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Heat Gun? Or flash dryer?

12053 Views 10 Replies 8 Participants Last post by  wormil
Some of you guys say that a Flash Dryer is not really needed. So how do you really cure a water based ink with a heat gun?

How long will you need to blow at it? And 300deg, or 500deg? Do you need any angles and such?

Need help guys!
Much thanks!
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Which do you use to sweep the floor: a toothbrush or a broom?
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When i first started out, I used a hair dryer ( to cure my waterbased prints) And thoughts about a heatgun it harder to get equal coverage. With the hair dryer method (which i do not recommend) I had a lot of inks bleed. White shirt red ink, Now pink shirt. I would not want to sell that product anymore, too much risk. I would say get a flash dryer (equal coverage, know its cured) and deal with less headach after..

Just my Opinion
If you are a hobbiest & want to do one shirt every now & tehn maybe, but you really can't use a hand gun dryer for any production.
If you have a heat press, which we use for our dye sub and cotton transfers, you can use it to cure a 1 colour screenprint. We heat gun for about a minute all over, and then press for about 5 secs at with minimum pressure. We lay a teflon sheet over the print and slowly pull off after pressing. We use plastisol and it gives it a great finish. I have done numerous wash tests, and all is okay. I outsourced a 3 colour design on 140 shirts, and they were thrown back at me as they were not cured enough and flaked and washed off. I am not even going to offer multicolours anymore. Most of my prints are 1 colour.

Which do you use to sweep the floor: a toothbrush or a broom?
ha ha ha

If you are going to make more than just one or two shirts at a time then you will need a flash dryer. It would take way too long to print and dry a shirt one at a time with a heat gun.
As a hobby, heat gun but if you are in the business to produce real products at least a Flash.
As a hobby, heat gun but if you are in the business to produce real products at least a Flash.
If you're going to be selling this and not doing it as a hobby you need to get a dryer.

Flashes are for gelling ink, not curing it. Heat guns? They have a lot of uses in a shop, but curing ink is not one of them.
A flash can be used just fine to cure water based ink. Regardless of your method the ink needs to reach 320 for about 2.5mins. A flash is capable this. I made platens out of unpainted peg board and shelf brackets to hold the shirts while they are flash cured so it doesn't over heat my printing platens. It's an ok place to start and way better then A heat gun. Just make sure you have a laser temp gun to make sure your getting above 320 after about 2.5-3 mins and not over heating the shirt. Not everyone (no offense) can start out, or wants to start out with, equipment payments so don't feel bad about doing what you have to do to get the ball rolling.

Good luck and hope the info you find on the forums helps you on your journey.

My two cents. Toss them in a well and make a wish.
I agree that flash can be used as a dryer. I have even used it as such for many years without any problems and with repeat orders. The only problems are.
1- inconsistency in products.
2- Speed, You will not be able to produce the volume.
3- Damaged t-shirts.
4- Heating up the production area.

basically if you are in this for the long run, buy yourself a dryer.
Heat is heat... BUT, you want consistent and even heat. Heat guns are not going to provide either unless you are OCD about it and a flash can be cooler around the edge than in the center. You CAN use a heat gun and you CAN use a flash but something more oven-like is a better solution. Even a household oven or DIY oven is better. Once you use a conveyor dryer though, it's tough to ever go backward.
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