Taking Pictures for Decal Recreation

Refurbishing an old saw is a rewarding project. All the work can be done on a bench and once it is complete, it is a unit that can be displayed or used. Your project really stands out when you are able to reapply decals to your project. However, most all of the old decals are not available,….except from Sugar Creek Supply. We specialize in reproducing decals for old saws, old lawn mowers and any old equipment that a customer is wanting to refurbish. In most cases, though, we do not have an example of the unit on hand to take measurements to know sizing on the decals. We, therefore, must rely on the customer to give us accurate information so that we can reproduce the decals. If your unit that you are wanting to refurbish has partial decals on it, good pictures and dimensions can still help us recreate it. We have reproduced decals with pictures from up to six different sources,….where each source might only give us a corner here or a piece there to work from. So, following is how we need pictures taken so that we can have an accurate idea of what a decal looks like and how big it is.

First, determine how many decals were on the saw originally,….ALL decals. Even small lettering, STOP decals, CHOKE decals, etc.,…..everything. If we spend time redrawing these decals, we will want to offer them to other restorers. Because of this, we will want to reproduce full sets, not one decal here and one decal there. Please understand, we do not charge for our design time, however, we expect to reproduce items that will be attractive to others. If it is determined that the decals are unique and probably would not result in future sales, a design charge will be in order.

Second, tell us about each decal. If a decal is on a flat or a curved surface, let us know. Sometimes, a picture does not tell us the whole story,…this is very important, due to the fact that some decal materials will not work on curved surfaces.

Third, take a picture of each decal (or partial decal) with the camera straight away from each decal. The camera should be no more than 1 foot away. You may need to set your camera on the “close up” setting in order to get a clear picture. It is also necessary to have the camera either on a stand or on a stack of books so that it is steady. Holding it in your hand typically does not give a clear enough picture. Do not have the camera at an angle to the decal,….this will provide a distorted view. You may need to remove part of the saw (like a top handle, for instance) to get a clear, straight on picture of the decal.

Fourth, have a digital micrometer (preferable) or a fine machinist’s ruler and measure the length and width of the decal. Hold the micrometer over the decal, taking the measurement, and snap more pictures. This shows me the dimension on the micrometer screen and it shows me where you measured it. Please have the digital micrometer set to inches. Take several pictures measuring length, width, height of major letters, etc. Typically 4-6 pictures of different features gives me enough information. If the decal has unique angles or features, take dimensions and pictures that will help me locate the start and stop of a unique feature.

Fifth, in an email, tell me what the key dimensions were that you recorded. Also, please use photo editing software (Microsoft Picture Manager works perfectly and is free) to resize the pics so that they are 100K – 500K. Please do not send pics that are 2M-5M in size,….8-10 pics of this size is almost 50M and bogs down my email. Attach all the pics.

Once I receive the email, I will study the pics and the dimensions and let you know if I need any further information. Designing the decal set usually takes 1 to 2 months so please be patient. We work to recreate the decal set in up to three different formats: “as close to original as possible”, self adhesive and vinyl coated self adhesive. The first two are designed to be sealed over with a final clear coat. The last alternative is designed to be a “stick em on and your done” set.