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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I wanted to show u guys what I did to improve my screen making abilities. I need to start off by saying that the 500w halogen light-on-a-stand has really been working good for me, the only gripe I have is the fact that I can't weight down the glass without blocking the image.... so I got a huge chunk of glass and decided to invert the process. I almost went with fluorescent lights but that's for a different post. I was going to build a box similar to a floro unit and mount the halogen under it, but as I sat looking at the glass sitting on the counter where the stand was it occurred to me that a hole in the counter and the the light mounted face up on the stand would be easy to do.

For some reason I cat upload pictures from my phone so I will post them from my PC.

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I have completed my exposure setup with a GraLabs #172 timer. This is a better choice than the #300 which is made for film development.

the second picture is my pre-registration guide, I used wood strips to make the guides, and taped a piece of film to the posterboard with registration marks for both 13"x19" and 8.5"x 11" film. I have a premade template file that has guides for the locations but wont print them.

The next pict is some high detail line art made @2:30 with Chromaline Chromablue on a 156 mesh.

The last is some halftone work exposed @2:30 also but on a 280 mesh.

All this from a 500w Halogen and a silver press.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 · (Edited)
Thanks for all the support. I have revived a few PMs about my pre-reg system so I decided to share it all with you.

So the board is made of white poster board. I traced to outline of a screen (I use only 20"x24" static now) and cut some 2"x1"firing strips to length and taped them to the board so my screens will always line up the same, then traced all the platens I have (16"x16", 14"x14" youth, 10"x10" infant, and leg/sleeve.) The orange doted box is the Full back image area, the pink box is the full front image area, and the little green box is the L/C image area.
Door


Then I made marks at the locations I will be loading the shirts (one mark for L/C, one for Full front/Full back) this is the mark I put the top edge of the shirt collar to when I load them on the Platen.
Line Parallel


I have the same marks on my platen(red marks are shirt locations and silver mark is where the top center regmark is.) This helps to not have to move the platen every job.
Cap


I have a Corel template for standard 13"x19" Full images and 8.5"x11" L/C .
View attachment pre reg Template.pdf
View attachment L-C Template.pdf

I will share these just PM me and I will send you the .cdt files. All items on the blank template are on the Master page the reg marks will print but the boxes will not. All i do is open the .cdt file and cut and paste the image where I need it(using the boxes) and Corel does the separating. I am successfully using Ghostrip/Ghostview for halftones. and printing on a WF1100 with stock ink carts.

I hope I can help people out with this system as it has made my life much easier. Good Luck to ALL.

Brad
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 · (Edited)
Thanks for the pics. I'm building the same thing with a glass top table i have. What was the distance from the light to your glass? and about how long is your exposure time?
The glass is 16" to the bulb, not the edge of the reflector.

I am getting good results @1:30 based on some screens I made today(block txt on a 156mesh coated 2/1.)
Text Font Logo Turquoise Brand

Blue Text Cobalt blue Font Material property


thats with photopolymer not Dual-cure, I've got no idea as I haven't tried any but I would guess 4:30 - 6:00 for DXP???

here is a shot of the post hardening
Text Screen Display device Technology Electronic device
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
No, I haven't had any blurry edges, the "water for Haiti" print was the biggest image I have ever burned(it wad almost the with of the screen) and it came out beautifully. I am actually amazed myself that this setup is working so well. I printed a 2C+base job with the reg system last Thursday and it took ten min to line all three screens to the film on the platten and the first print lined up perfect. I feel like with a good photopolymer the 500w halogen light works good @1:30-2:30 depending on the mesh and thickness. Wash out, I rinse both sides, sit for 2-3 min, then wash(super low pressure from hose) it clears in under a min with nice clean edges.

I also have added a space bag vac system for positive contact, I will post picts later.

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Just wanted to bump. How is your space bag vac system working? Any pics? This seems like the easiest diy vac system I've ever heard od.

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To be honest, I abandoned the space bag for three reasons;

First, the process of loading and unloading was cumbersome.

Second, the bag had a UV coating I believe as using it caused issues with expo time.

Lastly, the bag didn't hold super tight vacuum and I was forced to stand by holding the vacuum hose to the bag valve through the whole expo time.

I have been useing a piece of mdf covered with t shirt material with a 5gal(full) bucket on top and it has worked great.

I have been also continuing to experiment with expo times (I am awaiting a sample of Ulano's Orange) and with Chroma/Blue it seams I can get great working screens @2:30, but the 21step is only at a solid step 2. So I did the math and went up to 14:00, this produced a solid step 7 but the stencil was identical in every way. No pinholes or premature breakdown with the "underexposed" screens or the "correct" ones. No soft edges or bad halftones.

Wierd huh? This is truly some forgiving emulsion.

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Discussion Starter · #18 · (Edited)
Update:
So I had a chance today to play with some more Halftones and had good success.
IMAG0103.jpg

The List:

  • 280 mesh
  • 2:30 exp time
  • Chroma/Blue
  • 500w Halogen
  • 16" from glass)
  • 1/1 coating
  • 45 lpi
  • w/ SpaceBag
  • Printed from CDx5 with Ghostrip on WF1100 with stock ink
IMAG0104.jpg
IMAG0105.jpg

I found with Halftones the positive contact provided by the spacebag was necessary to expose properly. I still wont use it for standard spot colors and text.

I also burned the same film and time on a 156 mesh so I will see how that prints later.
 

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Those halftones look great!

Thanks for the info - I'm exposing using Space Bags and 2 500w lights at 21" with ChromaBlue, but I've been exposing at 10:00 because of my exposure calculator. I'll try less distance and see how it works in the 2:00 - 3:00 min range - who cares what the calculator says if it washes out alright. I was about to buy a 1000w MH, but if this works it'll save me a ton of money.

Also, I use aluminum screens, and one of the problems I have with the Space Bag is that the burrs in the aluminum have a tendency to pop it when I apply a vacuum. If you can file down most of the burrs with a paint scraper it helps - just be careful, as I found out the hard way how easy it is to pop right through the screen. I've been meaning to build a cardboard sleeve to protect the bag, but I haven't gotten around to it yet.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 · (Edited)
I wanted to update this thread, I have now swaped out the 500w halogen for 4 1w cree LEDs. They are 280-400nm and have worked flawlessly for a few months now. I will post pictures later as the mobil app has issues with posting picts.
This was a test and I will soon be ordering more, 9, 3 rows of 3 should give me better coverage. I am exp at 2:30 now, but I estimate I can get to1:00 with 9 LEDs. Still using Chromablue. And I made a compression lid cause the spacebag is best left to clothes storage.

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IMAG0157.jpg

IMAG0156.jpg

IMAG0158.jpg

IMAG0159.jpg
 

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