Custom Labels Questions (Ordering, Protecting, Care)

Hairy_Crocodile

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Hello everyone!

Still new to the world of chips and have been interested in getting an inexpensive set of china clays and play with the idea of making new labels and replacing the stock ones. I hate the look of a lot of stock poker chips, mostly the labels. And....I'm sorry to offend, but even a decent chunk of the Paulson's I've seen are kinda...meh too...I'll see myself out :whistle: :whistling:

I'm thinking somewhere around 500/600 chips for my set, and I feel that actual custom clays and Paulson's would be way out of my price range.
I don't want to spend $1000+ on a custom cash game set until further down the road in my life. Eventually, I'm getting a nice set from CPC for my grail set, but I don't see that happening for a very long time.

I'm sure there will be questions about why I would want to do such a thing, so I will lay out a few reasons that we can discuss before I ask my questions later down the post. Who knows, you may talk me out of making a big mistake!! The more feedback the better!
  • Part of me just wants a denominated set just to have in addition to my first set I bought that doesn't have denoms (Ceramics are sweeeet btw). The fact I don't have a denom set, coupled with the fact that I don't like the look of a lot of the stock ships out there on the market, means that I'm somewhat interested in some customizing. I want to try other kinds of chips too. ABS dice chips make me barf, I have a few samples of ceramics and a set of ceramics now, I have ordered some samples of china clays, and I really want to hold some paulsons in the future to know what the compression molded chips are like.
  • I want a relatively inexpensive cash set to play with that doesn't have the lack of quality that the $0.15ea chips have (rough edges and the super cheap plastic feel).
  • I get to choose my denominations. If I so choose to buy more chips to have the ability to play nano stakes with $0.05 chips, I could do so with custom labels.
  • Alcohol gets involved in alot of the games I play in with my friends, and I sometimes worry about them losing chips. I'd hate to lose a chip somehow during a game, or have something clay chips get damaged from mishandling. Cheaper chips make me feel better as I can always replace the chips if I order a few extra labels.
  • I Like the mold design on the Pharaoh's and Dunes, and the image I have in my head matches the Egypt theme well. Aesthetics mean alot to me (feel is very important too, but beggars can't be choosers if you dont wanna pay for the customs quality feel yet), and I love the edge spots and general looks of the CC Pharaoh/Dunes chips. I have a family member who does graphic design, and he said he'd love to have a fun project this time of year to boot, so I could have a design made easily.
  • Covid has me very bored, and it would be a fun project for me to do. If anything, even if i decide to abandon the project, I'd still like to have more knowledge on the subject of how to do things like this and where to get labels for my own sake, and for if and when friends of mine want to do something similar one day.

I have been reading about the different ways to remove the existing labels how to replace them (easier ways to take off the labels, tricks to align them easier, etc), but I have some follow up questions I needed clarification for:
  • What sites are the best for ordering your labels?
    • I have found a couple sites, but am unsure if these labels are good or not.
  • What kind of labels work best?
    • Examples from one site I found: Matte Clear, White Weatherproof, White Gloss
  • Do you need to add any additional adhesive to your stickers for safety? I assume not based off of a few things I've read here, but double checking doesn't hurt.
  • Do you need to add any coatings to waterproof them or waterproof them further?
    • When oiling chips like these, do you need to be careful not to ruin the sticker and prevent it from coming off?
  • How long do the labels last on chips like these?
  • How busy can you make your label designs? What kinds of designs should I avoid for when I start to make my own design?
  • And, lets be honest, should i just scrap this idea and wait a few years for fully custom chips?
Thank you all for your time, and thank you for your patience. I hope that you are all safe, and that you have a wonderful holiday season.
If you're like me and celebrate Christmas, I'd like to wish you a Merry Christmas my friends! This forum has been a saving grace for me and has aided in my understanding of this crazy new world of chips and poker exponentially, though what I have learned doesnt even scratch the surface yet. Can't wait to hear what you guys say. Cheers!
 

aaronroch

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Hi Hairy!

IMO labeled china clays are a good way to have nice-ish chips. Some folks immediately slip down the slope to clay chips, but many of us use our labeled china clays for years. (Some do both... I've used my labeled Milanos for 7 years and I'm just now building a cheap RHC set for cash games, will keep the Milanos for the occasional tourney.) Not everyone wants to drop a grand or two on a "truly nice" set.

For reference, I used Matte Laminated labels from PGI, later this equipment was bought by Gene @ ABC and I've gotten add-ons from him that were the same great quality.

  • What sites are the best for ordering your labels?
    • I have found a couple sites, but am unsure if these labels are good or not.
  • What kind of labels work best?
    • Examples from one site I found: Matte Clear, White Weatherproof, White Gloss
  • Do you need to add any additional adhesive to your stickers for safety? I assume not based off of a few things I've read here, but double checking doesn't hurt.
  • Do you need to add any coatings to waterproof them or waterproof them further?
    • When oiling chips like these, do you need to be careful not to ruin the sticker and prevent it from coming off?
  • How long do the labels last on chips like these?
  • How busy can you make your label designs? What kinds of designs should I avoid for when I start to make my own design?
  • And, lets be honest, should i just scrap this idea and wait a few years for fully custom chips?
Thank you all for your time, and thank you for your patience. I hope that you are all safe, and that you have a wonderful holiday season.
If you're like me and celebrate Christmas, I'd like to wish you a Merry Christmas my friends! This forum has been a saving grace for me and has aided in my understanding of this crazy new world of chips and poker exponentially, though what I have learned doesnt even scratch the surface yet. Can't wait to hear what you guys say. Cheers!

Sites: ABC gifts & Awards (Gene). Gear Labels. Both offer excellent labels, Gear offers custom services like shaped labels & color matching, but usually has a longer wait time.
Kinds of labels: They are all waterproof vinyl. You will probably want Matte Laminated, these have a layer of polycarbonate laminate over the label itself (this is what I used for my Milanos). Get samples to make sure they will work well with the chip you choose.
No additional adhesive needed. The laminated labels can be removed cleanly with patience and an xacto knife, but not a fingernail. They are pretty permanent- much more so than the labels that come on most china clays.
No additional waterproofing needed. The laminated at least are also oil-proof. (and chicken-wing-grease-proof... and... I've not found anything that will impact them...)
The laminated labels will outlast the chips. Probably the unlaminated too.
Designs are mostly personal preference. I have personally found large numbers for denominations to be helpful for some of my players, and thus play is smoother. Other folks disagree vehemently with this idea.

One note about ordering China Clay chips: different manufacturing runs will often have slightly different colors/shades. So if you order add-on chips later for a color you already have, you should expect them NOT to match perfectly. Sometimes things are fine for several batches but then they change factories and colors shift a lot, and there is just no way to predict when this will happen, or even to figure out that it has happened.
Bottom line: when buying chips, buy enough of each color that you will never need more. Obviously adding a new color later isn't as much of an issue. Adding more labels later is no issue, both ABC and Gear are fare higher-quality manufacturers than the chips.

Gear will send you samples, I'm pretty sure ABC will as well if you drop them an e-mail to ask. (If not, I can dig out a sample of Gene's laminated labels for you, just let me know.)

Getting the image files right is tricky, and here's where you will want clear communication with your label maker. What file format to they need, etc. If they need to do work on your images you should expect to pay a non-trivial fee for that: such work is highly skilled and a PITA.

Good luck!
 

Hairy_Crocodile

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Hi Hairy!

IMO labeled china clays are a good way to have nice-ish chips. Some folks immediately slip down the slope to clay chips, but many of us use our labeled china clays for years. (Some do both... I've used my labeled Milanos for 7 years and I'm just now building a cheap RHC set for cash games, will keep the Milanos for the occasional tourney.) Not everyone wants to drop a grand or two on a "truly nice" set.

For reference, I used Matte Laminated labels from PGI, later this equipment was bought by Gene @ ABC and I've gotten add-ons from him that were the same great quality.



Sites: ABC gifts & Awards (Gene). Gear Labels. Both offer excellent labels, Gear offers custom services like shaped labels & color matching, but usually has a longer wait time.
Kinds of labels: They are all waterproof vinyl. You will probably want Matte Laminated, these have a layer of polycarbonate laminate over the label itself (this is what I used for my Milanos). Get samples to make sure they will work well with the chip you choose.
No additional adhesive needed. The laminated labels can be removed cleanly with patience and an xacto knife, but not a fingernail. They are pretty permanent- much more so than the labels that come on most china clays.
No additional waterproofing needed. The laminated at least are also oil-proof. (and chicken-wing-grease-proof... and... I've not found anything that will impact them...)
The laminated labels will outlast the chips. Probably the unlaminated too.
Designs are mostly personal preference. I have personally found large numbers for denominations to be helpful for some of my players, and thus play is smoother. Other folks disagree vehemently with this idea.

One note about ordering China Clay chips: different manufacturing runs will often have slightly different colors/shades. So if you order add-on chips later for a color you already have, you should expect them NOT to match perfectly. Sometimes things are fine for several batches but then they change factories and colors shift a lot, and there is just no way to predict when this will happen, or even to figure out that it has happened.
Bottom line: when buying chips, buy enough of each color that you will never need more. Obviously adding a new color later isn't as much of an issue. Adding more labels later is no issue, both ABC and Gear are fare higher-quality manufacturers than the chips.

Gear will send you samples, I'm pretty sure ABC will as well if you drop them an e-mail to ask. (If not, I can dig out a sample of Gene's laminated labels for you, just let me know.)

Getting the image files right is tricky, and here's where you will want clear communication with your label maker. What file format to they need, etc. If they need to do work on your images you should expect to pay a non-trivial fee for that: such work is highly skilled and a PITA.

Good luck!

Hey Aaron!

Thank you so much for the detailed response! That helps immensely!!!

After reading what you said and then watching more reviews of these CC's , I'm expecting order a few extra of each color to be sure I have matching replacements now so I dont order down the road and have them not match. Very good call.

I'll start emailing some of these label sites, and heck the high end clay people too....;), about what kind of files they require and such so I can make the process happen a lot smoother and have a better understanding of the process for when/if i go through with the idea.
 

Hairy_Crocodile

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Are you interested in evaluating samples of high end clays, ceramics, and plastics so you can compare characteristics?
I am!

I have ordered some samples of the Pharaoh/Dunes CC's, am looking to order some plastics to check out as well (Outlaws, metal slugs, etc), I own a set of 850 Non-Denominated King of Spades ceramics from Pokerchiplounge, and am looking at which samples to get of high-end clays (I'll probably get a few paulson chips since they seem to be all the rage and the standard high-end clay from what I've read)
 

allforcharity

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I am!

I have ordered some samples of the Pharaoh/Dunes CC's, am looking to order some plastics to check out as well (Outlaws, metal slugs, etc), I own a set of 850 Non-Denominated King of Spades ceramics from Pokerchiplounge, and am looking at which samples to get of high-end clays (I'll probably get a few paulson chips since they seem to be all the rage and the standard high-end clay from what I've read)

FREE loan of Paulson clay and Bud Jones plastic samples, especially for new chippers! See inside for rules.... | Poker Chip Forum
 

TrainGamer

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Hi Hairy,

I'm basically a newbie to chipping too. I got some of the 15 cent chips, The Mint, and wanted $20's rather than $25's. I read elsewhere that Gear Label had made $20 labels for The Mint series for someone else. So I ordered labels from Gear. I was very happy with the excellent service and prompt delivery. The labels look great on the chips. You have to look really close to see the subtle differences between the custom Gear labels and the stock labels on the other chips. Also, they sent me more labels than I ordered. When I asked about that, they said it was in case any got messed up.
 
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TX_Golf_N_Poker

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Hello everyone!

Still new to the world of chips and have been interested in getting an inexpensive set of china clays and play with the idea of making new labels and replacing the stock ones. I hate the look of a lot of stock poker chips, mostly the labels. And....I'm sorry to offend, but even a decent chunk of the Paulson's I've seen are kinda...meh too...I'll see myself out :whistle: :whistling:

I'm thinking somewhere around 500/600 chips for my set, and I feel that actual custom clays and Paulson's would be way out of my price range.
I don't want to spend $1000+ on a custom cash game set until further down the road in my life. Eventually, I'm getting a nice set from CPC for my grail set, but I don't see that happening for a very long time.

I'm sure there will be questions about why I would want to do such a thing, so I will lay out a few reasons that we can discuss before I ask my questions later down the post. Who knows, you may talk me out of making a big mistake!! The more feedback the better!
  • Part of me just wants a denominated set just to have in addition to my first set I bought that doesn't have denoms (Ceramics are sweeeet btw). The fact I don't have a denom set, coupled with the fact that I don't like the look of a lot of the stock ships out there on the market, means that I'm somewhat interested in some customizing. I want to try other kinds of chips too. ABS dice chips make me barf, I have a few samples of ceramics and a set of ceramics now, I have ordered some samples of china clays, and I really want to hold some paulsons in the future to know what the compression molded chips are like.
  • I want a relatively inexpensive cash set to play with that doesn't have the lack of quality that the $0.15ea chips have (rough edges and the super cheap plastic feel).
  • I get to choose my denominations. If I so choose to buy more chips to have the ability to play nano stakes with $0.05 chips, I could do so with custom labels.
  • Alcohol gets involved in alot of the games I play in with my friends, and I sometimes worry about them losing chips. I'd hate to lose a chip somehow during a game, or have something clay chips get damaged from mishandling. Cheaper chips make me feel better as I can always replace the chips if I order a few extra labels.
  • I Like the mold design on the Pharaoh's and Dunes, and the image I have in my head matches the Egypt theme well. Aesthetics mean alot to me (feel is very important too, but beggars can't be choosers if you dont wanna pay for the customs quality feel yet), and I love the edge spots and general looks of the CC Pharaoh/Dunes chips. I have a family member who does graphic design, and he said he'd love to have a fun project this time of year to boot, so I could have a design made easily.
  • Covid has me very bored, and it would be a fun project for me to do. If anything, even if i decide to abandon the project, I'd still like to have more knowledge on the subject of how to do things like this and where to get labels for my own sake, and for if and when friends of mine want to do something similar one day.

I have been reading about the different ways to remove the existing labels how to replace them (easier ways to take off the labels, tricks to align them easier, etc), but I have some follow up questions I needed clarification for:
  • What sites are the best for ordering your labels?
    • I have found a couple sites, but am unsure if these labels are good or not.
  • What kind of labels work best?
    • Examples from one site I found: Matte Clear, White Weatherproof, White Gloss
  • Do you need to add any additional adhesive to your stickers for safety? I assume not based off of a few things I've read here, but double checking doesn't hurt.
  • Do you need to add any coatings to waterproof them or waterproof them further?
    • When oiling chips like these, do you need to be careful not to ruin the sticker and prevent it from coming off?
  • How long do the labels last on chips like these?
  • How busy can you make your label designs? What kinds of designs should I avoid for when I start to make my own design?
  • And, lets be honest, should i just scrap this idea and wait a few years for fully custom chips?
Thank you all for your time, and thank you for your patience. I hope that you are all safe, and that you have a wonderful holiday season.
If you're like me and celebrate Christmas, I'd like to wish you a Merry Christmas my friends! This forum has been a saving grace for me and has aided in my understanding of this crazy new world of chips and poker exponentially, though what I have learned doesnt even scratch the surface yet. Can't wait to hear what you guys say. Cheers!
If you are planning to go the DIY label route, I can save you a ton of trial and error, and blood, sweat and tears. Been there, done that, and I do have the t-shirt. (the answer for the best DIY label) I found a cheap label I liked from Onlinelabels.com - BUT, their proprietary printing software combined with inconsistent location of the label punch out caused a ton of off center prints. See this post in another thread.
https://www.pokerchipforum.com/threads/which-claysmith-chips-you-prefer.44495/post-1244022

As I stated later in that post, I moved to a more expensive label from Avery. This label is PERFECTION for a DIY chip labeler. Just the right amount of adhesion. Labels stay in place, but can be removed. Print centering can be adjusted and is reasonably consistent from top of page to bottom and from page to page. Labels are waterproof so print doesn't run if they are spilled on. Not perfect, but good enough for DIY. If you want perfect, then use Gear or ABC at 20-30 cents per chip.

Here are some examples of this label:
https://www.pokerchipforum.com/threads/which-claysmith-chips-you-prefer.44495/post-1256924

FYI, I had a misunderstanding with OP in that thread, and he would prefer it to stay on topic, i.e., discussion on Claysmith chips rather than my labeling issues. I plan to start a new thread but have just been too busy with the holidays to do so. I'll set it up soon, but in the mean time, just ask me any questions here.
 

Hairy_Crocodile

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Hi Hairy, I was curious to see if you had made a decision?! I'm in a similar boat and appreciate your post, btw.
I think I am going to bite the bullet and actually re-label some paulsons most likely. Now that I own some samples of china clays, real clays (cpc/paulson), ceramics, etc.....I am going to make my own cash set that way. After handling CC's I don't think I would have liked a whole set of them, even with custom labels.

It took me a little to collect knowledge here and there from the forum to really understand some of the things being suggested, and some time to wait for samples in the mail to make my decision. I have a sample set of dunes and pharoahs, and the feel of them is way different than I imagined. After getting samples of real paulsons and nicer clay chips, I couldn't pick up CC's, I'm not sure how to describe it. I think that CC's are fine chips to use, but I want something a little nicer.
 

Darthhoodie

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I think I am going to bite the bullet and actually re-label some paulsons most likely. Now that I own some samples of china clays, real clays (cpc/paulson), ceramics, etc.....I am going to make my own cash set that way. After handling CC's I don't think I would have liked a whole set of them, even with custom labels.

It took me a little to collect knowledge here and there from the forum to really understand some of the things being suggested, and some time to wait for samples in the mail to make my decision. I have a sample set of dunes and pharoahs, and the feel of them is way different than I imagined. After getting samples of real paulsons and nicer clay chips, I couldn't pick up CC's, I'm not sure how to describe it. I think that CC's are fine chips to use, but I want something a little nicer.

Not to mention relabeling china clays are not as inexpensive as it seems when you consider the cost of labels. A relabeled china clay can easily cost you 75c-85c each. At that cost you are in the full custom ceramic or used casino Paulson range (horseshoe cinci type chips). Just something to think about.
 

Hairy_Crocodile

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Not to mention relabeling china clays are not as inexpensive as it seems when you consider the cost of labels. A relabeled china clay can easily cost you 75c-85c each. At that cost you are in the full custom ceramic or used casino Paulson range (horseshoe cinci type chips). Just something to think about.
Very good point that I forgot to point out^^^^
 

TX_Golf_N_Poker

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Not to mention relabeling china clays are not as inexpensive as it seems when you consider the cost of labels. A relabeled china clay can easily cost you 75c-85c each. At that cost you are in the full custom ceramic or used casino Paulson range (horseshoe cinci type chips). Just something to think about.
This price range is accurate if you buy current CC chips at retail such as Majestics or others sold by Apache and put Gear labels on them. But you can do a lot cheaper with used CCs here on the forum. I'm into my custom labeled PGI 8V chips in my links above for under 30 cents each with my DIY labels. Also keep in mind that custom ceramics don't have the same level of print detail that you get with custom laminated labels from Gear. So for the same price level you have trade-offs. A CC chip with a Gear label is a very nice chip. But ultimately, if you want real compressed clay chips, you'll never be completely satisfied with anything else. Thankfully for my wallet, I'm not at that point yet! :D
 

Hairy_Crocodile

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Something I forgot to ask everyone:

Are these HSI's better to murder or over-label on top of the existing inlay? I despise how small the inlay is on the 1's, so I probably would have to have them milled to fit a larger inlay if can't use a label over them.

If I over-label using @Gear labels, I cannot do laminated ones right? If that's the case, I need to find someone to mill potentially 500 chips for me to fit labels on the 1's and fracs I'm looking at buying o_O o_O

1613844815773.png
 
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