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· Registered
761 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
OK, so I've had a few people asked about the registration template that i use.

here's a quick write up.

it's super simple, costs about a buck. and gets you near perfect registration.

i went from setting up a 3 color job in an hour and a half, to setting up a 3 color job in less than 10 minutes.

my pre registration board is a combination of what I've seen on the ryonet site, and information learned at ISS seminars by Greg kitson and charlie taublieb.

for the most simplistic form... go to walmart, and buy a $1.00 white poster board.

or, you can make life slightly easier and buy a $2.50 ghost board, that has 1/2" graph paper laid out on it it light lines.

lay out on the board, an outline of your frame.
then mark where your screen clamp is.
then mark where your platens sit.
then mark 3 registration marks. two at the top of your platen, and one at the bottom.
the bottom mark, should be centered, and placed about 1/2" to 1" in from the edge of your platen, wherever you prefer to stop printing.
the top marks... one should be centered, again, about a half inch to 1 inch from the edge. i have tapered platens, so i put my marks right on the 16" mark, where the collar lands.
the second top mark should be placed 4" to the right of center, and on the same plane as the top center.
according to charlie taublieb, this is all that is needed. 3 marks. this will guarantee perfect registration.
my marks are 3/4" wide and 3/4" tall a plus sign with a circle. (now, but on this first board, they are just plus signs)

my light table is setup so i have a border to set my screens down into it. this makes it convenient for my registration board as well..

so i lay the poster board down into my light table. and butt it up against two edges.

you can see, on my board i have my platen, as well as my sleeve platen laid out in the center. you can see where my screen clamps are, and the outline of my frame.

in corel draw, i create all artwork from a template.
the template was created by me, and essentially duplicates the same three registration marks on my board.

i have them created, colored with the corel registration color so they print on all separation files. and then have them locked.

this way all artwork i create will be laid out within my normal printing area, and in the same place on every film. very rarely do i have to move my platens anymore, nor my print heads.

so, once i create my artwork, i print my films, and then lay my film right on the board and line up the registration marks.

no need for all the fancy tick marks or rulers. (though you can see on my board that i used to use that method)

i put tape on the four corners of the film, then line up the film to the board. then simply lay my screen right on top of it. butting up the same two edges of my screen against the 2x4 border of the light table the same as the registration template. then lay it down, and rub it to set the tape.

lift the screen, remove the template, set the screen down, close up and expose. go to washout. dry. tape it off, and go to the press......

· Registered
761 Posts
Discussion Starter · #2 ·
once i go to the press, i no longer setup my films on the press.

i used to lay my films on the press, tape them down, then hassle with trying to line up my screens with the artwork.

now, i start with my empty platen.

as you can see, i have the same three registration marks on the platen. if you look closely you can see a tick at the bottom on the center line, the top forms a center line, and 4" to the right you can see my third tick.

here is the artowrk laid on the table, just so you can see how the reg marks line up.

as i said, in the past, i would tape down my artwork, then hassle with micro registration.

now, on the advice of greg kitson... i lay my screen on the platen, and line up my three registration marks, BEFORE i tighten my screen clamps..

once i have the screen lined up, THEN i tighten the clamps.

i may get a little movement, and have to adjust micro's. but now, its for a few seconds, not 15 or 20 minutes each.

as you can see, i only have my screen on the press, not my artwork like i used to do.

i can now setup a 3 color job in minutes, not hours.

· Registered
761 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
incorporating some of the things i learned recently at iss, i made my template much more minimal. since none of the ruler marks are needed, because its all laid out in corel draw within the reg marks.

and i needed a new board anyway for my roller frames...

so here is my new template..

instead of drawing the lines and everything like before.... i used ghost board from walmart, so i already had a graph to lay out my screen outline, center mark, and platen outline...

but now.. instead of drawing my reg marks...

i printed a film, with just my reg marks, and taped it down along all the edges. now, my reg marks are guaranteed to match my films. (before i had slight differances, due to the thickness of the sharpie i used)

it's hard to see, but if you look closely, you can see there is a film taped down there.

everything else works the same

and finally... another thing i learned at ISS...

to take this to the next level....

instead of using a $2.50 posterboard from walmart.....

go to lowes/home depot, and buy 1/8" plexiglass/acrylic/plastic, etc...

lay it out the same way you did the posterboard.

tape a film down to it so your reg marks are perfect..

and now you have two things...

it's see through, so it can be lit from underneath like an old fashioned light table.

and... the best part...

lay the plastic reg board on your platen when you set up your job.... not only does it give you the reg marks... but it gives you an even, uniform, 1/8" across the entire platen, to set your off contact. :)

i'll be doing this as soon as i force myself to go to home depot.

anyway, that's what i do. most of it learned from folks that have been in the business for years, and get paid thousands to consult. if they recommend it, i listen. and it's saved me a TON of time already!

if anyone is interested in my reg template, i'll be happy to send it to you. it's setup for me and my press, but you can see how it's laid out, and how to create your own. the forum wont allow me to attach a cdt, so i saved it as a pdf. if anyone doesn't know how to make a template, just let me know, i'll send it to you.


· Registered
8,278 Posts
Nice write up Jay. Those roller frames look firmiluar. Looks like you got them clean. Most of the frames I have have the Newman pin locks on them and I am almost done with my DIY reg using the pin holes. If everything goes right no more setting up put on press and go. Noe just to find someone to weld aluminum that I can trust not to ruin my platen.
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· Registered
263 Posts
Great DIY setup! A buddy has a setup like this he purchased for his M&R Auto and it works excellent but also costs like $3k so glad to see someone make a completely successful model of this.

I have been getting mine setup with a little bit different setup but similar idea.

I use a lightbox for all film registration and for application to the screens it helps alot with the really fine halftoned images etc as well.

Thanks for your share

· Registered
761 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Nice write up Jay. Those roller frames look firmiluar. Looks like you got them clean. Most of the frames I have have the Newman pin locks on them and I am almost done with my DIY reg using the pin holes. If everything goes right no more setting up put on press and go. Noe just to find someone to weld aluminum that I can trust not to ruin my platen.
they do look familiar don't they? lol

actually, that picture just came out bad and hid all the flaws. i did NOTHING to them..

i started to clean. and then i was like pssshhh forget this. lol.

i scraped a little to make sure no thick parts were interfering with the mesh. and then i proceeded to stretch :)

i have no idea how tight they are, but they are definitely tighter than my static aluminums. i can bounce a quarter off them and have it hit the ceiling, if that's a pretty scientific way of measuring them. lol.

and they are all sitting flat. watched a few videos, and went to town. just coated them last night. going to print with them later today for the first time.

my corners are still a little soft.. but, they are only on thier first tension. i did not retension a first or second time as i learned last night that newman recommends every couple of hours for standard mesh.

so after this run, i'll retension, that should bring the corners in a little more. everything else feels very uniform across the screen.

i weld.. but not aluminum, i only weld steel. :(

when you get it figured out, let me know... when i was over at minds eye i got to see how the pin registration works... i had to scrape my jaw up off the ground!
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