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Please help beginner shrink film correctly 30% 3M ceramic 

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I think I'm doing something wrong but can't figure it out. I'm trying my third film. The previous two films I kept going until it formed multiple creases. I'm a beginner and this a first time.

I set up with soap bar and wet H pattern.

This little quarter window is on a smart car. I have watched lot of youtube, but I see some differences in this window which could be making it harder to do, it doesn't have all 4 corner, upper left is round and bottom left has a seal on the outside in the way preventing me from laying it flat, I guess I could shift the whole tint upward for shrinking (your inputs here)

I made a video, if you could please watch and point to me what I am doing wrong and what I should be doing instead.

At 8:08 the film appears to be wavy, is that normal?



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I am also new to tinting, I only wasted about $6 of film before I was able to adequately tint cars. What I will say is your technique is like nothing I've ever seen before. Either pick snap shrinking or finger shrinking, stick to one at a time imo. It seems like your doing a combination of both.

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If you are hand cutting out the film sideways so you are shrinking by the post. Make your pattern and then step it about 1/4” from the post and wet shrink it sideways. If there it too much film, shrink some on the post side, then move it over and shrink some on that open side.  Soap and H pattern isn’t really for this application. 

Edited by The ///Man
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  • 4 weeks later...
On 11/2/2021 at 9:55 AM, MastersTint1414 said:

looks like you have your film turned sideways.  


Late to this post but, may be helpful to others.


Adding to the Masterstint1414 quoted post above:


Film has a machine direction whereby it gains a bit of a material stretch in that direction during mfg'ing. Machine direction always runs in the direction of the length of the film; not the width. It is a must, on an overwhelmingly majority of auto glass, to set the film with machine direction running horizontal to shrink film. Carefully lay down film, form a flat center line horizontally. Lay flat both side edges to the point you have a 'H' pattern, and essentially migrating any side fingering to the top and bottom edges. Film will distort if the shrinking is done on side edges when machine direction is set horizontally (it appeared to be heading toward distortion when shrinking the top of the film in the OP's video, which indicates machine direction was set vertical).


Film only shrinks a fraction of its overall length:


The video indicates excess fondling of the film; let the heat gun do the work, not a finger or hand or hard card. Hard cards or fingers or hands are only used to check progress in migration toward the top or toward the bottom. Do not lock down film attempting to corral shrinkable film into a small(er) area, because this won't allow enough area for the film to shrink properly. Shrinking needs occur over a wide area, not in a bunched up region. An excellent shrinking film will lose approximately 1/4-1/2" over an auto back glass width of 55" (old 4-door cavalier was used to determine this number).


Keep film edges from overlapping glass edge or weatherstrip:


In the video, it appears a two-stage shrink approach is necessary to avoid film overlapping glass edge and weatherstrip. This is done by shrinking either the top or the bottom independently setting the film up slightly inside the edge and off weather stripping Once top or bottom is completed successfully, reposition the film to shrink the opposite untouched half.


Soap to coat the glass before laying film down:

The video shows there is way too thick a coating of soap. All that is necessary is a very thin, translucent layer of soap to shrink to ensure the film does not stick to the glass surface too soon and too tightly. It's best to have some mobility horizontally lest you find yourself creasing the film or locking it down before enough shrinkage has occurred across a wide(r) area.




Shrinking the window in the OP's video should/would be complete in 'approximately' 2 minutes or less; depending upon skill level and not including 'setting' the film for shrinking.


Note: shrink quality is not equal across all film brands.



Edited by Tintguy1980
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