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View Full Version : Best Way to Put Name On Tanks



Wasabi Loco
08-19-2007, 09:49
I just purchased some unpainted aluminum tanks from Scuba Toys. Thanks, Guys !

These are a brushed rather than blasted finish. I want to put my boat name on them to keep them from getting confused with others. I want a permanent solution. Which is better, vinyl lettering or paint? If it's paint, how do I make it stick.

Thanks.

Cheers,
Richard

ScubaToys Larry
08-19-2007, 10:05
If you're still around... stop in and borrow our stamp kit. That's the only permenant solution I've seen... Stamp it in up at the neck. We put a ST on all our rental tanks. Just a quick wack with a hammer for each letter...

Hopefully your boat is not named: "Scuba Paradise and Sail Diving Charters Unlimited Incorporated"

Liv7301
08-19-2007, 10:39
Oh, nice! I didn't even realize you could do that! Something about about hitting a tank with a metal stamper and a hammer I guess...

ScubaToys Larry
08-19-2007, 10:43
They do it when they hydro them! It does not take much of a wack to put a little letter into aluminum.

NitroWill
08-19-2007, 10:45
They do it when they hydro them! It does not take much of a wack to put a little letter into aluminum.

Is this something yall can do upon ordering tanks?

ScubaToys Larry
08-19-2007, 10:48
No... I don't want to run into the thing where we stamp a tank, then the consumer says "That is spelled wrong... It's not straight... I don't like that color..." etc.

Or just use a scribe tool - dremel - and scratch it in. And actually, if you clean them up good with alcohol... a preferment marker works pretty good, and you could always put a light clear enamel over the marker.

NitroWill
08-19-2007, 10:52
Understandable..Is this stamp kit just for tanks? Is it something that can be purchased?

ScubaToys Larry
08-19-2007, 10:56
Might be able to get one at any home depot or lowes. Or any real good hardware supply. Just metal letter stamps.

Like these: http://www.mytoolstore.com/young/stamps.html

NitroWill
08-19-2007, 10:59
Thanks! Ill check it out :)

tedtim
08-19-2007, 11:54
We use a permanent ink marker (Markette by Dixon, but I am sure there are many more. Now, if my printing was more legible the tanks would look nicer too.

nferra2
08-19-2007, 12:12
Those stamps look nice, but I don't know if I could wack a tank with one.

427Dave
08-19-2007, 14:54
I used permenant ink marker on galvanized tanks and it is there for good.

Hollywood703
08-19-2007, 15:25
I use the black marker and place my initials on the tank, and also on the bottom of the tank underneath the boot....2 places just in case......people rarely look under the boot.

Jaymeany
08-19-2007, 18:13
What would be the best way to seal a silver sharpie? clear nailpolish?

Buoyant1
08-19-2007, 20:11
Sharpies baby! I wrote my initials on mine in green to match that groovy Nitrox Sticker!

Hollywood703
08-19-2007, 21:13
i dont know of any harm a light layer of clear nail polish might cause.....I have never used it so, maybe we could get some more scientific response from other members...As long as it isnt in a place thats going to get dinged a lot it should be ok...

ScaredSilly
08-19-2007, 22:48
I just put a sticker on mine

http://www.airspeedpress.com/stickers2.html

chewyjr15
08-20-2007, 03:17
yea i would just assume put a sticker on your tank or write your name with a sharpy and use some rattle can clear coat over it.

finflippers
08-20-2007, 07:29
What about heat shrink. instead of using the graphics that you would normally get with them see about doing your own.

They are easy to apply yourself. Simply place the graphics on the tank, slip the clear heat wrap over it, and apply heat with a normal hair dryer to shrink-wrap it tightly to the body of the tank. Here's how it works:


If trimming is necessary, lay the skin flat and cut it from the bottom. Cut the heat wrap separately, leaving it larger than the graphics sheet.
Place the graphics sheet on your clean, dry tank so that your VIP sticker is visible.
Slide the heat wrap over the tank.
Apply heat evenly over a large area of the skin. For best results, wave the hair dryer slowly up and down over the skin.
Submerge the tank in water for several minutes When dry, the ScubaHide will be permanently affixed to the tank.

ScubaLover
08-22-2007, 21:11
I just purchased some unpainted aluminum tanks from Scuba Toys. Thanks, Guys !

These are a brushed rather than blasted finish. I want to put my boat name on them to keep them from getting confused with others. I want a permanent solution. Which is better, vinyl lettering or paint? If it's paint, how do I make it stick.

I used a permanent marker and a stencil. It worked great.

Wasabi Loco
08-25-2007, 07:13
Thanks for the great ideas, guys. I like the stamping best of all. Wish I was still in Dallas cuz I would definitely take you up on it. I don't really want to buy stamps for a one time use. Any ideas on who would have stamps that I could get to do it for me? In other words, what industry would use those stamps routinely? I'm thinking If I could find someone locally I would just bring my tanks in and have them stamped.

Jaymeany
08-25-2007, 07:26
You might be able to find some people around you that you can split the cost with then resell the stamps on ebay or here. Just a thought.

finflippers
08-25-2007, 08:17
Thanks for the great ideas, guys. I like the stamping best of all. Wish I was still in Dallas cuz I would definitely take you up on it. I don't really want to buy stamps for a one time use. Any ideas on who would have stamps that I could get to do it for me? In other words, what industry would use those stamps routinely? I'm thinking If I could find someone locally I would just bring my tanks in and have them stamped.

Try going to the place that does the hydros around your area. They may have have the stamps you need.

Sideband
08-25-2007, 10:20
If you will be diving from your boat I think it would look cool to have your boat name running top to bottom along the tank on 2 sides in decent sized letters. The stamps would be aesier and more permanent, but I think the boat name done in the same font as is on the boat would look sweet painted on.

ScubaToys Larry
08-25-2007, 10:31
Thanks for the great ideas, guys. I like the stamping best of all. Wish I was still in Dallas cuz I would definitely take you up on it. I don't really want to buy stamps for a one time use. Any ideas on who would have stamps that I could get to do it for me? In other words, what industry would use those stamps routinely? I'm thinking If I could find someone locally I would just bring my tanks in and have them stamped.

Probably any metal working / welding shop.

Wasabi Loco
08-25-2007, 11:20
Sideband, that's my original idea. I didn't know if paint with a stencil or vinyl lettering would be better.

That's exactly what I wanted but don't want the vinyl or paint to just slough off.

Sideband
08-25-2007, 11:42
Sideband, that's my original idea. I didn't know if paint with a stencil or vinyl lettering would be better.

That's exactly what I wanted but don't want the vinyl or paint to just slough off.
Unfortunatly I know next to nothing about this, but, I'm sure if we were to ask we would get answers.

If he decided he really wants to do the the boat name (in the same font as is on the boat) what would be the best way? Paint and a stencil? Details? Use the shrinkwrap thing? Other ideas?

terrillja
08-26-2007, 16:40
One option, dogtags, like the military uses. They have all your info, are strong and cheap. I just ziptie them on to the base of the valve, where they are out of the way, and have yet to lose one.

robanna
08-29-2007, 13:31
Or just use a scribe tool - dremel - and scratch it in. And actually, if you clean them up good with alcohol... a preferment marker works pretty good, and you could always put a light clear enamel over the marker.

So, an engraver wouldn't hurt anything?
I've engraved most everything else I own but was afraid to do the tanks with the next hydro 4 years away.

robanna
08-29-2007, 13:32
$9 for a steel stamping set (http://search.harborfreight.com/cpisearch/web/search.do?keyword=stamp+set&Submit=Go)

TAH 73
08-29-2007, 15:00
If one was wishing to do a larger graphic, or do a boat name or something similar just go to a graphics/signmaking shop. You can either get them to do up a vinyl graphic/lettering or get some scraps of the vinyl abd do something cool. A few years ago I did an al80 with the vinyl used to do stop signs.
A red tank that was super visible.

Divingguy
08-29-2007, 15:22
As a climbing instructor, I was very hesitant to be scratching or pounding anything into metal that will be under 3300 psi, and in salt water. I went with the Sharpie.

robanna
08-29-2007, 15:40
I was very hesitant to be scratching or pounding anything into metal that will be under 3300 psi, and in salt water.

That was my first thought but they pound a date into it every 5 years.

Black-Gorrilla
08-29-2007, 17:58
home depot has those vinyl letters that stick pretty well....

Wasabi Loco
08-30-2007, 12:54
If one was wishing to do a larger graphic, or do a boat name or something similar just go to a graphics/signmaking shop. You can either get them to do up a vinyl graphic/lettering or get some scraps of the vinyl abd do something cool. A few years ago I did an al80 with the vinyl used to do stop signs.
A red tank that was super visible.


How did the vinyl hold up over time? That was my original question, actually. If the vinyl will hold up then it's a done deal.

CrzyJay456
08-30-2007, 12:56
nail polish! it hardens and sticks for a long time and comes in funky colors too.

robanna
08-30-2007, 21:17
I'm in the sign business and vinyl would be a good option.
Vinyl is just like a sticker. you see nitrox stickers, dive naked stickers, etc. After they've been on for a few days, you'll have a hard time removing them. the only issue is if you have small areas or fine lines (the point of an A, for example). So, if you stay with big, blocky letters (san-serif) and graphics, it'll last for years.
I like the idea of using reflective vinyl. You put a light on it and you'd see it in low vis.

JahJahwarrior
09-01-2007, 22:05
BE CAREFUL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I think it is illegal to stamp anything into the SIDES of a tank! The neck area is MUCH thicker than the sides! The bottom is also thick. The hydro shops ONLY stamp on the neck, for a reason!!! If you stamp or engrave anything in the sides, it'll likely fail hydro automatically. Also, on a steel tank, that's a groove that is unprotected by zinc plating, and it will oxidize, I think. Don't want to try it out....

Also, don't do more than you need to on the neck even! Hydro shops seem to love to find reasons to fail you tank even when it is fine. I would only stamp your initials, if you stamp it at all! I think that putting on dogtags is a better idea. Get some stainless steel braided cable and a cable crimp thing, so they aren't easy to take off.

As for lettering and whatnot, I also used to work for a sign shop, and yeah, some of that stuff ain't coming off for the world. However, if it's on the sides of the tank where it rubs against the BC strap as you put the BC on the tank, it might come off. Also, technically all the stickers need to come off for...is it VIP, Hydro, or both? So, if you do a sticker, if your shop does it by the books, it ought to be coming off, worst case every year, best case, every five years. A screenprinted sticker will cost you way too much (for signs and stickers, the screens are typically much bigger, as they print multiple stickers on one sheet, then cut the sheet up. The setup costs at my shop was $40 alone. A cut vinyl sticker will be much cheaper, I'd say $10-$20 depending on size. Like the guy above me said, fine points tend to peel more easily. I've got a wicked sweet head of a girl that a friend drew, got it cut on the plotter one day when the graphics guys weren't busy, and all of it's on there fine, but the tips of her hair are starting to peel a tad. But, big block letters shouldn't be a problem.

If you really want a stamp set, key stores might have them. I know my friend's dad runs a door and key business and they have several sets of letters. Slip the guy at Ace $5 and I bet he'll stamp the tanks for you.

Sharpie seems to hold up well on paint and bare aluminum. I wrote "Gibby" and "3300" on the flat section where the valve screws into the tank, and it's stayed there for several months already. A friend with 10 year old aluminums has "GF" on his tanks from a previous owner, and that guy hasn't owned the tanks for atleast 8 years......

Anyways....my diatribe for the day. :)

Krakenn
09-04-2007, 00:24
In Australia the tanks have to be stamped every year. I much prefer your standards compared to OZ about once every five years

Kraks

Hollywood703
09-04-2007, 07:19
i wrote my name with a sharpie type pen...then covered it with a vinyl sticker.......so even if they remove stickers name is on it.......

CompuDude
09-04-2007, 17:24
If you will be diving from your boat I think it would look cool to have your boat name running top to bottom along the tank on 2 sides in decent sized letters. The stamps would be aesier and more permanent, but I think the boat name done in the same font as is on the boat would look sweet painted on.

DON'T STAMP THE SIDES!

JahJahWarrior already covered the basics.

A paint pen or sharpie will mark your tank for YEARS. If you want something fancy, use a sticker or a stencil.


What about heat shrink. instead of using the graphics that you would normally get with them see about doing your own.
Heat shrink will trap water inside and cause premature corrosion on the tank. Avoid it.