip refillable blade, heavy!, doesn't roll, retracts, has a hole for hanging on pegboard)
IMG_20191025_075512.jpg

All cut!
IMG_20191025_080759.jpg

Peel 'n' stick em on! I use the knob as a guide and carefully place each control label then move it to the next until all are done. Make sure your enclosure is clean as a whistle before adhering.
IMG_20191025_085508.jpg

I use an eraser to really squish the label down good so there are no bubbles. Protip: just push hard, don't rub. Rubbing will leave residue.
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All done!
IMG_20191025_093256.jpg
 
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zgrav

Active member
When you "snap" an image from you PC, are you able to draw a line around what you are getting, or is it putting whatever image you want inside a rectangle or a circle?
 

Jovi Bon Kenobi

Well-known member
So well done, thank you for sharing! Any tips on best sizes when printing?
Thanks! Yes, in the first photo do you see the big white box with "level, drive, and bass" that is displayed on my screen? That's the tape. So, whatever you drag into that box is what will print. Above that and to the left are rulers on the screen that display actual size so that you can see how big your tape or design will be.

In some cases, I have even printed a LARGE design by dragging one half onto the tape, printing it, then dragging the other half and printing. Then I splice the two tapes together.
 
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Jovi Bon Kenobi

Well-known member
When you "snap" an image from you PC, are you able to draw a line around what you are getting, or is it putting whatever image you want inside a rectangle or a circle?
Here is Snap Mode in action. That round target cursor. It draws a BOX that you can pick the start and end with.
Screen Shot 2019-10-25 at 1.09.58 PM.png

Here's a label of your question 🙃
Screen Shot 2019-10-25 at 1.18.43 PM.png
 

zgrav

Active member
I like the way you are able to combine pieces from the tape to make a larger image, and the way you could put the larger letters on each side of the Grievous Angel lettering, plus adding the flourish.

I asked about how the software captures images because, sometimes can be unwanted parts of an image that would come within a circle or square when you copy the part that you want to use. Is there some kind of option to erase parts of an image you do not want to print?
 

Jovi Bon Kenobi

Well-known member
I asked about how the software captures images because, sometimes can be unwanted parts of an image that would come within a circle or square when you copy the part that you want to use. Is there some kind of option to erase parts of an image you do not want to print?
I know what you mean and the answer is not really. There are limitations so you have to design around them.

One workaround I have done is...get ready for some dumb-foo... screenshot what you want, head over to pinetools.com, use any of it's tools to make your image look the way you want, then Snap Mode it.

I don't have photoshop or any other advanced illustration software so this works for me. haha
 

zgrav

Active member
GIMP is a great free alternative to photo-shop, but I don't use it often enough to be fluid with it. I sometimes resort to MSPaint to clean up an image, likely similar to what you do in pinetools. Does the ptouch software let you clip from screenshots and from jpg files? Or do you need to take a screenshot from a jpg file that is open in another application? Either way, you get consistently nice results on your enclosures.
 

Jovi Bon Kenobi

Well-known member
Does the ptouch software let you clip from screenshots and from jpg files?
It will snap a box of any size from anything displayed on your screen. Alternatively, you can upload a jpeg directly in P-Touch Editor. I'm not sure what other formats it supports though.
 

zgrav

Active member
It is useful that this project box design machine can also make labels for other things. : ^ )

Does the software generate the bar codes that I see used on the file folders on the product page?
 

Mourguitars

Active member
Started this morning , kinda went crazy on one pedal...lol

My white on clear tape was dried out , came out in two pieces ..so back it goes,........ but this is kinda fun !

Mike
 

Jovi Bon Kenobi

Well-known member
Hope you have fun with your new label makers! If you find any colors on clear tape bigger than 12mm post it here. That's all I could find so I'm still on the search.


*Edit* oh look I found some. It's pricier than on Amazon though.
 
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