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Discussion Starter #1
Hi everyone,

Here is my situtation. I started business March 1st with a cheap, homemade heat press from ebay. I figured I didn't have that much money and that it would at least work for a while.

I get custom plastisol transfers from a couple of different suppliers. I don't like the way multi-color designs transfer, but for one-color designs they were transferring just fine.

Now, I am having trouble. The edges of the heating element transfer fine, but the middle parts of the design do not transfer. I have experimented a lot, and no solutions. It is not a problem with the transfers, but either a pressure problem or even-heating problem.

So my question is, I guess, will a nice, well made press make a noticable difference in the quality of the transfer? I want to have shirts that hold up like screen-printed shirts, but I don't know if thats possible with a plastisol transfer and a heat press. It seems that if the Ink actuallly gets into the shirts, it'll hold up.
 

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Re: Advice needed

I'm not a heat press expert by any means, but from the threads I've read here, the quality of your heat press plays a big factor into the quality of your output (because of things like correct temperature, consistent heat, etc)
 

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Re: Advice needed

Have you changed the pressure at all?

Is the bottom platen pad nice and flat? It may have developed a low area in the middle. It needs to be replaced if it is not flat.

Or maybe it is no longer heating evenly across the top platen.

There is a way to check for that, but I can't remember what was recommended.
 

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Re: Advice needed

I don't know what press you bought "cheap" on ebay but I have an idea. You bought a grill right.. great for bacon and eggs and a couple of pancakes but bad idea for transfers. it sounds like your not getting heat in the right places. I received my Might Press and I am whipping out my latest order in half the time I did on my Geo Knight 9 x 12.. Yippee..
 

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Re: Advice needed

The problem you are having is uneven temps on the plate. Don't trust your gauge. My local fire dept lets me borrow their temperature reader guage and I'm able to check the temps on the machine. Try that.
 

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Re: Advice needed

Thanks for the replies. The thing I bought was homemade, with basically a griddle for an upper platen. I think i'm going to buy a new press. Next question. In addition to the front design, I press a label on the inside and sometimes a small design on the upper back part of the shirt...any suggestions on which presses to look at?
 

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Re: Advice needed

Glad you are doing well with the Mighty Press! Mine is on it's way! I made the mistake of getting that off eBay. I'm amazed you were able to make any!
 

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I just got my Mighty Press from Coastal Business and the service is outstanding. I bought the 15 x 15.. I just knocked out over 100 shirts in half the time it took me with my 9 x 12 geo knight. Call them and tell them Lou Robin sent you.. Kim there is really nice..
 

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Congrats Lou!

Ryan, look into the Stahls and the Hix brands and get at 15" x 15"

Anyone looking to get a new press, you will save money by starting out with a 15 x 15. You may think you can get by with a smaller press, but if you buy one, you will be wishing you had a larger one right away.
 

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Try putting a pad, or a piece of cardboard on the bottom of the press, to lift up the shirt higher so that it is pressed up against the heat. The top of your press is not perfectly straight...It probably warps up a little in the middle. Putting a pad on the bottom will hopefully push the shirt up against the heat better so that it will work.

Anyway, you should buy a real press. I reccomend mightypress. They work great.
 

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Hi. If you read the sellers feedback, you will see negative comments about the heat press machines they have sold. This is one of them, '50 degrees hotter at center then towards the edge, useless for heat transfer'. Another talked about the screws all coming loose in transit, which the seller seemed to think was acceptable.

You can get some decent machines on EBay, but there is a lot of junk on there too. Always go through the feedback to get a balanced perspective.
 

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Hi. If you read the sellers feedback, you will see negative comments about the heat press machines they have sold. This is one of them, '50 degrees hotter at center then towards the edge, useless for heat transfer'. Another talked about the screws all coming loose in transit, which the seller seemed to think was acceptable.

You can get some decent machines on EBay, but there is a lot of junk on there too. Always go through the feedback to get a balanced perspective.
Luckily I never got a piece of equipment for my business from ebay.. wait a minute, I did it, it was a mug press, I have not used for long time now. But my point is, the feedback system works well for how fast what you buy is shipped, if it arrived in one piece, if it was what you paid for.
But what happen if everything arrived on time, you plugged it and it worked as it was supposed to work, it looks just as the picture on the listing, but two or three weeks after you left your positive feedback, and recommending that seller, your equipment stops working,
you send and email and don't get an answer. You can not go back and warn other buyers. It is too late.
But you received it on time, and you were so happy with your new purchase..:)

P.s As Lou (Badalou) says "stay away from ebay presses", and for that matter anything that is too cheap to be true (good)
 

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Thanks for the input. Seems like these heat presses should be bought direct from places that are in the business. Any places you would reccomend or price ranges I should be looking at? Again, my main goal is to use this for lettering the back of t-shirts, and possibly doing heat transfers.

Thank you,
Paul
 

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I bought mine from Coastal Business, which is a sponsor of this forums, their service is excellent, you also get a discount for being a member. BUT I think all the others vendors listed on the left are recommendable too. They are always offering good deals, discounts, etc.
 

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When it comes to heat press' you get what you pay for. I advise always to buy a name brand press, you need even all heat on the platen to get the best transfer quality. .... JB
 

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Thanks for the info you guys or gals. I will research the sponsors. Sorry to keep hounding but I want to make sure I get it right. I know you get what you pay for, I have only done screen printing thus far, so my heat transfer knowledge is limited. Any key attributes I should look for in a starter press? And what are the name brands?

Thanks once again.
 

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I have a Hix Swingman 15 x 15, very nice, and it is the smaller size anyone here would recommend.
 
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