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Hi guys … I had promised that I would make a « custom decal dial tutorial » on another thread there

So here we are …

 

There are many variations of decal dials, the best IMHO being the « negative gilt » dials which gives the best results.

The process I’m showing today is aabout how to make a dial with black printings on a one color background.

I had a cheap quartz diver waiting in my drawers so I’ll make a Heuer diver hommage based on the 980.016 model (quartz one too).

 

rpq0y.jpg

 

 

DAY 01 :

 

It’s 4:30 AM (I’m an early bird) and I have 2 hours to kill before a business trip to Paris (I’m French) so I decide I have time enough to begin.

 

The first part of the process is to prepare the dial plate :

- stripped it, removing all the lumes bars and dots

- soaked the dial for some minutes in acetone to remove the paint

- filled the tiny holes where the bars and dots go with cyanolite glue

- sand everything flat

I sand with 800 and don’t try to get a smooth surface as I want the paint to adhere perfectly to thedial plate.

Here is the result …

 

rpGzb.jpg

 

Then I want to spray paint.

I make a tube with some painter’s tape, from a « curve » with it and place it on a plastic bottle cap.

I want it curved so that I can stick the dial on it without any risk of bstructing the center hole or the date window of the dial plate.

So I stick the sanded dial plate on the tape tube.

As you can guess from the pic below … that’s not the first time a make an orange dial.

 

rpod2.jpg

 

rplnd.jpg

 

Then I place the bottle cap and dial plate on a paper sheet and spray paint in orange.

I use street art spray paint as it is « water resistant ».

 

rpN5Z.jpg

 

rpFfR.jpg

 

As you can see on the next pic, I don’t try to get a smooth surface, or even to perfectly cover the dial plate at first.

I will let this coat dry, sand it with 2000 grade, then spray 1 or 2 coats until I get a perfectly smooth orange dial plate, ready for receiving a decal.

 

rpYzg.jpg

 

So I place the bottle cap and dial under a shooter glass and will let it dry for about 24 hours before sanding and spraying the second paint coat.

The 24 hours drying time is really important (though it could depend on the paint you use).

The paint I use looks perfectly dry after about 5 hours but if you spray the second coat without waiting enough, that coat won’t perfectly adhere to the first and you could get a granular surface like an orange peel.

 

And here is the dial waiting under the shooter glass.

On the right is a « negative gilt » dial (third and last matte varnish coat)

On the background there are two Raketa 2609 movements from the 70ies, quietly (really loudly to be honest) ticking for test after I‘ve recently serviced them.

 

rp7da.jpg

 

Now it’s 5:45 AM so I will have a and go to the train station.

I’ll sand the dial plate this evening and spray the second paint coat tomorrow morning.

Then sand it in the evening and spray the third coat (if needed) the day after.

 

 

DAY 02 - DAY 03 :

 

So here's what you get after the first paint coat … doesn't look really good but no matter as there's still some work to do to get a better result.

 

5pEE0.jpg

 

And here's what you get after 3 coats of paint, each one sanded with 2000 grade, to get a perfect finish, flat and smooth.

Now the dial plate is eady to receive the decal.

 

5pWTF.jpg

 

 

DAY 03 :

 

I won’t explain anything about Photoshop and Illustrator here … I’ll only explain how I print my decals.

One thing really important, from my own experience, is the definition of the design.

I’ve tried several, from 1200ppp to 6000pp and the best results I’ve got on printing decal sheets were with a 4000ppp definition.

So all my dial designs are done in 4000ppp.

The result is really BIG files … for example an A6 template with 12 dial desings ready to print is about 800Mo.

 

5a79G.jpg

 

As that dial is black printing only I open it with Photoshop and let the softwre (so ont the printer) deal with the printing quality.

My printer is an old Epson Picturemate with a 1200 maximum definition.

As the good quality decal sheets are not cheap and as I’m a « skinflint» I often print on A7 sheets … 6 dial designs on one sheet.

 

5aq6q.jpg

 

When printed you should let it dry for about 4 hours then spray 2 really thin coats of matte varnish, letting each coat dry for at least 12 hours (24 hours is better).

 

 

DAY 04 - DAY 05 :

 

2 days of speed-hiking with my wife so I didn’t worked on that tuto.

You can check on the net what speed-hiking is, but to summarize it’s hiking as fast as you can with really light backpacks, trying not to run (or only short runs).

On a good day you can walk 5 to 6 miles/hour … when trained you can walk up to 6,5 miles/hour … and while I trained for my first 62 miles ultra I achieved to walk (no running) up to 6,85 miles/hour (11 km/heure).

 

 

DAY 06 :

 

Today is Monday 6:00 AM.

It’s been 5 days since I begun that tutorial and … my legs ache and all my body is painful (see Day 04 - Day 05)

 

The dial plate is ready and the decal sheet too.

You can see that the decal sheet looks matte now.

That is because I have sprayed 2 coats of matte varnish on it, to protect the inkjet ink while I’ll soak the decal in water.

Of course if you print with a laser you won’t have to spray varnish as the laser inks are (almost) water resistant.

 

5aLT6.jpg

 

First thing to do is to chose the best item on the decal sheet and cut it round.

Then you are ready to go.

On the next pic you can see all you need now :

- dial plate … fixed on a foam board using the dial feets

- decal dial … nicely cut round

- tweezers

- thin and smooth brush (mine’s a watercolor brush)

- some « micro set » … or just vhite wine vinegar (it helps the decal to set on the dial plate)

- cold water

 

5atC0.jpg

 

Now you put the decal in cold water and while it soaks you brush some micro-set (or white vinegar) on the dial plate.

 

5a43F.jpg

 

5ar9r.jpg

 

Then you put the decal on the dial plate.

Here you can see why I prefer using clear decal sheets on coloured dial plates … because it’s much easier to « perfectly » positionate the decal, using the central hole and the date-window.

 

5aBEI.jpg

 

When you’re happy with the position of your decal you use a paper tissue to absorb the excess of water.

Do that carefully as you don’t want to move the decal on the plate.

 

5mVTo.jpg

 

And here we are … everything worked fine while absorbing the water and the decal position is OK.

I’ll let it dry for about 12 hours before I cut the central hole and the date window, before I proceed to the varnish finish.

 

5m6CL.jpg

 

Still Day 06 but 7:00 PM

The decal has dried for about 13 hours so now I can proceed on cutting the decal sheet

 

AKS88.jpg

 

That's what I do then I :

- fix it back on the foam board

- apply some « micro set » around the center hole, the date-window and the outer diameter

- gently press with a paper tissue so that the decal is perfectly applied (no more «air bubbles)

And I let dry for 3 hours more

 

AKhv3.jpg

 

Evening … 10:00 PM

Now the decal is « perfectly » applied and dried and ready for the finish

 

AKdHb.jpg

 

Last pic for today is after spraying the first coat of glossy varnish

 

AKOBd.jpg

 

I will let it dry for 12 hours, sand it with 2000 grade paper and apply the 2nd coat.

 

 

DAY 07 :

 

20:00 AM … only 1 pic today just after finely sanding with 2000 grade the 2nd varnish coat I applied yesterday

 

APzwG.jpg

 

 

DAY 08 :

 

Yesterday evening I applied the 3rd and final varnish coat after finelt sanding and cleaning

 

And today I can show you the final result … and say I'm pretty happy

That dial is so glossy it’not easy to get a good pic, even on close-up.

May I say that me hpone is nit the best at shooting pics (just like me) and the actual dial is much much better that it looks on the pictures below.

 

APypq.jpg

 

APId6.jpg

 

I hope that you liked that tutorial and that it could be helpfull to members who want to try to build their own watch dials.

 

I’ll try to make better pics with a real camera and a better lens … next week of the week after, after luming the dial together with the hands.

Then I will still have to get a case and rework it so that it could be a 980,016 lookalike.

 

 

Some of you may wonder how much time did I spend to make that dial.

It took 8 days to achieve the all process but I spent only 1 hour the first day then only from 15mnm to 5mn the days after.

So, apart from the design work on Illustrator and Photoshop (which took me hours), I would say that the whole process is about 2 to 3 hours.

I must say that it's not my first try at dial making and I've trained for 2 years now.

So if you want to try you should consider spending a few more hours but it's really worth the time spent as at the end you get your unique DIY dial.

 

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That is a pretty impressive result. :Bravo:

It would be interesting to compare the workflow between inkjet and laser, and see if one has any advantages over the other.

I can see a lot of tweaking of my inkjet printer settings and the printer properties in Linux will be in order.

I might get a chance to do some experiments in the coming weeks, so if I have any results to share, I'll post them (possibly in a separate thread to avoid cluttering up this one).

When sanding, are you using a sanding sponge?

How do you keep the sanding surface flat to avoid uneven sanding?

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14 minutes ago, clockboy said:

Great result as a matter of interest what decal paper did you use. I found laser was the best for me but I see you used a ink jet printer. 

I had that old Epson inkjet photo printer with a 1200/1200 ppi definition so I decided to use inkjet paper.

I tried laser printer at the office but the results were not as good.

I'll check the brand of the decal sheets I use (always the same) and I'll edit that post

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9 minutes ago, AndyHull said:

That is a pretty impressive result. :Bravo:

It would be interesting to compare the workflow between inkjet and laser, and see if one has any advantages over the other.

I can see a lot of tweaking of my inkjet printer settings and the printer properties in Linux will be in order.

I might get a chance to do some experiments in the coming weeks, so if I have any results to share, I'll post them (possibly in a separate thread to avoid cluttering up this one).

When sanding, are you using a sanding sponge?

How do you keep the sanding surface flat to avoid uneven sanding?

Thanks :)

For sanding I use nothing special ... just 2000 grade sand paper .

I put it on a cutting mat, put the dial downside on it and gently rub the dial with just enough pressure to keep it flat on the sanding surface ... long process as there is low pressure but perfectly working.

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Inspired by a documentary I saw about the NASA Voyager missions (launched 42 years ago, in 1977), which I was watching on the flight home, I decided to see what I could come up with in a Jovian theme.

The base image is actually from the Juno mission, but it is such a spectacularly colourful image I had so see what I could make from it.

The dial marker positions are borrowed from a Certina 2000 dial, which had a suitably 1970s vibe to it.

I can see I could have a lot of fun with this if I can get the technique mastered. The sky and your imagination  is the limit.

JovianDial1.thumb.jpg.da696b884517d47cb496267376f38dca.jpg

It needs a little more work, and I'm not sure I'm 100% happy with those hour markers, but the great thing about image editors is, if you don't like it you can change it. 

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Just to show how simple it is to work with layers to quickly alter the image, here is the same set of dial markings on a vivid blue image in the same sequence. I only needed to alter one layer and pick a new colour to replace the sandy tone of markings of the original example.

JovianDial2.thumb.jpg.6434499a96841009856045da7c777b6e.jpg

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More tutorials to come :)

Next one could be about "making a custom negative gilt dial" and  "gold plating a handset" to make it match ...

If I ever have the opportunity to redo something like what you can  see on the pic below :lol:

IMG_1849.thumb.JPG.d7a0d1d50d87fd68bddf4952e3cf60a1.JPG

 

FYI it all started with this

SDSY4519.thumb.JPG.f9b1a68af96d78f9fced05b1589d4531.JPG

 

 

 

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5 hours ago, manodeoro said:

More tutorials to come :)

Next one could be about "making a custom negative gilt dial" and  "gold plating a handset" to make it match ...

If I ever have the opportunity to redo something like what you can  see on the pic below :lol:

IMG_1849.thumb.JPG.d7a0d1d50d87fd68bddf4952e3cf60a1.JPG

 

FYI it all started with this

SDSY4519.thumb.JPG.f9b1a68af96d78f9fced05b1589d4531.JPG

 

 

 

I'm looking forward to part two of the series. :biggrin:

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I'm looking forward to part two of the series.
Hmmm ... to late for a tutorial on that one but I'm looking at another vintage those days.
If I win on the bids I'll mod it so I'll take pics of every step.

Envoyé de mon Moto G (5) Plus en utilisant Tapatalk

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Some news about the casing of that dial  :)

I've had the opportunity to get a 2625-001 Seiko case, which is not in really  good condition.

But just have a look at that comparison pic below ... it seems to be a good start case for a 980.016  hommage.

I'll probably (certainly) have to redo all the dial making process as the rehaut opening is really short on the 2625, and the date window will be a little too close to the rehaut but if it's not under the rehaut I will live with that.

Plus  I'll probably build a custom "bakelite" bezel (in fact plexiglass with a printed underside).

 

As I will redo the dial I have decided to change the color.

I will make it pistacchio green and spray some really thin gold powder on the decal prior to varnishing.

So if I succeed the dial should look matte in certain lighting conditions but sometimes there will be shiny gold spots  :wub:  

 

122272805_SEIKOcompare.thumb.jpg.a74ac14644821ec5c197e3f0a816a548.jpg

 

Edited by manodeoro

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Wow!!! Thank you for your time in teaching me that. I very much enjoyed reading it and would love to try that for myself, although I’m sure not as successfully at first




Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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20 hours ago, Deggsie said:

Wow!!! Thank you for your time in teaching me that. I very much enjoyed reading it and would love to try that for myself, although I’m sure not as successfully at first




Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

 

16 hours ago, Charlie925 said:

Excellent walk though, thank you for spending the time to document your steps for us.

You're welcome guys :)

n France we say "cent fois sur le métier remettez votre ouvrage" ... best translation being "the fourth time is the charm" IMHO, so just do it and do it again and some day ... bingo

My first attempt at making a decal dial was January 2017, so 2 years ago

Now that I fell really at ease with the process, I'm training for the next step which is ... silk-printing :biggrin:

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SOME GOOD NEWS !!! today I will receive the Seiko diver case :)

First thing I'll do is to check if :

- the date window doesn't comme across the rehaut and is not too much right positionned

- the movement inner ring can be shaved enough to fit the quartz movement that came with the dial

If everything is OK I'll make the dial plate blank again, shave it to the right diameter (should be about 26mm) and build my new pistacchio green dial.

I'll open a new thread for that build but I'll put a link here.

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28 minutes ago, manodeoro said:

Thanks for the link :)

That makes me think that I must shoot a video next time I'll solder feets on a dial ^_^

Please do, Manodeoro. I have a Seiko dial in which I want to glue feet I bought at Cousins (I said glue, not solder as I don't have a solder station) I'm sure I can learn from your experience.

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On 4/26/2019 at 3:13 PM, aac58 said:

Please do, Manodeoro. I have a Seiko dial in which I want to glue feet I bought at Cousins (I said glue, not solder as I don't have a solder station) I'm sure I can learn from your experience.

I don't have a solder station, just simple tools that work to do that.

And I don't use glue anymore for dial feets ... sorry

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