I’m not extremely thrilled to be bringing you this post. I mean, I always want everything to work perfectly from the beginning. Doesn’t everyone? But it’s not as bad as it could be. The poor tortured objects in the photo above have some stories to tell.
I put some of my new keychains through hell. This is how they held up.
The three fob inserts were my short term test subjects. They all use some printed vinyl in their composition. Two have some cut vinyl (chrome) laid on top of the printed material.
Torture test one -
1) Soaked under warm water for 5 minutes. Results: No change in condition.
2) Soaked under cold water for 30 minutes. Results: No change in condition.
3) Left under water for an evening while I made gauges. ~120 minutes submerged time. Results: As you see above.
All suffered a bit of water damage on the edges after their long soak. The worst is probably the Version NOS where the blue circle darkened on the edge. The M Edition badge had more water damage, but the red didn’t show it as badly as the blue on the NOS badge.
And now for the destroyed keychain.
This was literally the first keychain I made. I printed it, put it on a blank, and put it outside in my backyard. That was three weeks ago. It’s been a hard three weeks here in New Mexico.
Torture test two-
1) ~10 hours of sun each day. I set it in a spot that gets sunrise to sunset exposure.
2) Temperature swings from 15*F to 70*F. This is not an exaggeration. We had a week of spring weather book-ended by a couple weeks of winter.
3) A nice sandblasting for a couple days. Sustained winds in the 50 mph range.
4) 2″ of snow followed by thaw and sitting in a puddle for most of a day (earlier today).
The keychain is NOT in good condition. You can see the printed design behind the cut chrome vinyl. It’s destroyed. The dome has yellowed slightly. Even the blank (the metal keychain) has a bit of pitting. It was a very hard three weeks.
So. What does this mean for domed item production moving forward?
1) I will be using cut vinyl as much as possible and printed vinyl as little as possible.
2) Designs that require printed vinyl will be marked as delicate or “Not for outdoor exposure” on the product page.
3) Printed vinyl will never be used on any future products that might live on the exterior of a car. Wheel center caps and badges and so forth.
Nothing like learning as you go, eh?