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Thread: Labelling switches and breakers

  1. #1

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    Labelling switches and breakers

    Hi, everyone.

    I've got my panel powder coated, and it's time to label the switches and breakers.

    What do you you use over a powder coated surface? Do you use dry transfers + lacquer, silkscreen, an office label gun?

    Any advice would be appreciated,
    A.
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  2. #2
    stewartb's Avatar
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    Here’s what Mike used on mine. It holds up better than I expected and will be easy to change in the future if I choose to.

    https://decalprofx.com/
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  3. #3

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    Nice panel. That looks great! Have you been flying the plane? Are there any signs of it peeling or rubbing off as you use the switches?

  4. #4
    stewartb's Avatar
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    It does wear if rubbed on, but otherwise it looks like it did 3 years ago when applied. I’ve heard of guys clear coating over it but know nothing about that.
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  5. #5

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    I have used decals, and am now using plain old India ink and Leroy templates. The secret is a light overcoat of rattle can clear, followed by multiple coats of Future Floor Wax applied with a Q-Tip.

  6. #6
    behindpropellers's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andy505 View Post
    Hi, everyone.

    I've got my panel powder coated, and it's time to label the switches and breakers.

    What do you you use over a powder coated surface? Do you use dry transfers + lacquer, silkscreen, an office label gun?

    Any advice would be appreciated,
    A.

    I laser etch the panels I make.

    Click image for larger version. 

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  7. #7
    Crash, Jr.'s Avatar
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    That laser etching looks great! Is that on a powder coated panel or just regular paint?

  8. #8

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    I used the decal pro also. Over carbon fiber and clear coat over itClick image for larger version. 

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  9. #9
    wireweinie's Avatar
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    You can laser etch the powder coated panel. The trick, I was shown locally, is to put contact paper on first, then laser etch to the metal. If you leave the paper on it acts as a mask for any color paint that you want the labeling to be.

    Web
    Life's tough . . . wear a cup.
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  10. #10
    Bearhawk Builder's Avatar
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    http://www.aerographics.com/ Vinyl not dry transferClick image for larger version. 

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  11. #11
    RaisedByWolves's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bearhawk Builder View Post
    http://www.aerographics.com/ Vinyl not dry transferClick image for larger version. 

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    I do the same and a matte clear coat over it.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
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  12. #12
    Steve Pierce's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RaisedByWolves View Post
    I do the same and a matte clear coat over it.
    Ditto here.
    Steve Pierce

    Everybody is ignorant, only on different subjects.
    Will Rogers

  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by RaisedByWolves View Post
    I do the same and a matte clear coat over it.


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    That looks beautiful! Thank you for the suggestion.
    Was the matte clear coat sprayed on?

  14. #14
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    I don't have a fancy panel, so had no qualms about just using a simple electronic label maker.
    You can buy one for under $40, but a buddy of mine had one that I borrowed, so pretty much zero cost.
    You can make the labels black on white, black or white on clear, or whatever, using different tapes.
    I think they turned out pretty good.

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    The C180 TCDS & an AD required an extensive placard on the panel, "in full view of the pilot".
    I experimented with my computer word processer & printer to get the required sized lettering,
    then printed it & attached it with clear packing tape.
    Again, not fancy, but good enough for my utility grade panel.
    And like the label-maker placards, easy to remove or replace later if required.

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    Cessna Skywagon-- accept no substitute!

  15. #15
    frequent_flyer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hotrod180 View Post
    The C180 TCDS & an AD required an extensive placard on the panel, "in full view of the pilot".
    I experimented with my computer word processer & printer to get the required sized lettering,
    then printed it & attached it with clear packing tape.
    I have used a similar technique, most recently for the ADS-B Out placard in my PA-28. I create the placard with a double line border, print on the laser printer, laminate between clear packing tape and double sided tape, then cut out and mount.

    Not as nice as laser cut but good enough to get the installation signed off and it's still there several years later.
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  16. #16
    Steve Pierce's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andy505 View Post
    That looks beautiful! Thank you for the suggestion.
    Was the matte clear coat sprayed on?
    Yes it is.
    Steve Pierce

    Everybody is ignorant, only on different subjects.
    Will Rogers

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    Used a trophy business to engrave panel label and smaller labels. The small labels are attached with 3M double sided tape which also works well for the VG’s.
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  18. #18

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    Use subpanel as drill guide for label material then off to the CNC to cut lettering.
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  19. #19
    stewartb's Avatar
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    I like your overlay idea a lot. Thanks for sharing it.
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  20. #20
    Crash, Jr.'s Avatar
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    Not to be critical but what's the purpose of two panels stacked on top of one another? Just a color accent? All it's holding is a few breakers and switches...

  21. #21

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    The sub panel is able to be removed with a service loop in the wiring which makes it much easier to work on the switches and avionics. There are 3 sub panels for this aircraft and I have nut plates on the back side of the structural panel for support. Hope that makes sense. Can put a picture up later if not clear.
    Last edited by Litecub; 01-08-2022 at 01:51 PM. Reason: Fat fingers

  22. #22

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    Hello all,
    I succumbed to a lousy suggestion at the powder coat place when I made my panel and bought into a flat black "crinkle-coat" finish that has truly zero glare. It also has almost zero affinity for stick-on anything - thus several of the labels suggested here have not stayed on. The finish looks sort of cool but that is it's only benefit. With it already installed in my flying PA-14, the ability to etch or such things seems zero too. Any ideas in this setting?

  23. #23
    wireweinie's Avatar
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    Stick the placards on with clear RTV.

    Web
    Life's tough . . . wear a cup.
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  24. #24
    stewartb's Avatar
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    Try 3M VHB tape. I keep a roll on hand since using it for VGs. It sticks to my powder coated panels just fine.
    Last edited by stewartb; 01-08-2022 at 09:49 AM.
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  25. #25

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    Click image for larger version. 

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    No need to get on your back and crawl under the panel to work on it with this setup.
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