Weeding Small Text (Oracal 651)


New Member
I have a new Roland GX-24 that I've been working with for the last couple of weeks. I've been getting my feet wet with some Oracal 651 in white and blue (have some black and red but haven't broken it out yet). Anyway, I've been taking some original graphics as well as some popular logos (just for testing purposes) and working through the process of setting them up as small ready-to-apply pieces (so the negative weeding on the substrate's not really an option). As I've been doing this, I've had some trouble when weeding small text. When I say small, I'm talking about .5 inch or so which may not sound too small after reading some of the posts here. But I've noticed when I'm weeding that some letters just pull right up off of the backing paper in the process. I was testing with the Monster Energy logo the other day and after weeding just the main large portion of vinyl around the perimeter of the graphic, I realized that I totally lost the "Y" in "ENERGY". I also noticed when weeding negative text that it's really challenging keeping the inside of small O's and E's when using a script font. Again, using Oracal 651 on a Roland GX-24 (120g force and blade should be extended 1mm per manual). I find myself having to use my weed tool to hold these letters down while I pull up the weeded vinyl with my other hand. Is that the best way to do it or should they not be pulling up to begin with?

Any tips on how to approach cutting and weeding small text? I wasn't sure if increasing or decreasing force would make weeding easier. I was wondering if anyone places additional cut lines within a graphic in the larger negative spaces so you can weed the bulk portions in 2 or 3 smaller pieces?

Thanks in advance for the pointers. Great forum here. Looking forward to being a part of it.


Active Member
Try increasing force.

Tape, pull of backing paper and weed off tape.

Use weed borders.

Practice, practice, practice...

Oh, then practice some more..


Major Contributor
Yeah, for small text , you are going to get this. I regularly use "fake" cut boxes to make weeding more manageable. Often use the razor knife to separate "opposing" text characters..ie: 6 and 9, F and S.
Good luck...Ken

Sign-Man Signs

Most times, even on our larger projects, we place a small border around difficult text. Just have to go slow and make you have enough pressure on your cut. Run a couple of test cuts to see if it weeds easy.
What i normally do is try to do weed it out the opposite way instead of doing it from the front try it from the back (so your going backwards in the text retsnom) *just like that* and if that doesn`t help take 2 blades and try to gently weed out the letters, thats what I try to do.


Active Member
I am with joker going right to left in weeding text help alot manly because all your opening of font are facing to the right. but when you get down to say 1/4" have fun. usely keep your ready-2-apply decals in the 4 or 5" range. text like say a drivers name on a car window about .8 to 1.5"... one trick is if you are doing the install say on glass that you dont weed the fine text on the backingpaper but you weed after you install it on the glass so the text will stay put and what you dont want you can pick out with your tweasers or knife..


Active Member
I agree with going into the ice box. I left mine in overnite. Work small sections at a time as the vinyl will start to warm up & become more difficult


Another thing I do is, hold your finger down on you vinyl and actually strecth the vinyl you are removing. Your finger should be pushing down on what you want to stay. As you stretch the vinyl, keep sliding your finger down to the next letter while still strecthing the vinyl. It is actually easier to do than it is to explain. I hope you can follow it.


Very Active Member
.5" that a great size pending on the letters or font your using. Try weeding out text under .25" with times roman on any vinyl. always go right to left when weeding text and left to right for numbers. if there is a slot of text i jsut add a contour cut and then i can weed out the extra vinyl quick then go back and stat weeding the text.


Active Member
The freezer? Never heard of that one. A bit of practice is all it takes. Maybe try nukin it in the micro. haha.
I tried the freezer trick, and now I've had to replace 5 of the 6 signs I gave the cold treatment. I'm waiting for the sixth phone call. (It kills the adhesive)

Bill Modzel

Active Member
Oracal 651 has little adhesion to it's backing paper. It's great for larger stuff though.
The best vinyl for small, meaning 1/4" letters, is 3M 225 series with the clear plastic
backer. It's the only vinyl I use for Highly detailed Edge prints.


Major Contributor
I have an ancient Gerber 4E which will not correctly cut letters smaller than ½.
But even weeding 1" letters can be a pain if there are enough of them.
I increase the weights (manually!) sometimes even by taping a quarter on top of the stack.
(useless info with a new plotter)
Anyway, after it's cut I sit at my table (no fuzzy sweaters or bulky long sleeve shirts)
I individually cut by hand, starting at the part furthest from em, a line between the text lines as my own weed border. I use a snap-off xActo knife, but have used a plain straight-edged razor blade in a pinch. You must have a sharp blade.
I weed one line at a time, leaving the centers in till last in each line.
woith one hand, I hold the vinyl taut and with the other I peel the excess back at an angle towards me.
Then I go back and pick out the centers and move on to the next line.
If you do it furthest away first you are not dragging your arms through weeded text.
For reverse weed I use the very tip of the blade to hold the letter centers in place, making sure not to press too hard.