WAY OT: image transfer to metal

Sorry, not sure where to turn for help with this and I know there are a lot of knowledgeble and resorceful inhabitants of the wreck. I'm looking for a lunchbox for my wife for Christman, you know, something different. This idea pops into my head and I'm not even sure it can be done at all much less at a resonable cost. Is it possible to transfer images to metal. Specifically, there are a couple of photographs signed by Mr. Rogers I would like to transfer to the side of a plain metal lunchbox. Since they are autographed the image would need to be a 'non-reversed' image. Where would one go to have something like that done. Is it even possible or do I need to return to the realm of the sweaters and perfume? Thanks for any help. Mike in Arkansas
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On 13 Dec 2004 01:35:25 GMT, snipped-for-privacy@aol.com (JMWEBER987) wrote:

Two thoughts, one or both of which might work for you- First, I knew a guy who needed several wooden disks with complex images on them, and he didn't want to hand paint all of them, so he glued computer printouts to the blanks and laquered over them. They ended up looking quite a bit better than I would have thought they might- it might work for you on a lunchbox, or that may not be sturdy enough. The other thought is that you can probably have it done by a company that does silkscreen printing. I would imagine that just about anyone who does t-shirts should be able to do this for you, provided it is possible to silkscreen onto metal (and I'm about 99% sure it is.)

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To create a silkscreen of a photograph, you'd need to make at least 4 screens, for 4 colours. CYMK. The resolution would be very course unless you started to blow serious dough. You will find that anybody who does silkscreens to that level comes at a premium. The laser idea won't be feasable by the 'normal' sign making people, their thicknesses (AFAIR) top out at about 1 1/2". I would suggest a permanent inkjet on vinyl print. Some of those films are adhesive backed.
My 2 cents.
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There are now lasers that "burn/etch" to wood, metal, etc. They run about $10k, but I betcha one of the local trophy shops should have or know of where to get this done
Essenitally they are seen by a computer as a PRINTER and just about anything you can scan in can be 'burned/etched' onto a suitable surface.
Maybe have a piece of thin metal 'etched' this way and glue it on the lunchbox. Don't know if this laser will accept the whole lunchbox for this purpose
John
wrote:

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Laser ... set to etch but not to burn.
DAGS or CTYP (Do A Google Search or Check The Yellow Pages) for a laser-cnc shop near you.
You may have to pay to "digitize" the photos into a format recognizable by the laser, but it's pretty quick.
HTH
Rick
(and for those who are keeping score, I DIDN'T recommend using a CNC router THIS TIME! :)

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Silkscreening shop?
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On 13 Dec 2004 01:35:25 GMT, snipped-for-privacy@aol.com (JMWEBER987) calmly ranted:

Take them down to your local t-shirt printing shop, have silkscreens made, and let them screen it onto the lunchbox.
Mr. Rogers lunchbox for the little lady? Whoop te do!
BTW, what's "Christman"?
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Mon, Dec 13, 2004, 1:35am (EST+5) snipped-for-privacy@aol.com (JMWEBER987) proclaims: Sorry, not sure <snip> it can be done at all much less at a resonable cost.<snip> in Arkansas Oh yeah, it can be done. Just not sure if it can be done in Arkansas. LMAO
Reasonable cost would have to be determined by you. If you're talking about Bill Gates, $1,000,000 could be considered reaonable.
Any way, if not of the other things work - quite awhile back Popular Mechanics had an article on making a copy of one of their covers. On glass. I don't recall if it was etch, or sandblasted, or any details on how it was ne, but the detail in the photos was great. I don't recall what year this was, let alone the issue. Maybe your local library can help. If that doesn't do it, I'd e-mail Pop Mech and ask them. They might even be able to provide a copy of the article. Or, you could always photocopy the picture, and epoxy it down, or have a photo copy done. Hmm, check a place that does plaques, maybe they can help, or point you in some direction.
JOAT We cannot direct the wind, but we can adjust the sails. - unknown
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Ouch! Mike in Arkansas :) Seriously, thanks everyone for all the helpful suggestions.
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Could you take your original art to Kinko's, or equal, and have a color copy made of the them? You can probably get them resized if need be. Crop or cut out the silhouette and glue to lunch box. Brush or spray a couple of coats of water based poly or other clear coat product.
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ Keep the whole world singing . . . . DanG (remove the sevens) snipped-for-privacy@7cox.net

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You can have your photo scanned to a computer, Kinko's can do it and then print it on adhesive backed photo paper and stick it on. The only other way is to spread photo emulsion on the box, print it on an enlarger and develop it. You will need to make a copy neg. Any photo lab can do the copy neg and you can buy photo emulsion at a photo store. You can then find a photo club and ask one of the members to do it for you. max

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snipped-for-privacy@aol.com (JMWEBER987) wrote in

Yes
Scan the image, reverse it, and print it onto some transfer paper:
http://www.talbot1.com/collage_supplies/transpap/transpapind.htm
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"JMWEBER987"

I'm in the sign/screenprinting business. It isn't a job for screening. I agree with the digital print idea. If you are in a decent sized town you can get laminated vinyl prints done or do it online and send them jpegs and size info. I might contour cut them (around the main image to make it look even better). Make sure it's outdoor inks so they will be colorfast.
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Mike,'
I have an answer for you, but this is the first time I've been to Google Groups for awhile and I am stumbling around with the new format.
E-mail me at snipped-for-privacy@ncweb.com and I will send you the info and a couple photos.
Since you don't know me, do a Google search on me and you will find the page with info about making DIY woodgrain paper. That page will soon be updated with info about transferring images to metal or wood. E-mail me. You'll like this method.
Stewart Schooley
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Mike ,
This new Google Groups format is driving me nuts. I replied to your post, but it has been about 10 hours and it hasn't shown up.
If it doesn't show up, check out this site so you can see what I'm involved with,
http://pages.cthome.net/ptf/photofin/photoFinish.html
I have a new one for transferring the image to wood or metal and removing the paper. Works like a charm. and is very cheap to do.
E-mail me at snipped-for-privacy@ncweb.com and I will send you the info and a couple pictures.
Stewart Schooley
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