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Thoughts on using a coffee mug warmer for decal water bowl?

helios

Well-known member
I was curious what people's thoughts on these were. Obviously I'd need a suitable flat bottom ceramic bowl (which I have). It would certainly be more convenient than replacing the water every 10-15 minutes. A couple of the ones I was looking at list an operating temp of 131 degrees. I don't think that would be too warm, especially when you consider you'd be dealing with a larger volume of water, plus a greater surface area for increased heat loss. I'm thinking it might be worth a $20 experiment next time I'm up for a bout of decals.

Example of one I was looking at (just noticed this one is actually adjustable temp).

Cosori Mug Warmer - Amazon
 

Rhino

Super Moderator
In a perfect world, your water heater will dispense water between 120 and 125 degrees F. Cold water right out of the main is the same temperature as the the ground. 50 degrees or so. Your US Navy subjects will have LOTS of big decals, Yes? I advise warm water, since decals and paper have different rates of expansion. That's why they curl up in water. 70 to 80 degrees?
The opinion of M/A's resident Turd Surgeon.
 

Heavens Eagle

Well-known member
Chris, the warmer looks good. I read it can be adjusted from 77 to 194 degrees. Only thing that might be a problem is it has a weight sensor on it that will shut it off if the weight is less than 11oz.

Thanks for posting about this, I might look in to one myself.
 

Sharkmouth

Information Overload
Staff member
It is a good idea as I tried various temperatures on different decal sheets to see which would be best. Those experiments had me using much higher temperatures for decal paper available to Eastern Bloc companies (Techmod, Bilek, so on). As Rhino explained, the expansion of the paper (not the film) is what causes curling. The adhesive, if not warmed up on the Eastern Bloc paper, doesn't release the decal film with ink. This means the decal film stretches and fractures the ink (and sometimes the film as well). Usually, the paper expands, the adhesive loosens its grip on the paper before the tearing occurs. A dip in the very warm water (no more than three seconds) is all it needs and then placed on a folded paper towel as it curls and opens up ready to be slid off. Leaving them in the water too long can have the adhesive dissolve off the film.

Warm water also makes thick decal film pliable but heavy solvents (Solvaset, Micro-Sol, Super-Sol, et cetera) are needed to make them conform.

Regulating the water temperature is something I never considered so it is something I look forward to in your results.

Regards,
 

moon puppy

Administrator
Staff member
Frankly I don't think I have ever heard of heating the water for decals. Might be why I've had issues in the past.
:popcorn
 

helios

Well-known member
I’ve always used warm water for decals. Don’t remember where I picked it up from. Ended up ordering one to try out. If it doesn’t pan out I’ll use it for my coffee. :)
 

jeaton01

Well-known member
This is what I use, you can select a number of temperatures. I just keep it on the workbench. The large volume of water stays warm for a long time and I pour small amounts in the little tub I soak decals in. Also good for tea or (ugh) instant coffee.

Water kettle


water kettle.jpg
 
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Sharkmouth

Information Overload
Staff member
It helps. It seems to make more of a difference with lower quality decals. Personally, I think waterslide decals are old tech and we deserve something better.

I wouldn't call many of the Eastern Block decal printers low quality, even though the decal will fracture if cold water is used. They simply need a different approach than those I was used to (MicroScale, SuperScale, Cartograf, et cetera). Archer has Nano Film and Eduard (among others) have waterslide decals from which the film can optionally be removed leaving the ink behind.

Regards,
 

jknaus

Administrator
That looks very cool. I would definitely give it a try. I have one for my cup now that does so so service. The one you pointed out looks to be better. Funny how its twice the price in Canada.
James
 

Heavens Eagle

Well-known member
I wouldn't call many of the Eastern Block decal printers low quality, even though the decal will fracture if cold water is used. They simply need a different approach than those I was used to (MicroScale, SuperScale, Cartograf, et cetera). Archer has Nano Film and Eduard (among others) have waterslide decals from which the film can optionally be removed leaving the ink behind.

Regards,
This months Eduard Info magazine has an article on using their new decals. The demonstration used 2 identical P-51 sides with metal finish. Then identical decals were placed and one set had the clear coat removed. It was well done and quite informative. Here is the May Info link to the magazine PDF file.

Right click the link and "Save link as" to download.
 

Gator

Well-known member
I used the old on/off white plastic mug warmer back when I built models to the stage of applying decals. Turn it on and let the water warm up and then turn it off. Dang you young whippersnappers with your digital mug warmers! :oldguy:
 

Rhino

Super Moderator
20210510_201710.jpg
If you must warm up lots of water for large decals, this is Rival's 1-quart Hot Pot. Not only will it hold variable temperatures from tepid to boiling hot, but when snack time comes you can make macaroni & cheese or rice in it. Before my Sweetie moved in, (and brought a modicum of civilization to my BOQ) I used it to raise winter humidity levels. I've even used it to steam an ancient fur-felt hat I brought back from Australia 2/3rds of a lifetime ago. I advise against making Mac & Cheese and soaking your decals at the same time.
 

SdAufKla

Active member
Huh... I've always used warm water for all the reasons mentioned above by others, but this is usually a starting point - i.e. I run warm water from the tap to start with, but by the time I'm done, it's cooled down to room temp. Hardly ever a problem since most of my modeling projects (armor) have very few decals.

However, this is such a simple and straightforward idea / solution! I think as with every good idea I come across, I'm gonna steal it!!
 

moon puppy

Administrator
Staff member
MP, You live in the deep south, your ground water is probably 75°!
No today, temps down in the 40s for some reason.

I did some decals on the Comet last night, put the water in my metal bowl and hit the torch to it. heated up nicely and the decal slid on with no issues. Pictures later.
 
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