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Hello everybody, I am hoping to start screen printing some shirts and tote bags.
I am new to this forum and was looking to find a beginner inventory of things that one needs to start the process, and just to make sure that I have everything covered.
I have screen printed in the past but I only did it for a week or so for a class I was taking, so any advice from seasoned people would be greatly appreciated.

I currently don't have the space for a 4 screen type of deal since everything will be done in my studio apartment so I am trying to keep it some what compact.
Ive already got the printer covered so I am good on that front, and I plan to use plastisol and not the water based paint.

Also if there is any place that is good to buy used supplies that dont have to be bought bulk that would be greatly appreciated...

LMK if I missed any info that would help you guys guide me in the right direction.
Thanks so much everyone, I appreciate your time and energy....

Here goes nothing #firstpost
 

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you may be able to get used supplies on craigslist or just buy smaller quantities at first from a supplier. Total ink solutions, tubelite, screenprinting dot com, etc. they usually have inks in quarts or pints even.

you need emulsion - prolly should start w/ the photopolymer stuff at first. it exposes faster, has a longer shelf life, and you don't have to mix it with powder to activate

screens obviously - cheap ones at gold up usa dot com or craigslist/digitsmith. hit up youtube to figure out mesh counts and what they are used for.

an exposure unit. a halogen light from a hardware store will work for now. Some vids on youtube on how to build one. pretty easy.

a method to cure the ink:
  • you can get a heat gun from a hardware store. this will take a long time to cure and will be difficult to tell if you fully cured the ink.
  • a flash dryer. used off of craigslist or digitsmith cot com. a faster method but also entry level. this will prolly be your best option.
  • a heat press. also a good option as it will also make the print last longer and gives you temp control. cover your print w/ parchment paper or teflon sheet when pressing.

get a temp reading gun as well. regular ryobi from the home cheapo will work. Keep in mind it reads ambient temp so make sure when pointing at the ink you're clocking temps above what the manufacturer recommends, especially if you're curing thick ink like white. I cure my stuff until i start to see it "smoking" and the gun reads between 380 & 400 f depending on the thickness of the ink deposit. if the ink starts to bubble up go for a lower temp on the gun.

remember, it's very important to cure your ink fully. otherwise all the other stuff you've done leading up to that will have been for nothing. after you cure, do a stretch test to see if the ink cracks easily or stretches w/ the fabric. and def do some wash tests.

youtube is your friend here: the print life, mikey designs, taino ink, liberty graphic designs just to name a few channels. some of them do live shows where you can ask questions. LIberty goes live on tuesday as a matter of fact.

welcome to the party and good luck bud
 
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