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 Post subject: Re: Vinyl lettering/decal vs stencils
PostPosted: Fri Sep 18, 2020 12:22 am 

Joined: Thu Aug 26, 2004 2:50 pm
Posts: 2578
Location: Northern Illinois
Back in antiquity when I was doing this work at IRM, I liked frosted drafting Mylar. Easy to trace through, easy to cut, indestructible for long term storage. Never tried to use it as the stencil, though. For that I'd trace the lettering on "frisket paper" purchased from Rayco Sign Supply, apparently still in business in Chicago. The Demp-Knock material described above sounds similar.

I never tried pounce stencils. Not being my profession, I could never tell how far along I'd get in a day, and was afraid that the chalk dots would be lost during the intervening week. Instead I used a technique I learned from Bob Kutella; after the tracing was made I'd make 1/2" long cuts all around the outline, leaving maybe 1/4" between the cuts, then cut little fingernail size half moons out of the interior of the letters. This left the whole interior of the letter to act as a stencil "bridge", which made for a very robust stencil that wouldn't tangle and tear in storage. Taped to the car side it was easy to pencil in the dashed outline, and easy enough to follow with the brush. If I cut a frisket stencil, I'd cut it the same way, apply it, then razor blade through all the bars and remove the interior of the letter.

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 Post subject: Re: Vinyl lettering/decal vs stencils
PostPosted: Fri Sep 18, 2020 6:37 am 

Joined: Fri Mar 22, 2019 11:07 am
Posts: 8
Brian Norden wrote:
klmiller611 wrote:
I devised the vinyl method from the older way it was done with Demp-Knock stencils that many railroads used. They were die cut on an adhesive backed paper with a crepe paper type backing. These were made by the Demp-Knock Company in Warren Michigan, who went out of business some time back.

Demp-Knock also sold rolls of the material which is how I started. In the days before computers, I'd trace and clean up original drawings, make photo-copies, spray adhesive them to the front of the paper, and sit on my couch with a cutting board, and sharp x-acto No. 11 blades, and carefully cut them by hand. They worked great, conformed better over rivets etc. However, the paper with adhesive has a shelf life. I still have a partial roll here somewhere.
Years ago I was loaned a set of Demp-Knock stencils for "SANTA FE" passenger car letters to measure and make copy drawings. This was in the 1970s and I looked up the Demp_knock firm in an industiral directory. IIRC, the firm was in Michigan and also made flue rattlers (cleaners?). Talk about now obsolete industries.


I first ordered a roll of Demp Knock material sometime in the early 1980s. It lasted about 6 years, I called back to order another, and the lady that answered the phone remembered me, and the address! Obviously, by then, they did not have a huge amount of business. And I could tell, this was not a computerized office! :)


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 Post subject: Re: Vinyl lettering/decal vs stencils
PostPosted: Fri Sep 18, 2020 9:48 pm 

Joined: Mon Jan 17, 2005 9:06 pm
Posts: 2321
Location: Thomaston & White Plains
Demp-Nock was great stuff. In 1986 and 87, I was able to order a car set of B&O passenger lettering, and a locomotive set of NYC lightning stripe E-unit lettering and striping. They used "steel rule dies" to cut the lettering. I also purchased a roll of the blank stuff.

A few years later, I wanted to obtain some more pre-cut lettering, and called Demp-Nock. They reported extensive water damage had ruined all the steel dies, so no more pre-cuts.

I wish they were still around....

Demp-Nock was located in Detroit, because it was a major supplier to the automotive industry: wood-grain decals/appliques on "woody" station wagons, 40s era sedan dashboards, etc.

Howard P.

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 Post subject: Re: Vinyl lettering/decal vs stencils
PostPosted: Sun Sep 20, 2020 10:31 am 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 8:53 pm
Posts: 165
In about 1989, I wanted to letter a Nickel Plate engine. I asked the late George Hockaday (loco consultant), where to get stencils, and he directed me to Demp Nock. They gave me a complete set of NKP blueprints, as long as I purchased a roll of their material. I actually never learned how to use their material, but I made good use of the blueprints. I'm guessing they must have had a significant library of fallen flag lettering blueprints. One wonders what happened to that, when they went out of business.

One other "old school" method for lettering transfer - carbon paper. I've used it on occasion, particularly for transferring smaller drawings to another medium.

JR


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 Post subject: Re: Vinyl lettering/decal vs stencils
PostPosted: Sun Oct 04, 2020 11:15 pm 

Joined: Sat Jul 01, 2006 9:07 am
Posts: 163
Thanks for the great discussion.

I ended up tracing the old lettering and graphics on my cab and hand cut the stencils. From what I could tell when tracing what was on the car before it was also hand cut stencil work. I even replicated the bridges.


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 Post subject: Re: Vinyl lettering/decal vs stencils
PostPosted: Mon Oct 05, 2020 12:11 am 

Joined: Tue Aug 24, 2004 5:41 pm
Posts: 234
Location: Colfax,WI
For wood cars we computer print the lettering we need in the correct size and font and then tape it to the car and with either white or dark carbon paper trace the letter outlines and then hand paint the lettering. Kind of putzy but works well if you use artist brushes.

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