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Another way to easily make proxies


Darwin473
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Back again, with another option for people to make proxies on the cheap. I've posted before on making proxies, with the primary goal of being able to make a proxy TB for less than the cost of a standard TB (around USD$4.50). And for the proxy to be durable.

 

Here's my latest attempt at making a cheap, durable proxy: an aluminium tag with a paper tag attached with epoxy. The reasons for using epoxy is that it isn't water based, is generally quite durable... and I had some left over from another project.

 

y2LKzkZ.jpg

 

 

From what I'd read up, the Gorilla Brand two-part epoxy was highly recommended for this type of work, the Tarzan's Grip just happened to be what I had on hand. The labels front and back were fairly simple to print and cut out, though I should have double checked and re-printed as the font size is a bit small. And I missed the "R" (Registered) icon on the TB logo.

 

I put down a thin layer of epoxy (mixed) onto the metal, then laid the paper down on top and pressed it down. The paper did shift color from soaking up the epoxy, but I wasn't too stressed about the color on this one (it was printed grey to be similar to the metal, but it didn't work as intended). Practicing on scrap would be needed if a specific color or look was desired. After it dried, I put a second layer of epoxy over the top to seal and protect.

 

It looked a lot smoother in person, the photos show a lot of detail that I'm not happy with, but I like the result of this better than my stamped versions which end up with the letters all wonky (though that is entirely my fault through not being accurate enough when stamping).

 

It'll be interesting to see how this one fares in the wild.

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6 hours ago, Unit473L said:

It'll be interesting to see how this one fares in the wild.

 

That might be a good experiment.  I don't see a lot of logs about tag condition in the wild.  The TB or its attachment degrades or fails, and while the Tracking Code is still viable, it gets "Discovered" without details.

 

Epoxy varies by batch, it's inconsistent, and a specific "glue" that I've tested and used tends to vanish or change formula.  While uncured, it may dissolve or smear the print or pen lines of the printed paper.  Printed items can fade outdoors.  Over time in wet containers, coatings can yellow, crack, even entirely separate from the object.  But it would be good to know what works.  And how dark and yellow (or cracked/chipped) it could get and still be considered a suitable coating.  :cute:

 

Here's a revived TB I made.  It's the same design as the original, epoxy in a photo keychain frame.  In about 3 years at home, the epoxy has yellowed.  The frame holds the cured epoxy in place, where otherwise it will tend to pop off the plastic if knocked around.  I've never tested this on aluminum tags.  The "proxy" aluminum tag in the photo is a laser-engraved pet tag that I bought for $3.50 (including engraving).  Some have double-sided engraving for that price, but no graphics and limited text length.

 

sax1.jpg

 

 

Here are swag items I made that have laser-jet printed paper info tags.  I glue them into the round metal cabochon holder, then coat them with layers of JudiKins Diamond Glaze.  Lately, because of concerns about the water-based Diamond Glaze, I've coated such items with Mercury Adhesives Medium Flex super glue.  I don't use epoxy on these, but that could be an option.  I need to be careful about laser printed tags, because toner is kind of a plastic melted material, and coatings can react with it, and it can smear.

 

thumbnail-(1).jpg

 

 

Edited by kunarion
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So far, the print hasn't smeared or shifted - though in retrospect, a better idea would have been to engrave / stamp the code on one side and do up the label on the other. That way if the epoxy falls off or the label becomes illegible, the remaining metal tag would still function as a TB. Or stamp the code along one edge and still leave real estate on the tag for the paper labels.

 

At the moment, I have it hanging up and curing, though I'm not happy with the feel of it. I was hoping for a hard, acrylic-like finish and it feels a little soft-ish. Kind of like a hard rubber feel. Though this may work in my favour if it cures slightly flexible and it ends up holding onto the metal better. I guess my biggest concern at the moment would be the whole lot lifting off the metal - though I neglected to mention that I sanded it a bit first to give the epoxy something to grab hold of.

 

5 hours ago, kunarion said:

...epoxy in a photo keychain frame.

 

I like that, I may need to look in to the keychain frames. I can think of a few options with those.

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44 minutes ago, Unit473L said:

So far, the print hasn't smeared or shifted - though in retrospect, a better idea would have been to engrave / stamp the code on one side and do up the label on the other. That way if the epoxy falls off or the label becomes illegible, the remaining metal tag would still function as a TB. Or stamp the code along one edge and still leave real estate on the tag for the paper labels.

 

At the moment, I have it hanging up and curing, though I'm not happy with the feel of it. I was hoping for a hard, acrylic-like finish and it feels a little soft-ish. Kind of like a hard rubber feel. Though this may work in my favour if it cures slightly flexible and it ends up holding onto the metal better. I guess my biggest concern at the moment would be the whole lot lifting off the metal - though I neglected to mention that I sanded it a bit first to give the epoxy something to grab hold of.


It may work fine.  Yeah, if it doesn’t just peel off in one piece.   If it’s just a thick coating you want, I wonder if there’s a marine varnish that could be brushed on.  It might be more consistent and easier to use than 2-part epoxy.  But you have to use it all in a relatively short time.

 

I have a similar issue with my keychain photo frames.  I could use craft resin to cover the artwork and make it waterproof, but it’s best used in a large batch.  I don’t have many projects where I’m making a lot of photo frames at once.

 

Edited by kunarion
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