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Lucas M

New to tinting. Any advice would be appreciated!

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Hey guys. I own Elite Finish Auto Spa and have been getting into tinting windows lately. Right now I just hand cut all my windows, I have a plotter but I figured I should learn to do it the old-fashioned way before I go the easy way. I have done a handful of side windows and have figured it out Without too much trouble yet....

 

I just tried to do my first windshield today and I’m struggling. It’s a 2019 Ford F150 with a 6 inch lift and 35 inch tires. So I’m working up and down a ladder trying to learn how to shrink film. I just can’t seem to find a technique that works for shrinking film. I tried wet, dry, the soap bar method and different techniques of rubbing it down. I am using Xpel XR PRIME. When I watch videos of guys online it doesn’t look overly difficult.  But I either get a crease or I get myself in a bind where I have pushed the film around too much. This film I’m using does seem pretty thick, it is a ceramic film.  Any help or thoughts? 
 

thanks! Lucas

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fun. fun. fun. all films are different but keeping your heat gun moving steadily and swiftly as you watch the film shrink helps.  take a scrap and see how much heat your film can take before it burns up. learn how the film behaves before it it burns up and adjust your gun movements accordingly.  other than that because you are new all i can say is ; practice , practice , practice.  its going to get easier. 

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I’ll try that. I don’t mind practicing. It just hurts a little when you are wasting 6ft of tint at a time lol. This also wasn’t the best choice for a first windsheild to learn on. Thanks!

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Some people will make like they can do a spotless, crease free 5 minute shrink job every time, and i'm sure some can and will let us know as usual lol. I make mistakes like you do, everyone does. Just keep blowing thru, taking your time. One tip i'd say is change your perception of shrinking. Ever hear that "Can't see the Forest for the trees" adage? Well "you can't see the shrink for the fingers" i'd say focus on the whole shrink instead of just the finger. When you shrink try look at it not like you're shrinking that one finger but instead think like shrinking the whole film across the glass. Like shrink that first line all the way across (or half way) just doing circular motions with the gun close and no card and you'll see what i'm saying, then shrink the next line all the way across, and make as many smaller fingers as you can out of the big fingers, as the fingers get worse towards the bottom or top run your finger down the middle of the fingers and split them smaller and smaller as you go across the film, if needed pull it with your finger a little to help lock down the tops of the finger in a good direction. Think of it like shrink wrapping, if you were shrink wrapping something you'd want to do as much of it as possible together instead of focusing on one spot where you hammer it on home and overwork that one area. You're not totally trying to shrink a finger as much as you're trying to shrink wrap all the film to mold to the glass. Another thing i see in newbies is they heat the film and will get a crease because they push the card past where they heated the film into cooler film, or they didn't heat it enough to a good melting point that will accept a hard card flattening it. If you find your self at every finger trying to work out every finger on it's own without thinking about the rest of the film, you're focusing on the tree when you should be focusing on the forest.

Edited by Tint Slayer

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On 5/31/2020 at 8:28 AM, Lucas M said:

I’ll try that. I don’t mind practicing. It just hurts a little when you are wasting 6ft of tint at a time lol. This also wasn’t the best choice for a first windsheild to learn on. Thanks!

even after 10 years of tinting some windows will make you feel like a newb. Just a few weeks ago i did a 80' camero back glass that I got right after the 5th try.  that was a 70 inch pull each time! after the third time I figured I was already invested and was willing to sacrifice my fresh roll of limo to do it in one piece lol a few failed attempts were due to jagged cuts, film not wanting to lay, and the worst one was when the film rolled up and stuck to itself as i was peeling it.  

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12 hours ago, Tint Slayer said:

Some people will make like they can do a spotless, crease free 5 minute shrink job every time, and i'm sure some can and will let us know as usual lol. I make mistakes like you do, everyone does. Just keep blowing thru, taking your time. One tip i'd say is change your perception of shrinking. Ever hear that "Can't see the Forest for the trees" adage? Well "you can't see the shrink for the fingers" i'd say focus on the whole shrink instead of just the finger. When you shrink try look at it not like you're shrinking that one finger but instead think like shrinking the whole film across the glass. Like shrink that first line all the way across (or half way) just doing circular motions with the gun close and no card and you'll see what i'm saying, then shrink the next line all the way across, and make as many smaller fingers as you can out of the big fingers, as the fingers get worse towards the bottom or top run your finger down the middle of the fingers and split them smaller and smaller as you go across the film, if needed pull it with your finger a little to help lock down the tops of the finger in a good direction. Think of it like shrink wrapping, if you were shrink wrapping something you'd want to do as much of it as possible together instead of focusing on one spot where you hammer it on home and overwork that one area. You're not totally trying to shrink a finger as much as you're trying to shrink wrap all the film to mold to the glass. Another thing i see in newbies is they heat the film and will get a crease because they push the card past where they heated the film into cooler film, or they didn't heat it enough to a good melting point that will accept a hard card flattening it. If you find your self at every finger trying to work out every finger on it's own without thinking about the rest of the film, you're focusing on the tree when you should be focusing on the forest.

 
never thought of that. Ill try that too. Thanks guys for the help. I have some hope again haha. 

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