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Rapid start and instant start don't need anything more than on off switch, the bulbs I ended up using were pre heat and they took a bit more to get functioning right. If you end up needing a preheat wiring diagram let me know, I'd be happy to email you one.:)
 

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Those bulbs look perfect. Based on your plans it should be just about as good as any $500-$1200 unit on the market.

The only difference between what you are going to build and a professional unit would be the lack of a vacuum blanket on yours.

I built a unit just like that when I got started years ago and it worked out great. Here are a couple of things I learned the hard way......


  1. Glass - Don't go cheap on the glass. I started with a cheap piece of glass from Home Depot that was razor thin. The glass bowed under the weight of the screen on top and I would not get firm contact between the film positive, the screen mesh and the glass. This led to terrible stencils for tight registration jobs.
  2. Bigger is not necessarily better. I built mine with 4' tubes but it still was limited with overall screen size because it was only 4 lights wide. Make sure you plan ahead and spend a little more money to enable you to burn oversized screens. At 4' long and 4 bulbs wide (about 2') my total cost was about $120. It probably would only have cost about $150 to make a unit that could handle jumbo frames (25" x 36")
Good luck and have fun!
 

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