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Old 10-17-2013, 03:05 PM
fl-mike's Avatar
fl-mike fl-mike is offline
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 1,630

I used rub-down transfers for my panel. Worked very well.
I used Visio to generate the artwork. Note that the page sizes used are often standard photo sizes, i.e. 8x10, 11x14, etc., not printer paper sizes. Make multiple copies of each transfer so you have a spare if you mess up installation. Nest things like an old model decal sheet to maximize use of area. I actually did not put a clear coat over mine as I found I never actually touch the legends and it makes modifications easy. A toothpick or similar can scrape off the old legend if you want to change a switch function. (you can see the CB I changed). Of course, install the legends before you mount the switches.

I think the vendor was color-vu or something like that.
Mike W
Venice, FL
RV-6A. Mattituck TMX O-360, FP, GRT Sport EFIS, L3 Lynx NGT-9000
N184WM reserved (RV-8)....finishing kit in progress. Titan IOX-370
N184P reserved (RV-8QB)
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Old 10-17-2013, 03:59 PM
krwalsh krwalsh is offline
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: San Francisco, CA
Posts: 382

Originally Posted by WingsOnWheels View Post
Doing that would be really nice, but I think the cost may be a limiting factor. Plus I would like to match the grey color of the interior trim.
Color matching on anodize is not easy. Grey is certainly possible in a hard anodize. Cost is not outrageous. Depending on the size of the part, if you can do sub-panels is should be relatively inexpensive. We did our full width panel for $300, and it came out very well.
Kevin R. Walsh
Cozy Mk-IV
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Old 10-17-2013, 04:53 PM
bruceg bruceg is offline
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: AL
Posts: 69

Kevin, Can you post or e-mail a picture of yours?
Bruce G.
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Old 10-18-2013, 07:41 AM
WingsOnWheels WingsOnWheels is offline
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Plano, TX
Posts: 2,262

Thanks all for the great suggesions!. I worked on my layout some more last night and think the dry-transfer decals will be the best choice for ease and cost. I like the idea of the anodized panel, but don't feel like spending the cash. I already have the paint needed (bought for the interior) so it is just the cost of the decals. An 11X14 sheet run about $90 and will fit all my markings with enough room for duplicates. Plus the longer sheet will let me place all my switch labels in one shot (about a 13" long decal).

Will still need to test the decal for pant compatability though.

Colin P.
RV-6A #20603
Complete 5/10/19
I donate every year on my B-Day (in Dec)
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Old 02-12-2014, 06:10 AM
WingsOnWheels WingsOnWheels is offline
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Plano, TX
Posts: 2,262

A follow-up to my prior posts about panel labeling.

I went ahead and decided to use dry transfer (rub-on) decals. I purchased the decals through Avery at The vendor was great to deal with turn-around was a little slower than quoted, but I ordered over the holidays, so I will give them a little leeway. Took about 1.5 weeks for me to have them in-hand.

The layout was designed in CAD and then transfered to visio where I had more font options. From that I converted to high-res PDF for the vendor. I included a scaling block on the sheet for reference. I fit all my labels along with duplicates on one 11X14 sheet. I chose that size so that I could put the entire switch panel on as a single label and maintain the CAD-levl alignment.

Along with the labels Avery included a really nice plastic burnishing tool! Total cost was $106 shipped.

I painted the panel with PPG MTK Omni Urethane topcoat. This is the same paint I am using for the two-tone interior. The paint is a single-stage so it requires some sanding if a clear os going to be applied. I wet-sanded with 800 grit to provide a good surface for the labels and clear.

The labels went on very easy. I would cut out a section of labels and position it on the panel with the backing still in place. Once happy with the position I would tape it along one edge. I could then lift the label, remove the backing, and lay it back down. Some more tape on the opposite side made sure it stayed put. Some rubbing with the burnishing tool and careful removal of the carrier finished the application.

The CB labels went on as one large label, so there was no concern over alignment. The same goes for the switches and dimmer panel.

With all the labels applied, I could shoot the clear. Since this was the only portion of the interior I was planning a Matte finish, it didn't make sense to buy $100 in paint products to clear the panel. Eastwood sells a 2K Urethane clear in a special two-chamber spray can. you use a tool to open the inner chamber and mix the two components. Pot life is about 48hours at a cost of $24 per can.

The one can was enough to apply a few coats over all the panel parts. The paint was easy to work with, dried fast, and seems bullet-proof. Warning, the can does not spray down well, so you have to hang the parts near vertical! I had used a test piece to make sure there were no compatability issues with the base paint or labels. Light or heavy coat made no difference, the labels did not try to lift or dissolve.

All said and done, I am very happy with the results.

Colin P.
RV-6A #20603
Complete 5/10/19
I donate every year on my B-Day (in Dec)
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Old 02-12-2014, 06:18 AM
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Veetail88 Veetail88 is offline
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Hales Corners, WI
Posts: 1,018

Nice work! Very professional looking!
Jesse Bentley
N229Z - RV-8 - Flying - Livin' the dream!
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Old 02-12-2014, 09:48 AM
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JanRV6UK JanRV6UK is offline
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: England
Posts: 470

Very nice Colin

Slooow RV6, no hole, builder in UK
Paid up for 2015 ...
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Old 02-12-2014, 12:56 PM
Rootski Rootski is offline
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Posts: 36

Originally Posted by pazmanyflyer View Post
If using CAD you could go a step further and have the panel lettering cut out and then back light them with LED strips. No need to worry about crooked lettering then and it's nice looking during night ops. Just a thought.
Man, that'd look so cool. Have you tried this? How's daytime visibility?
SEL +HP +Complex
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