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Discussion Starter #1
(this is just a copy of my intro since it pretty much says it all)

Hey guys, I run and own a site call MMACrypt.com for MMA fans. It's a small site but growing and I'm getting a few request for t-shirts and stuff. I'm done a few iron on type of shirts that look ok, just don't feel they will last very long and don't feel like it's something I can sell. So I'm thinking about screening a few from home.:confused:

At one time, I was a bit of a screening Guru if I must say ;) I was the production manager of a mug/glassware outfit, we printed decals with ceramic inks, released in water and placed on the mug or glass. Then fired at 1200ish degrees. Also did some type of direct screening on item for single color orders and such. Since I worked my way up to this position, I leaned everything along the way. I made screens, from 160 mesh to 330 mesh, used what we called a newton meter to check the stretch of the screen.

Doped the screen, did a few different processes for this. I think we tried a sticky type of emulsion that didn't work really well. I think we ended up doing a 3 pass type of dope, 1 in, 1 out and last 1 in.

Long story short, I feel I did it all and knew it all. However, it's been close to 20 years since I've touched the stuff and would now call myself Silk Screen stupid.:D Yeah, I remember a lot but I'm sure a lot has changed in 20 years and I never did screen on shirts or hats.

What I want to do now, if fire up a small operation as cheap and easy as possible. I have an special aquarium light that was used for my salt water tank. It's a 6' light with a total of of 1000 watts. 3 metal halide that are 250 watts each and a few Power compacts. I'm guessing I can rig up an exposure unit with it.

I only have an inkjet printer, it's a pretty good one but I'm not even sure if inkjets can print on an acetate type of material nowadays. I went to Staples to see if I could find any acetate to play with but failed.

And that's about all I got.:D Well, I'm still active with CorelDraw and stuff. Actually been using it since 2 and now it 14 I think. But I would need to make screen, dope, expose, make some type of one arm bandit all for pretty cheap. I don't want to dump much money in this cause I don't know what the return will be. So ghetto is just fine for now.

This seems like a good site and I'm guessing some of my questions are already answered. Again, I used to be good at this type of stuff but it really was a long time ago. All input welcomed.

Thanks folks
Brian
 

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:D

Hi MMAcrypt

From one dinosaur to another, you showed your age referring to a "one-arm-bandit".
That wonderful term alone warrants a response.

Most won't know that press or grasp the skill level needed to print water-slide decals with glass frit and kilns.
If you want, you'll remember how to ride again if you really want to climb on and apply yourself instead to garment printing.

1. Your inkjet printer can output line art as it exists.
You'll need to test some of the films made specifically for screen exposure purposes.

2. Many light sources can be used for exposure; we even have folks who use the sun, here in AZ.

3. If you really want to outfit the merchandise production yourself, use the "search" field window on this site to answer many other questions.

4. Often, it's good to build a print market via subcontracting before you occupy your time pioneering your own set up.
Product quality, consistency, and turnaround are then easier to manage initially, and reasonable mark-ups are usually possible.
When demand gets big enough, it's time to bring it in-house?

One-arm bandit.........thanks for the memories.:D

Happy trails!
 

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Discussion Starter #3
:D

Hi MMAcrypt

From one dinosaur to another, you showed your age referring to a "one-arm-bandit".
That wonderful term alone warrants a response.

Most won't know that press or grasp the skill level needed to print water-slide decals with glass frit and kilns.
If you want, you'll remember how to ride again if you really want to climb on and apply yourself instead to garment printing.

1. Your inkjet printer can output line art as it exists.
You'll need to test some of the films made specifically for screen exposure purposes.

2. Many light sources can be used for exposure; we even have folks who use the sun, here in AZ.

3. If you really want to outfit the merchandise production yourself, use the "search" field window on this site to answer many other questions.

4. Often, it's good to build a print market via subcontracting before you occupy your time pioneering your own set up.
Product quality, consistency, and turnaround are then easier to manage initially, and reasonable mark-ups are usually possible.
When demand gets big enough, it's time to bring it in-house?

One-arm bandit.........thanks for the memories.:D

Happy trails!
Thanks Tom for the reply. We used to use our one arm to print our proofs back in the day. We had an autopress called a General (I think) that would print 11x17. I kinda miss some of those days of trying to get quality detail and output with glass based inks. But I'm not sure if I miss the buzz from doing the clear coats to actually form the decal. Wow, that's taking me back a ways. Running clearcoat through a 100 mesh screen could get messy and ugly real quick if you had to stop the press.

I will use the search feature for sure and maybe look into some out of house guys first. I just need to do really small runs at first and was afraid the cost would be too high per shirt. But I guess I should get some quote done first and really see where I'm at. Again, thanks for the input Tom, didn't know a one arm was such a dinosaur to be honest. It was perfect for what we needed at the time. ;)

Brian
 

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Nice to see a fellow MMA fan working to add value. I have been to some of the smaller venue fights like KOTC king of the cage and some of the shirt guys there said they do 50 designs to find one that sells. I have seen them with 10 different shirts and only 10-20 of each. As a member of this crowd myself, printing on black is a requirement...

Are the requests you are getting for you to print their design or for you to design and print? just curious.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
People are liking the site and are requesting to buy some shirts to support the site. It's not like I'm getting a 100 requests or anything, just a few but we are a very new site and growing a bit each day. What else I'm doing it creating MMA contests like a Fantasy League and Prediction contests where the winners win a free t-shirt. Right now, I'm just doing cheap heat transfers but as most know, while it looks good from the start, the quality lasting quality in minimal. Maybe I'm doing it wrong, maybe not a hot enough iron, I really don't know. And like I said, I'm way, way behind on the industry. I didn't even know what DTG was so I'm already learning a bit. And like you said, black shirts is required in MMA ;)
 
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