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Using the "reverse roll" method on SunTek film.

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I recently ran into a serious issue with SunTek film while doing an install on a commercial building. 

I was filming large panes (roughly 4' x 6'), using their SDS20. I was working film by myself, and of course using the reverse roll method, which is something that any seasoned tinter knows well, but I will describe here, just so there's no misunderstanding about what I did with the film :

So, you pull out enough film for the window,  cut it off, and then roll it up in a tight tube. The liner is on the outside of the roll in the box,  but when you pull it out and roll it up, the liner is to the inside of your tightly rolled up tube. Then you simply wet the film that will be at the top, peel back the liner, letting it stick to the back of the film, and drop the roll, holding onto the corners. So the film unrolls, peeling the liner off and leaving it on the back of the film to be peeled away and trashed. Does this sound familiar? Of course it does, because that's how it's DONE! So WHY am I going on about this?  

Well, go back to the job I mentioned: I started noticing long horizontal lines  in the film once I had it installed. It turned out to be what's known as "tunneling", where the liner comes off the film, and forms long fingers when it's rolled tightly. And you can read all about it on the Eastman document site where it's clearly stated not to STORE film for long times rolled up like this. But that's not the case here - I was merely pre-cutting the film and rolling it up to be installed the very next morning.  
So I called SunTek, and they told me that I can't do that, and using the reverse roll method will cause this tunnelling issue, and that all of their installers know this already. 

They also told me that some installers who use the reverse roll method special order their film so that it is rolled up the other way on the core, with the liner on the inside. 

1st of all: are there any SunTek dealers out there that have heard of this?  

I asked them if they had installers who do the reverse roll method with the liner on the outside of their tube, and she said yes, everyone is different and some like it one way, and others the other way.  Because that makes no sense - it doesn't work! I actually tried it (pulling the film out of the box, rolling it up in the same direction it came off the core, with the line to the outside) IT DOESN'T WORK THAT WAY!!!

So SunTek won't pay to have those panes re-done, because they said I was doing something they don't recommend, I should have know this!

Any feedback?

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Anytime I have observed someone else's ways they seem to roll up liner in tight as a nickel or dime diameter. Personally, I have always kept film liner in no tighter than a quarter and the majority of the time no tighter than a half dollar.


Pressure sensitive adhesive films are more prone to tunneling than residential films using a dry adhesive.


Edited by Tintguy1980
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:console    Some lessons are tough. 


Yes, ST will roll the film anyway that you want, in or out. Yes, tunneling has always been an issue with some films, seems more so now than in the past. Yes, some people reverse roll the film liner out, albeit prob not a majority ( @TomTint)  I've worked with ST films for close to 10 years, everything you describe are and have been known "issues".


My suggestion would be to chalk it up as a learning experience, been there on many occasions. Start back rolling the pre-cut pieces, liner out, but don't roll them any tighter than about 1.5", more if you can. Then just roll them liner in on the job just before install. Some say that this will cause curling but I haven't had any issues with that from ST in about 7-8 years and I pre-cut most of my jobs a week in advance. :dunno  If you have hyper concerned about curling than just roll the cut pieces, liner in, on a spare tube for storage. 


No matter what film you use there are going to be learning curves to handling and installation. So suck it up buttercup!  :lol  :beer   

Edited by Tint Eastwood
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Yes,  I did feel like I was getting customer-no-service with ST. To be told that doing something  that I've done for the last 25 years (like  reverse-rolling film) won't work with their film is hard to accept, and IMHO should be stated on the box or maybe a note inside with the film. I am

supposed to just know this somehow ... 

Anyhow, I do appreciate your advice : to reflect on "what did I learn from this" ... as with any bad experience or tough situation in life, if I just complain and don't learn something - about myself, a product, a technique, etc then it was truly a wasted moment. Thanks for your replies - consider me sucking it up, and moving on !!! 


4 hours ago, smartie2shoes said:


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Tunneling sucks. Our normal practice is to use a 2 or more man crew on large projects.

To combat tunneling most are pulled same day off a Film Handler and usually no more than an hour prior to install or enough pieces that will last until lunch or the end of the day.

The "runner" pulls and rolls pieces in layers of 4 or 5 in a film box lid 4 or 5 deep.  They will be about the 1.5" size or a bit smaller that @Tint Eastwood

mentioned. Its all about knowing your film.

We generally do not do the "nickel or dime " size roll noted by @smartie2shoes until in front of the glass  depending on the film .


Among other things the "runner" also snags the liners  to burrito roll the trash  and bounces the dropcloths ahead of the installers so they can keep rockin.


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I had no idea that suntek will roll the film however you want. Interesting...


That being said, I normally don't ask, so the liner is always on the outside. I roll the film up... snap and reverse roll it. It works fine for me. (Haven't used SDS20 in a bit though)


Other films will roll the film with the liner in - and I'll also just roll it up that way and again, snap and reverse roll it. Liner tends to come off easier doing it that way, but it's never been a big enough issue that it's worth asking suntek to roll it the other way, or flip the piece of film over before rolling it.  I don't pre-cut my film often, but when I have, I don't roll it tight at all. Regardless of brand.



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