FAQ: Should I oil my chips first, or label them first? Can labelled chips be oiled?

Gear

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Should I oil my chips first, or label them first?


The short answer:
Either one is OK, as long as you give the adhesive time to set before oiling, or give the oil time to dry/absorb before labelling.

Ideally, label first then oil, because waiting for the oil to dry/absorb will take longer than waiting for the adhesive to bond well.


Here's the longer answer...

Suppose you have some chips that need cleaning and/or oiling to restore their appearance. What order should you do things?

LABEL, THEN OIL:

1. Clean the chips -- with TSP, ultrasonic, Dawn, whatever's appropriate for the chips -- then rinse them well, with clean water.

2. Let the chips air-dry on old towels for a few hours, or overnight if you have the time & space. (YMMV depending on local temperature & humidity.)

3. Once the chips are fully dry, apply the labels.

4. Wait 1-2 days, to give the adhesive time to really set. Longer is better, but overnight at a minimum. (Again, YMMV based on local conditions.)

5. Oil the chips, wiping off any excess reasonably soon. Avoid leaving large amounts of oil on the chip faces, i.e. near the edges of the labels. They should be OK most of the time, but why risk it?

6. Enjoy!


-- OR --

OIL, THEN LABEL:

1. Clean the chips -- with TSP, ultrasonic, Dawn, whatever's appropriate for the chips -- then rinse them well, with clean water.

2. Let the chips air-dry on old towels for a few hours, or overnight if you have the time & space. (YMMV depending on local temperature & humidity.)

3. Once the chips are fully dry, oil them using whatever method you prefer.

4. Wait 4-5 days to give the oil time to leave the surface of the chip. (It will be drawn further into the clay over time.) Wipe them down if you like, but try not to leave any lint on the surface to be labelled.

DO NOT label the chips until the surface is DRY to the touch.

5. Label the chips.

6. Enjoy!





Can chips be oiled if they are already labelled?

Yes.

When oiling any chips, "less is more" -- use the smallest amount of oil that will get the job done. It's amazing how far a drop of oil will go. I always wipe off any excess oil soon after finishing a barrel (for example) especially from the inlay or label area. There's no harm in getting a bit of oil on your labels, but there's no value, either.



Lastly, there are some useful comments from various PCFers on the subject, in the later pages of this thread:
https://www.pokerchipforum.com/threads/oiling-chips-done-right.14343/page-12#post-989835
 
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FDLmold

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I had this very question today. With some Gear labels. I typed "oil label" search title into the search, and here is this beautiful, informative post.

I'm going to oil then label, because I have plenty of time.
 
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