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Bolens Reproduction Decals - Experiences?

bolens 850 decals

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#1 MailmAn OFFLINE  

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Posted July 11, 2012 - 11:33 AM

Okay, so in my Bolens 850 "restoration" (I use that term loosely since I'm not doing a full, complete restoration but rather just fixing up some of the worst areas on the tractor...), I am going to need new decals to put on my (hopefully soon to be) freshly painted hood. I am kind of conflicted (or, rather, confused?) as to where I should get them from. I have seen a few decal sets on eBay, but I'm pretty sure they are listed by the same guy that owns Vintage Reproductions. But I am basically down to two companies that make Bolens 850 decals. There may be a few others I'm not aware of either. Here are the two I am considering:
Has anyone on here (even if they're not Bolens guys) had any experiences with either of these companies (or anyplace else for that matter) that can help me make a more informed decision? To be honest, Maple Hunter has the best prices, hands down. A Bolens 850 decal set from them is $34! http://maplehunterde.../bolens850.aspx However, I am not sure if it is of inferior quality for that price or not. The same decal set from Vintage Reproductions costs a whopping $72! http://www.clickitan...-decal-set.html Why then is there such a price disparity between the two? This leads me to believe perhaps that the more expensive one is of better quality, but that might not necessarily be the case. Also, perhaps Maple Hunter charges more for shipping? I'm not sure, hence why I could use the help deciding. Might as well learn from other people's experiences with restoring these old Bolens'.

My secondary question to this as well is - how hard is it to get these decals on correctly? Are they tricky to get lined up perfectly, especially the headlight sticker on the hood? Is there any trick to getting them on right or are they literally just peel and stick (like a bumper sticker)? There's no tricky soaking them in water or some special application kit I need to buy, is there?

Thanks in advance!!!

Edited by MailmAn, July 11, 2012 - 11:36 AM.


#2 bhts OFFLINE  

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Posted July 11, 2012 - 12:11 PM

I have delt with both and maple hunter is ok for the price just not a good decal and i would not suggest them to someone after my last experince. The other place is good and i have sent a few people there and they have been very happy with them. As for install it is a pain but as long as you take your time anyone can do it.
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#3 Nato77 OFFLINE  

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Posted July 11, 2012 - 12:39 PM

I use soapy water in a spray bottle and squeegee (3M # 71601) to apply decals at my shop. First you spray the surface where the decal will go, then place the decal on (soap/water mix allows it to stick just enough so can be moved to align it). Once decal is set use the squeegee to remove the water from under the decal. I usaully start from the center and work my way out and to make sure there is no air bubbles in the decal. I'm sure there is different ways people put their's on, but it works for me.
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#4 NUTNDUN OFFLINE  

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Posted July 11, 2012 - 01:08 PM

I have only had experience with the Maple Hunter decals when we restored Dad's Bolens 1053. I thought the decals were nice but there are some color differences between each hood side decals. Their customer service was good at that time as they replaced a decal I messed up free of charge.

This was about two years ago when we did this tractor so I can't judge anything currently.

#5 MailmAn OFFLINE  

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Posted July 11, 2012 - 01:41 PM

I have delt with both and maple hunter is ok for the price just not a good decal and i would not suggest them to someone after my last experince.


I was concerned about this with Maple Hunter after I saw their prices by comparison (I found Vintage Reproductions first). Maple Hunter was referred to me by Farmersville Equipment because I asked him if he had any decals that he sold and he said he didn't. What was the problem with the Maple Hunter decals? Are they just on a thinner or inferior vinyl backing? Are there color inconsistencies (as NUTNDUN mentioned) or other issues (such as wrong font, words transposed, or other inconsistencies from original)?

It sounds already like I'm unfortunately going to have to pony up the bigger bucks if I want it done right the first time. I'd hate to waste weeks worth of work refinishing the hood and fenders only to screw it up by putting on crappy decals... :unsure: :(

#6 bhts OFFLINE  

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Posted July 11, 2012 - 02:29 PM

The ones i got from maple hunter was the wrong color and font size. I have worked with nate at clickitandstickit and he has repo some for me the bolens ht23 hood set for the late model ones is made from my decals. I will be soon sending him the ones for my ht20d to have made. I did just look at his 850 decal and seen there was a couple decals missing. I will send him a email and see if he wants to add them to the set.

Edited by bhts, July 11, 2012 - 02:36 PM.

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#7 MailmAn OFFLINE  

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Posted July 11, 2012 - 02:54 PM

I did just look at his 850 decal and seen there was a couple decals missing. I will send him a email and see if he wants to add them to the set.


Why? What is missing? It looks complete to me, of course I'm really only interested in the hood decals really. I don't have any other decals on my tractor right now anyways besides the Hi/Lo range sticker. I don't have the shift pattern or the brake decals or anything else on mine. IDK if they just got worn off or if they were removed for some reason? But all I really want for now are the headlight area decal, the two hood side decals that say "BOLENS 850", and the "FMC/BOLENS" sticker that goes on the front of my mower deck...

#8 bhts OFFLINE  

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Posted July 11, 2012 - 03:02 PM

There is a 1/2 wide red decal that goes around the hood and the hi/low decal that looks to be missing.

#9 MailmAn OFFLINE  

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Posted July 11, 2012 - 03:43 PM

Oh, yeah... I knew about the red stripe decal, but no one (even Maple Hunter) seems to have that. I was going to make up for it by just painting the red stripe on my hood rather than deal with a decal anyways. Of course, I have NO idea what color red it is supposed to be. I bought some kind of either IH Red or, more likely, AC Red at TSC to try and paint the red stripe and wheels on my 850. IDK if that is close or not though. It looks to be a tad darker than like a fire engine red, but not quite a maroon or other kind of really darker shade of red.

I also notice that Maple Hunter doesn't have the CORRECT Hi/Lo range decal in their set either. They have a generic looking one, but it is not the correct decal that is on my 850. You are right, the Vintage Reproductions set doesn't have any Hi/Lo decal at all. I could take photos of mine if that might help him out?

Edited by MailmAn, July 11, 2012 - 03:46 PM.


#10 goodnews OFFLINE  

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Posted July 11, 2012 - 04:17 PM

i just finished my 1054 and i used the ones from maple hunter , take your time read the inst. do a couple of dry runs , you should be fine , don't see how the others could be $37.00 better hope this helps . blessings to you and yours ,in Christ

#11 Bolens 1000 ONLINE  

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Posted July 11, 2012 - 05:48 PM

I would suggest Either getting Decals from Sams or Click it and stick it (where I got my green brier decals)
With these decals the old saying "You pay for what you get" applies. Maple hunters decals are in my opinion lower quality and known for having errors in their Bolens Decals, the color and font is off on many that they sell.
The best decals you can buy are from sams. His colors and font are dead on and are printed on a heavier 3M material. Click it and stick it are very accurate as well but are not printed on 3M.

Applying the decals can be a tedious task, I usually measure and make light pencil lines on the metal to ensure the decals are centered and straight.
As long as you take your time and are careful anyone can apply the decals.
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#12 MailmAn OFFLINE  

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Posted July 11, 2012 - 05:54 PM

I would suggest getting Decals from Sam's. The best decals you can buy are from Sam's. His colors and font are dead on and are printed on a heavier 3M material.


Of course, unfortunately Sam's Bolens and I are NOT on good terms and I highly DOUBT that he would even sell me any decals (and honestly at this point, I don't know as if I'd want to buy them from him even if he would sell them to me...) Unless someone else on here wanted to buy them for me and ship them to my house? Does anyone even know what Sam's charges for decals?

#13 Bolens 1000 ONLINE  

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Posted July 11, 2012 - 05:57 PM

Of course, unfortunately Sam's Bolens and I are NOT on good terms and I highly DOUBT that he would even sell me any decals (and honestly at this point, I don't know as if I'd want to buy them from him even if he would sell them to me...) Unless someone else on here wanted to buy them for me and ship them to my house? Does anyone even know what Sam's charges for decals?


I'm not really too happy with him right now either.....

I would expect he would want around $70-$90 for a complete set for an 850
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#14 MailmAn OFFLINE  

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Posted July 11, 2012 - 06:15 PM

So, not like I'd get them any cheaper at Sam's than at Vintage Repro's... Good to know. I'll prolly try to save up and just buy a good set from them, rather than Maple Hunter's. Might as well do it right the first time!

#15 Bud W OFFLINE  

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Posted July 20, 2012 - 02:35 PM

I bought what was shown as a decal set from Maple Hunter for my Bolens 1256 for what I thought was a good deal. What I recieved was only two hood decals that weren't even the ones they showed on their website! Needless to say, I returned them but I still had to pay for the return shipping. I even sent an email to them before I bought them and was told that what I saw is what I would get.They will not ever get my business again. Sam sold me a partial set (a little pricey) but at lease his pic represented what he sold me.





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