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  • Shrink wrap systems

    What do you use to shrink wrap, and what do you use it on? Lately in the puzzles section I've seen a couple of you mention shrink wrapping. I've considered such a leap. Even though the basics are all similar from manufacturer to manufacturer, it's still leaves some questions. Maybe others have similar questions. Given our unique perspective of not just wanting to shrink wrap boxes or CD's (like the manufacturer videos like to use), please help enlighten us.

    I've considered shrink wrap for puzzles mostly. Is shrink wrapping good for very oddly shaped puzzles, like a gecko or saharo cactus....or are they really only good for geometric shapes?
    What suggestions might you have for doing it with puzzles?
    Shrink wrap bags, or the fold over film on rolls?
    Sealing machine and heat gun, or just heat gun?
    What gauge film works best on weird shapes?
    Is there a gauge that is too thin or too thick for good results, in your experience?
    Brand recommendations to go toward, or stay away from?
    Your go-to source for this kind of thing?
    Other uses with what we do?
    Please share!
    Thank you.
    Linda at www.ArtIngrained.com

  • #2
    Well, I used to get my shrink wrap rolls from AC Moore, and just used the last roll😟. I use a heat gun but lately and only shrink the Sealife puzzles to keep the pieces in place. I only use it on puzzles because of my display board otherwise I would have broken pieces all over the place. Also easier on packing and unpacking. If you tape the shrink wrap use clear tape. I put all shapes and sizes of puzzles in them and have no problem. I’m looking for shrinkwrap bags to save time. Interested to hear what others use.
    Betty

    "Congress needs to realize it is a government of the people, by the people and for the people. Not of the people, by the people and for Congress." - Dr. Benjamin Carson, Pediatric Neurosurgeon, Johns Hopkins Hospital

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    • #3
      I checked out www.ULine.com We used them years ago at the company I used to work at, and they were really reputable to work with. They have machines, guns, bags, and film. I just don't really know what works best, as well as if there is a really great priced to buy from. To date I've been a frugal tightwad and only used Kirkland stretch wrap because it sticks to itself really well. But pondering the upgrade.

      Betty...if you use the clear tape, what effect does the gun have on it?
      Linda at www.ArtIngrained.com

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      • #4
        I shrink wrap all my puzzles. It is the best method I have found. I do not use a cardboard backer as some do. I use shrink wrap bags that I get from Amazon or Ebay. 8" x 12" will fit 95% of the puzzles I make.

        To use the bags you will need a sealer. I have one very similar to this. You will want one at least 12" wide.
        https://www.ebay.com/itm/8-200mm-Hea...wAAOSwnm1enQuk

        The only thing else you will need is a heat gun (any kind) or even a blow dryer.
        Scott
        Creator of fine designer sawdust.

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        • #5
          As a framer, we have a shrinker wrapper at ArtCrafters. Very simple. Film on a roller, sealer attached, just roll off enough film, seal the film, insert object, seal other end and shrink with a heat gum. We also use Uline as a source. Not sure where our unit can from as it was with the shop when we bought the shop.
          Denny
          ArtCrafters in Dayton, TN

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          • #6
            What thickness of film seems to work the best for puzzles?
            The bags seem easier on the surface.
            But the film seems like it is more versatile on size variations.
            Linda at www.ArtIngrained.com

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            • #7
              None Linda. You need to find the right heat temp so it shrinks but doesn’t put a hole in the wrap but the tape doesn’t shrink or tear.
              Betty

              "Congress needs to realize it is a government of the people, by the people and for the people. Not of the people, by the people and for Congress." - Dr. Benjamin Carson, Pediatric Neurosurgeon, Johns Hopkins Hospital

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              • #8
                Originally posted by will8989 View Post
                None Linda. You need to find the right heat temp so it shrinks but doesn’t put a hole in the wrap but the tape doesn’t shrink or tear.
                My process is a bit different. Since I am using heat shrink bags when you seal the open end you trap a lot of air in them. When you start to heat the bag to shrink it you create a large bubble. I continue to heat the bag until it does pop a hole. I have been doing this for years. The shrink wrap remains tight on the parts and will not spit further.
                Scott
                Creator of fine designer sawdust.

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                • #9
                  I've been using the bags from Amazon and a heat gun my wife bought when she was a preschool teacher. Unless you are wrapping of small parts, you don't need a sealer. Just fold it over and hold it with a small piece of scotch tape on the back. After you shrink it it's sealed enough to keep everything in place.

                  I find that this holds most of the oddly shaped puzzles, but sometimes I put in a piece of cardboard under the puzzle if it doesn't look like it will wrap well.

                  If you are only wrapping a few things a week, maybe get some bags from your supplier of choice and an inexpensive heat gun and see how they work for you.

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                  • #10
                    I sometimes wrap up to 20 puzzles at one time so the bags would be quicker. I was going to just fold over and use tape. I’ve never had a problem with tape. I already have a heat gun.
                    Betty

                    "Congress needs to realize it is a government of the people, by the people and for the people. Not of the people, by the people and for Congress." - Dr. Benjamin Carson, Pediatric Neurosurgeon, Johns Hopkins Hospital

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by will8989 View Post
                      I sometimes wrap up to 20 puzzles at one time so the bags would be quicker. I was going to just fold over and use tape. I’ve never had a problem with tape. I already have a heat gun.
                      I use bags and a heat gun on puzzles. I found that there is no reason to use tape, fold over the open side and shrink, it sticks together with a little help.
                      Jim
                      Texas - The Republic
                      With the exception of hand guns and Tequila, computers have caused more problems than anything else

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                      • #12
                        I hope some new people discover this forum. It is truly a very diverse source of helpful hints. Thank you everyone!
                        Linda at www.ArtIngrained.com

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                        • #13
                          There are several competing forums, but this is my home base. No BS or politics.
                          And best of all some very talented and clever problem solving folks.
                          I always seem to get new ideas and motivation here.
                          Rolf
                          RBI G4 26 Hawk, EX 16 with Pegas clamps, Nova 1624 DVR XP
                          Philosophy "I don't know that I can't, therefore I can"
                          Proud Member of the Long Island Woodworkers Club
                          And the Long Island Scrollsaw Association

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                          • #14
                            Well said Rolf!
                            Linda at www.ArtIngrained.com

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by NC Scroller View Post

                              My process is a bit different. Since I am using heat shrink bags when you seal the open end you trap a lot of air in them. When you start to heat the bag to shrink it you create a large bubble. I continue to heat the bag until it does pop a hole. I have been doing this for years. The shrink wrap remains tight on the parts and will not spit further.
                              The bigger commercial shrinkwrappers either run a spike wheel or a punch unit to create air holes in the bag to let the air out as it shrinks. With the bag you could poke it with an icepick before loading it for the same effect.
                              https://www.etsy.com/shop/BeasleyTurnings
                              Stabilized blanks and more

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